Pewitt Education Foundation Grants, 2003-2004

PHS math, science departments
win Education Foundation grants

December 17, 2003 edition of The Pewitt High School Bullseye

By Mark Coombs, Bullseye Editor

On November 6, the Prize Patrol visited the Paul H. Pewitt Consolidated Independent School District—and made us $11,348.15 richer.

Dick Clark and Ed McMahon did not contribute one dime.

For the second time in recent years, the Pewitt Education Foundation—a group of alumni and concerned citizens from throughout the greater Morris County area—gave thousands of dollars to the Brahmas in the form of grants to teachers and academic departments.

Weighted down with king-size checks and noisemakers galore, the PEF Prize Patrol—led by President Ray Thigpen—took to the halls of Pewitt High with one goal in mind: refilling the school piggybank.

Science teachers Welda Cook and Christy Williamson proudly accepted the first grant of the day for $2,249.

Only able to break out of her amazed trance long enough to say that she felt “very glad” about her department’s economic windfall, Cook hugged daughter and colleague Williamson. The science teachers will use their grant to buy digital measuring devices.

Next on the Prize Patrol’s list were math teachers Neesa Frost, Nicole Myers, and Jori McCoy, who would together share a grant of $2,391 to purchase portable white boards.

“I am completely mesmerized,” Myers said upon seeing her check. “I’m seriously in shock.”

McCoy proved—through moist eyes and a big grin—that she felt the same way.

“We really do appreciate this and will make good use of it,” the awestruck McCoy told Foundation founder Dr. James Leeves. “Thank you so much.”

The Prize Patrol would later visit Pewitt’s junior high and elementary campuses, donating to both places a combined total of $7791.90 in grant money.

Junior high science teachers Julie Dockery and Kim Welch received $2500.00. English teachers Pam Shumake, Donna Clayton, and Shele Reyes accepted $2124.20. Welch also received an additional grant of $1000.00. Elementary teachers Sheri Collins, Lina Ranes, Lori Bryson, and Celia Henderson would accept a gift of $1083.95.

The Prize Patrol gave all the teachers a miniature version of their super-sized grant checks to keep as a souvenir and reminder that “the Prize Patrol was here.”

Superintendent Richard Kitchens commended the people of the Omaha-Naples area for their role in the Pewitt Education Foundation’s continuing success.

“We have had outstanding community support,” Kitchens said. “What people have donated allows the teachers a little extra funding than what they would normally see in their regular budget.”

Foundation member VirGinia Fleming agrees—and identified what fuels all the actions of the Education foundation.

“It’s wonderful that the whole community is involved,” Fleming said. “After all, it’s for the kids.”

And it was elementary student Tanner Gray who captured the spirit of the moment.

After watching his teacher receive the final grant, he responded only with a wink—then turned around in the doorway and added, “I like it.”