$16,600 in Student Scholarships Awarded to Pickens County Students
The Bent Tree Foundation, partnering with the Bent Tree Tennis Club, Golf Community and Saddle Club, awarded $16,600 in scholarships to deserving graduates of Pickens High and $7,195 in teacher/school grants to nine teachers in Pickens County schools. This total of $23,795 represents a growth of $5,645 over last years’ awards. The scholarship recipients were honored at a reception held at Club Tamarack in Bent Tree on Sunday, May 26. This year, the Foundation was able to double its individual scholarship value from $500 to $1000 and also increase the number and value of teacher/school grants over last year’s totals. The Foundation also received a very generous gift in memory of Flo Matthiesen from her husband, Jim Matthiesen, a former resident of Bent Tree. Mrs. Matthiesen was a teacher specializing in early childhood education. The Matthiesens have always been interested in promoting quality education for the young people in our community. The Tennis Club was able to increase their individual scholarship value from $900 to $1200 due to a very successful tennis tournament held in Bent Tree involving a large participation as well as enthusiastic sponsors.
General scholarships were awarded by Bill Bapst, Chairman of Bent Tree Foundation, to the following graduates of Pickens High School: Hannah Caroline Eilers (Valdosta State University), Justin Thomas Fellenbaum (Chattahoochee Technical College) and Jacob Nathaniel Godfrey (Southern Polytechnic State University). The next five scholarships were awarded in memory of Flo Matthieson: Ellyn Elizabeth Duncan (Georgia Southern University), Hannah Carleen Land (Chattahoochee Technical College), Christopher Jeffrey Leicht (University of Georgia), Judith “Tori” Victoria McDaniel (Georgia State University) and Elizabeth Charlene Ray (University of Georgia). Three designated scholarships requiring attendance at the University of North Georgia were awarded to (1) Emma Laine Hoffbauer, sponsored by Colin and Sheila Thompson in honor of their son, Christopher C. Thompson, an alumnus of the University of North Georgia, (2) Mollie Anna Shaw, sponsored by Colin and Sheila Thompson in honor of their son, Stephen W. Thompson, an alumnus of the University of North Georgia, and (3) Amber Brooke Shields, sponsored by Martha B. Stephens in honor of her sister, Linda Brown August, a former University of North Georgia faculty member.
The Bent Tree Tennis Club partnered with the Foundation in awarding three scholarships to graduating seniors participating in the Pickens High tennis program in addition to other criteria. Kristy Coleman, representing the Bent Tree Tennis Club, awarded scholarships to (1) Whitney Clark (Methodist University), (2) Samuel Jenkins Dotson (Young Harris College), and (3) Tate Edward Rizoti (Young Harris College). The Bent Tree Golf Community presented a scholarship to Kelah Mackenzie Hendon (Valdosta State College). Previously, Hailey Treadwell was awarded a scholarship to Berry College from the Bent Tree Saddle Club.
We ask for your help in promoting and supporting this program and encourage you to go to our website, benttreefoundation.org, for information on tax deductible donation opportunities. Please call 770-893-3428 if you have any questions concerning this Foundation program. The Foundation is especially grateful for the generosity of Mr. Jim Matthiesen, Nivek, and the many donors who participated in its fundraising projects.
$7,000 in Teacher Grants Awarded to Pickens County Teachers
Nine teachers from our Pickens County Schools were honored during a reception held at Club Tamarack on Sunday, May 26, by the Bent Tree Foundation. Six of those grants were funded by Jim Matthiesen, a former resident of Bent Tree, in memory of his wife, Flo Matthiesen. Flo taught school as an early childhood specialist, and both she and her husband were supporters of education in our community. The Foundation hopes that these grants will help our teachers motivate a large number of students in our classrooms to develop purpose and a sincere interest in their own education.
Grants were awarded to the following teachers and schools. Mallory Childers, a teacher at Tate Elementary School, was awarded $800 to purchase Rhymes ‘n’ Times and Divide ‘n’ Slide classroom program kits. Whitney Heath from Harmony Elementary School received $815 toward the purchase of a MimioTeach Interactive System which will provide a positive learning experience for over fifty 1st grade students. Jasper Elementary teacher Kelly Howell submitted a project promoting learning through technology. Diane Kinzer, a teacher from Hill City Elementary School, received $780 for her project, IXL Math for Fourth Graders. Pickens County Middle School teacher Jill Liberatore was awarded $1500 for her proposal “S.T.E.M.ing, the Science and Engineering Initiative.” Students will explore the relationships between science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.). Sharon Morgan, a teacher at Harmony Elementary School, received $1000 to implement a supplemental reading curriculum known as SRA Early Interventions in Reading 2012. Chastity Prather will use her $600 grant to purchase portable audio amplification systems for hard of hearing students to be used throughout the county.
Bobby Timms from Pickens High School was awarded $500 to help in purchasing “Lab Modules to Aid Science Success.” Pickens High School teacher Chris Wallace received a $1000 grant to continue the “Dragon Smoothie Wagon” (school-based enterprise for Entrepreneurial Ventures). Students will develop a business plan involving financial, marketing, budget and growth strategies complete with short, medium and long-term goals. These teachers are to be applauded for their dedication to their profession, their students, and the promotion of quality education in our schools. The grant program is a major focus of the Bent Tree Foundation due to the large number of students who will benefit from these projects.
In this, its third year, the Foundation received over $17,856 in grant requests and was only able to award $7,195 to nine grant recipients.
The Bent Tree Foundation thanks the many donors who participated in its fund raising projects this year and is especially grateful for the generosity of Mr. Jim Matthiesen and Nivek.