$17,500 in Student Scholarships Awarded to Pickens County Students
The Bent Tree Foundation, partnering with the Bent Tree Tennis Community and Saddle Club, awarded $17,500 in scholarships to deserving graduates of Pickens High and $9,840 in teacher/school grants to five teachers and one principal in Pickens County schools. This total of $27,140 represents a growth of approximately $4,000 over last years’ awards. The Foundation continued to award scholarships of $1000 value and the Tennis Community increased their scholarship value from $1200 to $1500 due to a very successful tennis tournament held in Bent Tree involving a large participation as well as enthusiastic sponsors. The Foundation also received a very generous gift in memory of Flo Matthiesen from her husband, Jim Matthiesen, a former resident of Bent Tree. The scholarship and grant recipients were honored at a reception held at Club Tamarack on Sunday, May 4. In his opening remarks, Jesse Hunter, Chairman of the Foundation, paid tribute to Bill Bapst, Co-Founder and former Chairman of the Bent Tree Foundation, recognizing his philanthropic work through the Knights of Columbus, Georgia Mountain Hospice and the Bent Tree Foundation. Bill loved this community and we are all better for having known him.
Two scholarships were awarded in memory of Bill Bapst, made possible by donations made in his honor, to graduates Jimmy (J.J.) Lamar Lee (University of Georgia) and Richlan Carris Hutchins (Salem College). General scholarships were awarded to: Wesley Stephen Ensley (University of Georgia), Haley Elisabeth Matthews (Mercer University), Hayoung Moon (Kennesaw State University) and Alyssa Lane Weaver (Texas Tech University). Three scholarships were awarded in memory of Flo Matthiesen to: William David Avant IV (University of Georgia), Jacob Kenneth Stephens (Tulane University) and Katherine Presley Woody (Kennesaw State University). Two designated scholarships requiring attendance at the University of North Georgia were awarded to (1) Sarah YiFan Barnes, sponsored by Martha B. Stephens in honor of her sister, Linda Brown August, a former University of North Georgia professor and (2) Darla Jane Lipscomb, sponsored by Colin and Sheila Thompson in honor of their sons, Christopher C. Thompson and Stephen W. Thompson, both alumni of the University of North Georgia.
The Bent Tree Tennis Community partnered with the Foundation in awarding three scholarships to: Emily Fraysier (College of Coastal Georgia), Brandon Scott Parris (Kennesaw State University) and Christian Alexander Stewart (Kennesaw State University).
Over the past four years, the Bent Tree Foundation, in partnership with the Bent Tree Tennis Community, Golf Community and Saddle Club, has awarded 68 scholarships with a total approximate value of $55,000 and 27 grants with a total approximate value of $25,000. The Foundation would like to thank everyone who has contributed in raising $80,000 in support of expanding educational opportunities for our young people.
$10,000 in Teacher Grants Awarded to Pickens County Teachers
Five teachers and one principal from our Pickens County schools were honored by the Bent Tree Foundation during a reception held at Club Tamarack on Sunday, May 4. Educational opportunities for over 1600 children will be expanded due to the implementation of the proposals by these grant recipients. Approximately $10,000 in grant funds were awarded this year for seven proposals.
Harmony Elementary School was awarded $4,000 for a proposal by Lynda Wallace, Principal, for the institution of a S.T.E.M. Lab. The purpose of this project is to increase student interest in science, technology, engineering and math and, in doing so, increase student ability to think critically and problem solve. This program should result in higher scores in math and science assessments. Approximately 600 students will be affected by this project. This grant was made by the Foundation in memory of Bill Bapst, Co-Founder and former Chairman of Bent Tree Foundation, Inc. Bill was a graduate of Notre Dame and interested in the disciplines represented by S.T.E.M. He placed a top priority on education and understood the significance of a quality education for our young people. He was instrumental in instituting the Teacher/School Grant and Student Scholarship Program of the Bent Tree Foundation.
Hill City Elementary School was awarded a $780 grant for a proposal by Diane Kinzer entitled “IXL Math for Fourth Graders and Special Education Students Grades 3 through 5”. These students will be given IXL math accounts to use during the 2014-2015 school year. IXL Math is a computer based program that is aligned with the Common Core Curriculum for Georgia. Approximately 120 students will be affected by this program.
Jasper Middle School was awarded $800 for a grant proposal by Allison Naples, Art Instructor. Allison’s project was entitled “Jasper Middle School Doodle Bug”. This project will help develop student zentangle skills resulting in a piece of art for display outside their school. Approximately 130 students will participate in this project.
The Tennis Community, in partnership with the Foundation, awarded a $2200 grant to Pickens High for a proposal by Carole Cox, Tennis Coach. This grant will fund the purchase and installation of wind screens for the Pickens High tennis courts. Hundreds of students will benefit from this project through physical education classes and the school tennis program.
The following three grants were awarded in the memory of Flo Matthiesen by her husband, Jim Matthiesen. Harmony Elementary teacher Jennifer Valeriana was awarded a grant for $770 to support her project titled “You Gotta Hear This!” This project will result in redesigning the listening center. The listening center will become more student friendly and help students meet Common Core standards. Approximately 90 students will be affected. Media Specialist Tamara Boggus was awarded a $1000 grant for her project titled “Wireless LCD Projector”. In today’s technology-based world, knowledge of how to perform efficient and effective searches for information, especially using technology devices, is no longer a fun option but an essential skill for success. Approximately 600 students will benefit from this project. Tate Elementary School was awarded $290 for a proposal by Nancy Teague, Gifted Coordinator. The title of her project is “Hatching Eggs”. This project will help students meet fifth grade Life Science Standards. This project will impact approximately 60 students.