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Montgomery County
Conroe Independent School District Education Foundation
News Release
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Conroe ISD Education Foundation board members Jim Blair and Kenny Speight (back row, L to R) congratulate 4 of the 16 CISD teachers awarded scholarships for continuing education in 2010 by the Foundation.  The teachers were presented to the public at a Conroe ISD Board meeting.This year marks the 10th anniversary for the Conroe ISD Education Foundation (CEF) and its mission of “Planting seeds of knowledge to grow the teaching field” for Conroe ISD.  A celebration is set at its Annual Scholarship Breakfast on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 7:30 a.m. at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.  Guest Speaker, Superintendent Dr. Don Stockton will bring an exciting presentation on “The State of Conroe ISD”, featuring major achievements the school district has accomplished in the past year.  The annual breakfast raises scholarship funds for both students and teachers at Conroe ISD.  Local attorney and CEF President Nelda Luce Blair says, “The foundation’s success over the past 10 years has been phenomenal in terms of the number of scholarships awarded, the amount of funds put toward education, and the expansion of scholarships beyond students to include CISD teachers.  We’ve come a long way with lots of dedicated volunteer effort!”   The Foundation began as a scholarship source for students only, geared toward growing teachers for CISD by Conroe ISD Superintendent Dr. Don Stockton is the featured speaker at the annual Conroe ISD Education Foundation Scholarship Breakfast.identifying high school senior students with a desire to teach, helping to pay for their teaching degrees, then facilitating them back into the teaching system at CISD.  When Blair took over the role of volunteer president in 2007, a handful of student scholarships were in place, with varying levels of accomplishment of the overall goal.  “The CEF had a great mission, but its true potential had not been tapped”, recalls Blair. “So, we expanded the Board of Directors and increased the visibility.  As a result, with this 10th anniversary milestone for the CEF, we have much to be proud of.”  The rejuvenated CEF has handed out over $250,000 in scholarships in the past 3 years alone.  Under the guidance of Stockton, the CEF Board began looking at other ways to grow the teaching field at Conroe ISD, and in 2008, voted to award scholarships to current CISD educators to further their degrees.  “Many of our best and brightest educators have the desire to reach a Masters degree level, or even achieve a Ph.D., but simply cannot manage the funds over the summer to take those classes,” explained Stockton.  “Of courConroe ISD Education Foundation board member Amanda Trapp congratulates 13 of the 16 CISD teachers awarded scholarships for continuing education at the 2010 Scholarship Breakfast.se, when they advance their education, it directly impacts the quality of the k through 12 education we can provide to CISD students.  So, these educator scholarships created a completely new opportunity of support for CISD through the education foundation.”  Also at the suggestion of Stockton, for the past 4 years, the CEF has given out $100 gift cards to new CISD teachers who are also alumni of CISD.  “As a CISD alumnus myself, I particularly appreciate this bonus program,” says Blair with a laugh.  “When they love our school district so much that they come back to teach here, we want to give them a little ‘welcome home’ token.  And, to our surprise, this gift card giveaway has become the most well-known of all of the CEF programs, with 75 handed out in the 2010 Fall semester.”  As the CEF goes forward, Blair says she is confident the Board will continue to “think outside of the box” on ways to continue to benefit CISD.

As with most foundations, the source of CEF scholarship monies are donated funds.  CEF Treasurer Conroe ISD Education Foundation President Nelda Luce Blair emcees at last year’s annual Scholarship Breakfast.Tom Cox, a local home builder, explains that a majority of the funds are raised at the annual scholarship breakfasts, with other donations coming in throughout the year.  “Donations apart from the breakfasts include honorariums, memorials and various community individuals and groups that simply support CISD,” Cox explains.  “In fact, the foundation does offer the opportunity to endow a perpetual scholarship, and we administer several of those.  But, our largest fund raiser is the breakfasts, and we expect 2011 to be our most successful event ever.”  Cox says the Board voted to challenge itself and the community to a $100,000 goal for the 10th anniversary breakfast.  “And, we’re one-quarter of the way there already,” boasts Cox.  PBK architectural and engineering firm, which has worked extensively in CISD, has been the primary sponsor of the past four breakfasts, and, according to Cox, has pledged an exclusive $25,000 sponsorship for the 2011 breakfast.  The Board plans to raise the balance through other sponsorships and attendance at the breakfast.  “PBK has been with us since 2007 Student Scholarship winners Adrienne Meador and Holly Gay are congratulated by Conroe ISD Education Foundation President Nelda Luce Blair.  Both Meador and Gay fulfilled a 4-year teaching scholarship through the Foundation, and Gay is currently a substitute teacher with Conroe ISD.the first breakfast,” states Blair, “so of course we offered the exclusive Presenting Sponsorship for this anniversary breakfast to them.  Ian Powell at PBK didn’t even hesitate a beat before agreeing to the sponsorship, and we are thrilled with their continued support.  In this generous community, I feel very good about achieving the remainder of the Board’s goal.”

Individuals and companies are invited to attend the scholarship breakfast in support of the CISD Education Foundation by purchasing sponsorships, tables or single tickets.  Information can be obtained by calling 1-888-936-3997, or by email at info@cisdeducationfoundation.org.  The CEF web site is www.ConroeISDEducationFoundation.org.






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