Partners In Education 2013-2014 25th Anniversary Award Winners

- Wichita Falls ISD is celebrating 25 years of strong partnerships between the district, community members, and local businesses.

Partners in Education, also known as P.I.E., was started in 1989 and is a multi- faceted mentoring program most recently adding the "Read 2 Learn" program to its repertoire.

Those who spearheaded the organization say its been amazing to watch it grow.

Nancy Marks, the original P.I.E. coordinator, says, "In the beginning, no one knew what Partners in Education is or was. We had to spend a lot of time explaining it. Very quickly is caught on."

Christi Farnsworth, a former P.I.E. coordinator, says, "Over the years, it just continues to grow, which is amazing. We have such a generous community with volunteers and resources and it's just amazing what this community is doing."

In the beginning, P.I.E. had about 35 community partners.

Today, that number has grown, making an impact of $2 million last year alone.

Each year Partners In Education recognizes outstanding partners and mentors who have pursued excellence in their endeavors with individual campuses and at the district level.

Here are the award winners for this year:

Partner of the Year – A partner who achieves goals through exemplary, well-balanced participation involving volunteers, funding, in-kind services, etc.
Walter Riddle of Nor-Tex Materials (Ben Franklin)
· Has been a PIE Partner for 10 years.
· Pays for all faculty T-Shirts each fall
· Purchased a washer and dryer for Franklin to was clothes for their students who are without water and for the nurse to wash linens
· Gives money for faculty luncheons and door prizes
· Provided funding to pay for AV equipment that needed replacing

Program of the Year – A program that displays the highest degree of teamwork, resource utilization and results
Bee A Reader- Faith Village Church (Cunningham)
· They have been a PIE Partner since 2008
· Ran program during the summer month for their students, and will run program again this summer
· Program consisted of Kindergarten – 3rd grade students
· There were approximately 30 volunteers for 50 students
· They met for 10 weeks one night a week, and served everyone dinner
· The volunteers read with the students, had activities to go with the individual books, and gave numerous rewards for their hard work

Organization of the Year – An organization which reflects an outstanding commitment to Partners In Education
Wichita Falls Kiwanis Club (District-wide)
· They have been a PIE Partner since 1989
· They present a monthly Kool Kids award for several students at Alamo, which includes monetary and other rewards
· Provided large cash donations to Alamo
· Many of their members mentor at Alamo, Sam Houston, and Scotland Park for the Read 2 Learn program
· They were a major sponsor for the Read 2 Learn Rally that was held in January 2014

Extra Mile Award – A partner who goes beyond the expectations of the adopted school and PIE
Adventure Advertising (Ben Milam)
· They have been a PIE Partner since 2005
· Donated T-Shirts to all 6th grade students at Milam for their field trips
· Delivered Sonic drinks to staff members
· Mentor students on a weekly basis
· Helped staff members put together a 5K benefit race for a Ben Milam student with health issues
· Helped with clean-up and after school parent involvement activities

Staff Appreciation Award – A partner whose special project(s) best support school staff
Luby’s (District-Wide)
· They have been a PIE Partner since 1989
· Every year they provide pies to every one of our schools, maintenance and administration buildings

Rookie of the Year – First-year partner whose participation goes far beyond the boundaries of a new partner
Chick-Fil-A (District-Wide)
· Joined the PIE Partner program in October 2013
· They are a major sponsor of the Read 2 Learn program
· Each month they celebrate the success of the second graders at one of the Read 2 Learn campuses
· Sponsored this year’s Wake Up Wichita Falls event held at Washington/Jackson Elementary
· Provides door prizes for numbers schools and parent involvement meetings

Mentor of the Year – An individual mentor whose volunteer efforts best exemplify the purpose of mentoring
Nancy Vannucci (Alamo, Sam Houston and Ben Milam)
Mrs. Vannucci truly exemplifies the characteristics of a great mentor and supporter of her community. She has been serving on the PIE Advisory Board since 2010-2011 school year, and just renewed her term for another three years. She is an active member of the Wichita Falls Kiwanis Club. Not to mention she mentors five days a week touching the lives of three different children at Alamo, Sam Houston, and Ben Milam. She firmly believes that she is being blessed far more from these children then she is able to bless them.

Mentor Program of the Year – A group mentor program which best exemplifies the purpose of mentoring
Life Tabernacle (Washington/Jackson)
· The have been a PIE Partner since 2010
· They currently provide 38 mentors to Washington/Jackson for the Read 2 Learn program
· The provide power packs

Campus Coordinator of the Year – A campus coordinator who boldly perpetuates the Mission of PIE and goes beyond the expectations of a campus coordinator
Kim Schobert (Sam Houston)
· Brand new to the campus coordinator position for Sam Houston this year
· Responsible for the PIE Partners, mentors, volunteers, and Read 2 Learn program at Sam Houston
· She manages over 58 volunteers a week coming in and out of her campus at any given time
· She has over 800 volunteer and mentor hours reported for the 2013-2014 school year
· Though she is extremely busy and has a heavy load, she never complains

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