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District Unites for Education Banquet

The Franklin County Education Foundation (FCEF) sponsored their very first event, the Franklin County Education Banquet, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, and it was the perfect way to kick-off this newly-reorganized organization because the foundation honored the 2018-2019 School-Related Employees of the Year (SREY) and the 2018-2019 Teachers of the Year (TOY). Held in the Cafetorium on Franklin County K-12 School, the banquet was a special time as family, friends and colleagues gathered to pay tribute to this school year’s honorees.

The occasion was extra significant because it is the first time the winners representing both Franklin County’s public schools--the Franklin County K-12 School (FCS )and the Chambers.19 Apalachicola Bay Charter School (ABC) were honored together. Those honored at the inaugural event representing the SREYs and their years of service at their school were: Brittani Millender (FCS, 5 years), Kathy Varnes (ABC, 15 years), Michelle Chambers (ABC, 12 years), and Rosie Rowland (ABC, 10+ years). The TOY representatives were: Anna Keel (ABC Middle School, 8 years), David Cochrane (FCS Middle/High School, 4 years), Karen Ward (ABC Elementary, 22 years), and Katrina Ham (FCS Elementary, 15 years). In addition, also honored for their selection as the District winners were School-Related Employee of the Year Brittani Millender and as Teacher of the Year, David Cochrane.

The honorees walked down the red carpet as Dolores Croom, 2014-2015 District SREY, Millender introduced them to the gathered family and friends and were each gifted with galvanized baskets personalized with their names and filled with their favorites, contributed by their colleagues and area businesses. Teacher honorees were given a token of appreciation from Missy Cumbie, representing Delta Kappa Gamma, a key women educator’s organization and all received corsages, boutonnieres, and gift cards fromCochrane. TOY 19 FCEF.

MCed by ABC Assistant Principal Elizabeth Kirvin and FCS Assistant Principal Nathan West, the banquet highlighted the honorees in pictorial PowerPoints created by FCS’s Jaime Johnson and ABC’s Gina Taranto. Also present were the two school principals, Michael Sneed of FCS and Chimene Johnson of ABC as well as  Franklin County School Board Members, Mr. Kirvin, Mr. Davis & Mrs. Marshall. Entertainment was provided by Pam Nobles Dancers and Angeline Stanley. Several past SREYs and TOYs were in attendance and each were given the opportunity to stand and greet the guest.

A fabulous meal, highlighting Cuban cuisine, was prepared by Debra Fletcher of FCS’s Culinary Team 19 Culinary Program and her team of current & past culinary students, who plated and served the meal. In addition, smoked Boston Butts were cooked by Allen Ham, the husband of FCS Elementary teacher Katrina Ham. Harolyn Walker, 2009-2010 FCS District TOY, gave the blessing for the feast which was incredibly delicious and enjoyed by all.

Elinor Mount-Simmons, chairman of FCEF, the 2008-2009 District TOY-the very first one of the consolidated school, welcomed everyone in attendance and thanked all for the tremendous support the organization had received during such a busy time of year.  Mount-Simmons also thanked Superintendent Moses for suggesting the idea of the event, adding that FCEF was proud to be the organizers for such a special time of recognition for the distinguished honorees and that they look forward to the 2nd Annual FCEF Education Banquet in March or April of 2020.

Special Thanks to the following:

  • Allen Ham (in-kind)
  • Blinging Up Daisies (in-kind) 
  • Brenda Benjamin (in-kind)
  • Bring Me A Book Franklin       
  • Butler Agency                     
  • Centennial Bank
  • Chimene Johnson
  • Debra Fletcher (in-kind)
  • Franklin’s Promise Coalition
  • John & Dee Crusoe
  • Magnifying Minds, LLC
  • Mount Up! Consulting, LLC
  • Ralph & Susie Wagoner
  • Richard Watson
  • Roy & Susan Wilcox
  • Sanders & Duncan
  • Seahorse Florist (in-kind)
  • Stacy & Elizabeth Kirvin
  • Traci Moses
  • Trinity Episcopal Church