Foundation for Excellence Announces 2020 Award Winners

Staff Report

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

The Foundation for Excellence announced its 2020 award winners, 17 Clarke County School District staff members recognized for their service and dedication to the students and families of Athens-Clarke County. The 2020 award winners received financial awards totaling $17,500.

“We are thrilled to recognize and reward our 2020 winners who represent the best from schools and departments all across the county,” states C. J. Amason, executive director of the Foundation for Excellence.

Each spring, the process begins with nominations submitted by administrators, colleagues, parents, students, and community members. Following an application process, nominees are evaluated by a judging panel, a diverse group comprised of former CCSD employees and winners, current and retired UGA educators, community leaders, and former FFE trustees. This year, the panel reviewed 165 nominees before submitting the list of finalists to be approved by the FFE board. Descriptions of each award are listed on the FFE website.

“This year was even more special because we were able to provide awards to multiple winners due to the generosity of the family of Ms. Cardee Kilpatrick,” added Ms. Amason. “Among her many contributions to the Athens-Clarke County community, she was one of our founders and the first executive director. After her passing, her family chose to direct her memorial donations to support FFE.”

Since its establishment in 1983, the FFE has awarded grants/scholarships to hundreds of staff members and students. “Thank you to the FFE Board of Trustees for recognizing and rewarding the efforts of our team. We are fortunate and grateful to have a community invested in our success,” states Dr. Xernona Thomas, interim superintendent. “On behalf of our district, I offer congratulations to these outstanding educators and staff members.”

2020 Award Recipients

  1. Frusanna S. Booth Chair for Teachers of English and Language Arts ($1000 for two years) Chandra Power • Coile Middle

  2. Charlotte Brown Chair for Teachers of Special Education ($1000 for two years) Liza Burnsed • Cedar Shoals High

  3. Lamar Dodd Chair for Teachers of Fine Arts ($1000 for two years) Lori Ragsdale • Chase Street Elementary

  4. Jenny Penney Oliver Chair for Counselors and Support Personnel ($1000 for two years) Michelle Pisarik • Whit Davis Elementary

  5. Margaret & Raymond Ponsoldt Chair for Elementary School Teachers ($1000 for two years) Feliscia Parrish • Howard B. Stroud Elementary

    1. Walter Allen, Sr. Inspiring Teacher Award ($500 for two years) Cori Pringle • Clarke Central High

    2. Friends of Eve Carson Excellence in Teaching Award ($500 for two years) Emily Hulse • Clarke Central High

    3. Newland Family Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award ($500 for two years) Susan Poss • Whit Davis Elementary

    4. Galis Family Award for Teachers of History and Social Studies ($500 for two years) Sean Simpson • Clarke Middle

    10. Bertis Downs District Services Award ($500 each) Andrea Cutts • Cleveland Rd Elementary (Custodial Staff) Mark Sizemore • Chief of Police
    Gene Williams • Cedar Shoals High (Security)

    11. Michael Peter Horvat Secondary Coaches’ Award ($500) Conor Naughton • Hilsman Middle

    12. Howard B. Stroud Community Service Award ($500) Sparkle Harper • Barrow Elementary

    13. Freida M. Thomas Teacher of Promise Award ($500 each) Bailey Frederking • Clarke Middle
    Meghan Jackson-Testerman • Clarke Middle
    Matthew Regester • Clarke Central High