Ten Yavapai County students representing seven communities each received a $4,900 scholarship from the Gardner Family Teachers Scholarship Endowment (GiFTS) April 29 during the 22nd annual award ceremony.
Brown, superintendent of Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary School District, and O’Neill, professor-administrator at Yavapai College, said scholarship increases this year followed recommendations from board members who recognized a severe teacher shortage in Arizona, especially among rural communities.
They said, “In this, our 22nd year of granting scholarships, the board decided to give money to persons who are conscientiously committed to careers in teaching.”
Scholarship winners are (hometown, name, institution going to):
- Chino Valley, Emily Schuler, Northern Arizona University (NAU)
- Clarkdale, McKell Gordon, NAU
- Cottonwood, Andrea Varela, Grand Canyon University (GCU)
- Dewey, Desirae Pitt, NAU
- Peeples Valley, Cory Gross, Western Governor’s University, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Prescott, Kacie Burns, Arizona State University
- Prescott, Nicole Wouters, NAU
- Prescott, Elaine Pagliasotti, NAU
- Prescott, Mattingly Middleton, GCU
- Prescott Valley, Patrick Leon, NAU
Board officers also were elected for the coming year. They are Brown and O’Neill, co-presidents; Cory Gardner, vice-president; Tim Carter, secretary; and Ray Newton, treasurer. Andy Smith, an administrator at Prescott College, was named to the board.
Other board members are: Lance Barnes, Leslie Horton, Jean Knight, David “Mac” Macfarlane, and Ron Minnich. Jenn Nelson is an administrative aide, and Mike Beatty serves as a financial consultant.
GiFTS was founded in 2000 by the late Gladys Gardner. The nonprofit foundation, administered by a volunteer board, has granted $432,600 to 207 students so they could attend certified higher education institutions to pursue teaching careers.
More information is available at www.ycesa.com/gardner-teacher-scholarship.