Brownwood Education Foundation Plans Academic Signing Day to Raise Scholarship Funds for BHS Seniors
Article by Sara Musgrove
The future shines bright, especially for Brownwood High School’s (BHS) graduating class of 2019. The upcoming National Academic Signing Day (NASD) event will recognize their achievements and send them into their academic future with not only a round of applause but also a scholarship check. The impending changes facing high school seniors can be overwhelming, but the Brownwood Education Foundation (BEF) wants to assist every BHS senior heading off into higher education or the military by offering financial assistance, up to $1,000 per student. “It is going to be as much a celebration of achievement for those students as it is offering them aid,” said BEF Development Officer Larry Mathis. “We want them to know we’re proud of them, we’re proud they’re going to pursue their education, and we want to celebrate with them. And in the process of celebrating with them, we’re going to give them some money. It’s going to be an exciting day. It’s going to be electric.”
On Thursday, May 23rd from 12:00 to 1:30 PM in the Warren Gym, all BHS juniors, seniors, parents, and community members are invited to attend the event sponsored by TexasBank. Refreshments will be provided. Tables will be set up representing each institution chosen by the 129 seniors who have already designated their intentions to further their academic education. While some students will be attending local schools like Howard Payne University, Texas State Technical College, and Ranger College, a wide variety of other schools will showcase the diverse plans and passions of the senior class. Ten students are joining the armed services, others will be using their certifications achieved, some will move into technical schools for culinary arts, real estate, and cosmetology, while many will be matriculating into educational establishments like Texas A&M, Texas State, the University of Texas, the University of Memphis, the Metropolitan State University of Minnesota, and Michigan State. “We have quite a variety,” said BEF Advisory Board member Jamie Munson. “We would love for them to get their education, then come back to Brownwood. We hope that there is something in Brownwood, Texas, that they can do. The kids with certifications are ready to hit the ground running. They’re going to be in our community. Let’s give them a big hurrah.”
The Brownwood community is invited to rally behind these students by donating funds to the scholarship pool. The more money donated, the more these students see what a welcoming and encouraging home they have. University alumni are invited to wear their school colors and attend the event, connecting with their future fellow alumni. The NASD event offers alumni an opportunity to assist their own and show just how supported they are. “For the student who might be on the fence—to go to work or go to school—and they come and see this, they will see they are important,” said Munson. “They have value. We want everyone to come home. We really want people to choose to live in Brownwood. Like I told my kids, go off and get your education, then choose to come back. We want you to choose us.”
Seniors who are interested in being a part of the NASD need to contact their counselors. All interested donors can submit a check to Brownwood’s Education Foundation at the BISD Central Support Center (2707 Southside Dr.) or online at www.supportbisd.com/donate. Donations are being taken and will be taken up until the time of the event, where a donor station will be available. Those wishing to contribute in the name of their university can make a note when submitting the tax-deductible charitable donation.
Many people know about athletic signing events, but the Education Foundation wants to ensure recognition for the students who are investing in their educational careers. These students are Brownwood’s future. “The community needs to know about these kids,” said Mathis. “They’re going to be our future teachers, lawyers, engineers, social workers, and more. We want to get the community excited. We want those kids to have some money to buy books, or whatever they need, to do their work. The amount we give the kids depends on how energetic we can get the community and how involved they become in helping us do this.” So, while these students have spent the last twelve years of their lives working toward a greater goal, here lies the opportunity for their community to surround them as they begin the next chapter. “The Education Foundation has touched these lives throughout their academics and high school,” said Munson. “We want to send them off and say, ‘We haven’t forgotten you. We want to touch your life one more time. Let’s celebrate’.”
The Brownwood Education Foundation (BEF) is pleased to announce that it has contracted with Larry Mathis as the Development Officer for the organization. His duties will begin immediately and he will office out of the Brownwood Independent School District Administrative Campus of the school district at 2700 Southside Drive in Brownwood.
“We are excited to have Larry on board at the Foundation,” said BEF Board President, Mike Smith. “Larry Mathis has a love for the students of BISD and the students and their parents have a deep respect and admiration for him.”
Larry currently serves as a councilman for the City of Brownwood and contracts with the Lyric Performing Arts Company as the Technical Director. Officially, Larry is a retired teacher after serving over thirty years in the Brownwood ISD.
“Larry brings a wealth of knowledge regarding graduates of Brownwood High School," noted BEF Board Vice President, Eric Evans. "During his tenure in Brownwood [he] was one of the most beloved teachers on the campus.”
The Brownwood Education Foundation (BEF) recently presented gift checks to recognize and thank Brenda Fisseler, Deborah Garcia, Christina Gonzalez, and Sherry Haggerton for their service as they officially retire from Brownwood ISD (BISD) on December 31, 2018. BISD superintendents also personally congratulated the retirees and presented each with a certificate honoring their service.
Brenda Fisseler, an East Elementary 3rd grade teacher, will have completed 26 years of service following her retirement.
Christina Gonzales and Deborah Garcia are both teacher’s aides at Northwest Elementary. Gonzales will have completed 26 years of service and Garcia 23 years.
Brownwood Middle School attendance clerk, Sherry Haggerton, will retire after completing 19 years of service.
Brownwood ISD and the Brownwood Education Foundation are proud to thank these individuals for their many years of service and wish them all the best in their retirement!