June 11, 2013
Granbury Education Foundation The Granbury ISD Education Foundation received a $25,000 donation from the Granville C. and Gladys H. Morton Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas. This marks the largest donation to date for the education foundation.

The unrestricted donation from is from a charitable foundation named in honor of the founder of Morton Foods Inc., a major Dallas business that started as the Morton Potato Chip Company and was later purchased by General Mills.

“Thank to the work of Stacy Mitchell, we received this generous donation,” commented GEF board president Barbara Townsend. “This is huge. This is the largest donation we have ever received.”

The education foundation has had a busy year supporting GISD students and teachers. For its second grant cycle this spring, GEF awarded almost $32,000 for innovative teaching projects in May to be used in the 2013-14 school year. Also last month, the foundation hosted the second annual Academic Recognition Banquet to honor the top 25 students in the Granbury High School Class of 2013 – as well as the teacher or district employee who had the most impact on their education.

The foundation had a substantial increase in fundraising allowing for a big increase in grant awards. In 2012, during the foundation’s inaugural year, the board awarded about $20,000 for teaching and school projects – including partial funding to bring the Rachel’s Challenge program to help promote a positive school climate.

The new grants will fund a number of innovative teaching and school initiatives next school school year at several campuses. The group of winning projects includes SMART Boards for a new style of teaching mathematics, a planetarium exhibit, a multiplication boot camp, iPads for cultural fluency in foreign language classes, and new digital cameras for career and technical education programs.

Projects include several endeavors outside of the school building, including an outdoor learning center at Acton Middle School that will create a woodlands ecosystem to enhance student learning. The project is named for H-E-B in recognition of the grocery store’s $10,000 donation in the beginning days of the education foundation.

The GEF’s mission is creating opportunities to invest, encourage, and support educational excellence in GISD. The foundation is designed to be a community effort bringing donations from businesses, civic groups, and individuals to fund innovative teaching grants, student scholarships, and academic achievement for GISD students. GEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization created for the benefit of the school district’s students and staff members and will provide funding not allocated by tax dollars.

Members of the board of directors are:  president Barbara Townsend; secretary Lisa Gossard; programs co-chairs Patti Caraway and Stacy Mitchell; finance and governance chair Carey Gentry; marketing and development chair Bob Lowrey; Tommy Donahoo; Kelly Garner; Cindy Gilbert; Dixie Lee Hedgecock; James Hodges; Nin Hulett; superintendent Dr. James Largent; Kevin Myers; Chanda Smith; Claudia Southern; Chelsea Thompson; Jan Van Dorn; and school  board trustee Don Walton.