DANBURY — The Danbury ISD Education Foundation celebrated how far it has come at its fourth annual Awards Breakfast on Friday — and there was plenty to cheer about including the organization’s fundraising total of more than $65,000 for the year.
Grants awarded to teachers increased from about $250 each to one that was more than $10,000, officiator Jerrod Smith told the crowd. The foundation has leaned on businesses, such as Dow, TEAM Industrial and Gulf Coast Auto Park, as well as individuals, during this time to collect the ever-increasing amounts of money, he said.
“The donors are the backbone to making these grants possible,” Smith said.
The foundation is now thriving after being just a vision in the minds of administration and the board a few years ago, Superintendent Greg Anderson said.
“Only about a third of the school districts in the state of Texas have education foundations,” Anderson said, “so it’s very exciting to be one of the districts.”
Education Foundations supplement costs that district budgets do not have room for, Anderson said. He drew a large cheer from the dozens in the crowd as he announced the $65,000 total donations for this school year.
“We appreciate very much what you’ve done for Danbury ISD,” Anderson said.
He recognized Annette Mitchell from Danbury Elementary Schools and Louise Prihoda from Danbury secondary schools as the district’s teachers of the year. They will go on to compete for the title of Region 4 Teacher of the Year for the greater Houston area, he said.
Mitchell and Prihoda were selected by votes from their fellow teachers, the superintendent said.
“It’s important to be recognized by your peers,” Anderson said.
But what’s even more important is when students come back and recognize the difference teachers made in their lives, since no one goes into teaching for the money or notoriety, Anderson said.
Ten Danbury High School seniors had the chance to honor any teacher who made a difference for them, and the winners proved their influences held strong through the years.
Senior Alexis Townsend recognized Celeste Jacobsen, her gifted and talented teacher from fifth grade at Danbury Elementary.
Townsend instantly “hit it off” with Jaconsen and still remembers the things Jacobsen taught her, she said.
“She taught me real life lessons,” Townsend said.
Even the “friendly neighborhood IT guy” was not forgotten, as student Bryce Ham recognized Colin Mossbarger as the teacher who made a difference in his life. Mossbarger’s kindness and patience are unparalleled, Ham said.
When yearbook staffers had trouble playing the video of the foundation’s prize patrol last month, Mossbarger quickly jumped up to help.
Although they had a successful year, the foundation is always in need of funding.
Board member Celia Lewis still hopes to raise the number to $100,000 next year.