The Education Committee works to promote and enhance the quality of education in Houston County, especially in the Perry area.
Goals: Be more visible in the community as to our support of our educational institutions.
Projects: This committee is responsible for the projects that follow.
STAR Student/Teacher - We co-sponsor this state program with the Robins Region Chamber. Each STAR Student & Teacher will be given a gift. The System Winners will be given a $250 Visa card. The Chambers coordinate and equally fund the local awards and reception. The Chambers also pay for the STAR student and teacher to attend both the regional and state events. The local recognition program is typically held the end of January to the end of February with the region recognition in March. The state PAGE STAR banquet will be held in Atlanta the last week of April. (Perry plans odd years and Warner Robins plans even years.)
Teacher of the Year Awards - Teacher of the Year Awards are co-sponsored by the Perry Area and Robins Region Chambers. The Perry Chamber funds half of the cost for four plaques, which are presented to the system finalists for TOTY. The plaques are presented at the Opening Session, held a few days before the first day of school.
Youth Leadership – The Youth Leadership class consists of no more than 26 juniors who live in Perry. These students come from Perry High, which could include a student also enrolled at Houston County Career Academy that is associated with Perry High, Westfield, and Veterans High. The program consists of nine sessions including a daylong team building exercise, RAFB tour, City Government tour, County Government tour, State Government day in Atlanta, Economic Development tour, Health and Human Services tour, and a Life Skills class and graduation. Sophomores submit applications in March. The Education Committee uses a rubric to select the participants. This selection is performed by a special committee for this task.
Student of the Month – Each high school in Perry will select a student of the month that will be recognized prior to the Perry Chamber’s Board meeting. This occurs on the 4th Thursday of the month beginning at 8:30am in the Welcome Center’s lobby.
Student of the Quarter – Students from each Perry-area elementary and middle school are recognized quarterly. Schools select one student a quarter to invite to Sandhill School along with their parents. Principals or a designee share about why the child was selected, and he or she is presented a certificate. Program dates are based on the nine-weeks grading period, in October, December, March and May with the event held at 11:00 a.m.
Sam Nunn Good Citizenship Award – This award will be given to two elementary students in the Perry area. Each school participating will submit three essays that the students have written. These essays will be about what they think good citizenship is and what they are doing to be good citizens. The essay will be 100 – 250 words. The committee will select the winners based on the essays, applications, and references. The winners will be given a $50 cash award at a Perry Chamber Function.
Frank & Betty Estes Scholarship Award – The Frank and Betty Gooden Estes Scholarship Fund was created within the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay as a reward to students who demonstrate high ethical and moral character and whose scholastic grades indicate an ability and desire for further learning. This scholarship is being administered by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Eligibility requires that students must have lived in Houston County a minimum of three years and are graduates of either a public or private high school located within the county. Preferred criteria are that the student has participated in community work, either through church, school, a club or other organization and has been recommended by his or her school counselor and other organization, such as the Boys and Girls Club, the Boy or Girl Scouts, Young Life, a church or other non-profit organization. The Houston County scholarship indicates a preference for students attending Perry High School or Westfield High School. Applicants must submit an essay of no more than two pages indicating their financial need and why they should be selected to receive this scholarship.
M.H. Cheek Scholarship - The committee administers a scholarship funded by contributions from Mr. Earl Cheek. The scholarship is given annually to a Perry Middle School English student selected by Perry Middle School. The student selected on the basis of a 100-word essay is recognized at the school honors program with a $100 check.
Sponsorship – The committee works to raise corporate sponsorships to fund the education programs of the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee.
Chair: Antonio Watkins-Central Georgia Technical College
Members: Dr. Kimberly Halstead - Tucker Elementary School, Dr. Lionel Brown - Houston County Board of Education, Dr. Pat Witt - Morningside Elementary School, Dr. Ricky Rogers - Houston County Board of Education, Lindsay Bailey - Ocmulgee Inc., Marian McLemore - Flint Energies, Beth McLaughlin - Houston County Board of Education, William Carroll - The Westfield Schools, Antonio Watkins-Central Georgia Technical College, Rebecca Moody-Attorney, Hoke Morrow-Houston County Board of Education Post 6
Staff Liaison: Darlene McLendon - President/CEO