Alex Garver, 20, received the $1,000 National Pawn Scholarship through the Garner Education Foundation a few years ago and used it to study abroad.
A student at N.C. State and Garner Magnet High alumnus, Garver found himself at Oxford taking a Shakespeare and British History class in England.
“It was pretty incredible,” he said. “It was probably my favorite thing I’ve ever done.”
On Monday, the Garner Education Foundation held its annual Marjorie B. Barefoot Educational Awards recognition ceremony. It acknowledged teachers and assistants of the year, student scholarships, teachers earning national certification and retiring teachers.
The event brought all 11 Garner area schools together. Among those recognized for their hard work were Garner basketball coach Eddie Gray, former North Garner football coach Wilton Bunn Jr. and adaptive PE teacher Jane House.
The Garner Education foundation has given away $100,000 over the last 10 years. This year they gave away 14 scholarships for various reasons, including their community service, GPA, involvement in church, sports, club and need.
The ceremony has been going on since 1995. It has expanded over the years. The 14 scholarships given out this year were more than any other year.
The money comes from donations.
“I think it’s wonderful how Garner embraces the schools and wants to be an integral part of what schools do to support student achievement and teacher performance,” Lloyd Gardner, area superintendent for Wake County Public School System, said. “The Garner Education Foundation in particular is always seeking ways to celebrate teachers’ work, support students and really just give back to the community.”
Gardner said it’s important that the community and schools have a strong partnership and Garner Education Foundation helps create that.
He said it’s important that teachers feel valued and respected by their community.
“And they feel this community support,” Gardner said.
Jim Ferry, a volunteer with the Garner Education Foundation and one of the organizers of the awards ceremony, said he enjoys helping students.
“I had children and we feel like it’s important to give back,” Ferry said. “And hopefully we’ll have kids who will want to help others.”
Ferry said there were 24 applicants this year.
Stephanie Zavaleta, 18, a senior at Garner High School, was awarded the Caroline Ball Family Foundation Scholarship. She will go to Meredith College in the fall.
She said she will use the money to put toward the Meredith Autism Program so she can work with special education children in elementary school.
“It’s a lot of help. Because Meredith is so expensive, so every little bit help. So I’m really thankful.”
The ceremony was named for the late Marjorie Barefoot, who taught for 37 years – 35 of them in Garner. She also was a hospitality committee chair.
The Garner Education Foundation was established in 1990.
Other scholarship winners
☆ Scott Harty, Commit and Don’t Quit Scholarship
▪ Camden McCall, Commit and Don’t Quit Scholarship
▪ Alisha Woodside, Commit and Don’t Quit Scholarship
▪ Ryan Calhoun, Don and Betty Rohbaugh Family Scholarship
▪ Emily O’Neill, Garner Town Council Scholarship
▪ Lacey Edgerton, Jane and Charles Killian Scholarship
▪ Sarah Pierce, Martin Luther King Celebration Scholarship
▪ Bradley Robeson, Mayor of Garner Educational Scholarship
▪ Ashlie Brewer, National Pawn Scholarship
▪ Kaitlyn Francis, National Pawn Scholarship
▪ Montana Dare, R.W. Moore Scholarship
▪ Amanda Gregory, Starr Electric-Company Scholarship
▪ Bailey Murad, Starr Electric-Company Scholarship