Northwest ISD seeks Wise County partners

By David Talley | Published Saturday, September 23, 2017
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From advanced robotics access for Eaton High School students and an aquaponics lab at the district’s Outdoor Learning Center to a full orchestra with college-level literature for music students, Northwest Education Foundation grants have helped students and teachers in the district reach new educational high points.

The district is gearing up for its annual golf tournament Oct. 12 at Marriott Hotel and Golf Club at Champions Circle in Fort Worth.

“This year we’ve raised just under $70,000, and that goes to our teachers and students,” said Executive Director of Communications Emily Conklin.

Conklin said the district is still searching for donors, especially those from Wise County.

“Our school district spans three counties and the education foundation has a lot of contacts in Denton and Tarrant, and we really want to build more relationships in Wise County.”

The district has three campuses within the county – Chisholm Trail Middle School, Seven Hills Elementary School and Prairie View Elementary School. Additionally, Wise County secondary students in the district attend Northwest High School in Fort Worth.

Donations to the foundation go to innovative teacher grants and scholarships for students, Conklin said.

“The whole mission and purpose of the foundation is to raise dollars,” she said “The whole reason it’s in existence is to help teachers and help students.”

In its nearly 20-year existence, Conklin said it’s raised $1.6 million for teacher grants and awarded $500,000 in scholarships. Conklin said the district also provides counselors to help students write applications for those scholarships.

The district recently held an employee giving campaign, which raised $43,000 for teacher grants.

The district will also host its Northwest Heritage Gala April 28 at Lucky Spur Ranch in Justin. Last year the event raised $130,000 for grants and scholarships.

In addition to monetary donations, Conklin said the district is also seeking volunteers for its NEF board and committees.

“We also look for people to use their time and their talents,” she said. “So if they’re former teachers and they want to sit on a board for innovative teaching grants or student scholarships, we’re always looking for people to be a part of our committees. We have 17 members on our board of directors, and they’re completely volunteer based. They represent different businesses within our community. I would love to see if we can expand the knowledge of the foundation out in Wise County.”

Conklin said the board has one Wise County member.

Volunteering at a specific campus is also an option through the district’s Partners in Education program, Conklin said.

“It really gives our businesses an in,” she said. “They may want to fund something, but they don’t know where the impact of their dollar is going until they can get in the schools and start volunteering and see where their donations are making a difference. And they do make a difference. Every dollar counts. Every dollar matters.”

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