Following is a list of just a few of the highlights from 2014 in McKinney.
> Collin College receives a record-setting $2 million gift for student scholarships from Roger and Jody Lawler. The donation is the largest from an individual family in the history of Collin College.
> Two Collin College students are named to the 2014 All-USA Academic Team by Phi Theta Kappa Honor society and USA Today.
> Collin College begins construction on a new three-story, 125,000-square-foot health sciences building, along with a 24,000-square-foot conference center and classroom building. The new facilities are projected to open in late 2015.
McKinney Independent School District
> 2014 U.S. News & World Report High School Rankings gives high marks to all three McKinney Independent School District (MISD) high schools: McKinney High School (Gold Medal, top 2.1 percent nationally), McKinney Boyd High School (Gold Medal, top 2.4 percent nationally), McKinney North High School (Silver Medal, top 2.58 percent nationally).
> Nine MISD students are named National Merit Finalists in 2014.
> Finch Elementary art teacher Sara Kingsolver is named 2015 Region 10 Elementary Teacher of the Year. She is the fifth Region 10 Teacher of the Year from McKinney ISD in the last nine years.
> McKinney Boyd High School Honors Orchestra is selected to perform at the internationally renowned 2014 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.
> Eddins Elementary School Choir is chosen as 2015 Texas Music Educators Association Invited Choir.
> Faubion Middle School Full Orchestra is chosen as 2015 Texas Music Educators Association Honor Orchestra.
> Collin County reduces the property tax rate from $.2375 to $.2350 per $100 valuation.
City of McKinney
> Money Magazine ranks McKinney as the #1 Best Place to Live in America on its much-anticipated biannual list. Money editors and writers looked at employment, schools and overall quality of life to determine the rankings.
> The City Council adopts a reduced property tax rate of 0.5830 per $100 of valuation, down from a rate of 0.5855 that had been in place since 2008.
> London-based Barclays Bank selects McKinney as the new site for one of the company’s innovative technology centers.
> McKinney Air Center, the fixed base operator that provides fuel and other services to aircraft at McKinney National Airport (TKI), is named best in the nation in the 2014 Pilots’ Choice Awards by FltPlan.com. In addition, the air traffic control tower at McKinney National Airport is named #1 in the Pilots’ Choice Awards.
> Monarch Air, a leading provider of aviation services, selects McKinney National Airport (TKI) for a major expansion. Monarch Air will lease a significant portion of a 53,750-square-foot hangar and office facility at the airport to offer a wide range of services including aircraft maintenance, flight training, charter and aircraft management.
> China-based Hisun Motors Corporation, a leading maker of utility-terrain vehicles and all-terrain vehicles, selects McKinney as the location for the company’s North American headquarters, where it will ultimately employ 80 new corporate workers within the next three years.
> Encore Wire Corporation, one of McKinney’s largest employers, not only announces plans for a major expansion but also celebrates the company’s 25th anniversary in McKinney. Encore Wire plans to invest more than $30 million to expand manufacturing facilities for residential and commercial wire, providing more than 125 new jobs. UPS announces the opening of a new package distribution facility in McKinney.
> UPS will bring approximately 180 new full-time jobs to the area. By 2017, UPS will also bring more than 200 part-time jobs to McKinney.
Chamber of Commerce
> The McKinney Chamber of Commerce (MCOC) board of directors selects Lisa Urban Hermes, IOM, as its new president. With more than 1,200 members and a mission of empowering members to achieve economic success, MCOC is one of the largest chambers in the region. Hermes joins McKinney after leadership roles at several other area chambers.
> The Chamber of Commerce relocates to Historic Downtown McKinney, welcoming visitors to its new staff offices at 400 West Virginia Street. The Chamber served the businesses of McKinney for five years from the Summit I office complex at 2150 South Central Expressway.
> McKinney Magazine launches new Business to Business issue, focusing on local economic development and quality of life.