AUSTIN (Oct. 17, 2014) – The State Board of Education (SBOE) named 10 Texas businesses as the 2014 Employers for Education Excellence (EEE). From the U.S. Army to a grocery store, these employers and their staffs are recognized for their ongoing support and commitment to Texas public schools.
“I would like to congratulate, and thank, these businesses on being named Employers for Education Excellence,” said Barbara Cargill, chair of the State Board of Education. “Each is to be commended for the valuable support and many resources they and their employees provide to our Texas public schools.”
The EEE Awards are given in three categories – Gold, Silver and Bronze. For the 2014 award, six companies received a gold award, three received a silver award and one company received a bronze award.
Winners in the Gold Award category have implemented policies that: encourage and support employees who attend parent-teacher conferences; encourage employees to volunteer in school activities; and support employees that participate in student mentoring programs.
The 2014 EEE recipients are:
- Raytheon – McKinney
Raytheon is a partner with the McKinney ISD not only in name, but also in its continued student support. The district-business partnership exposes students to 21st century leadership skills that are critical to workforce success. Through partnership programs, students gain technical knowledge to participate in learning modules. Collaborative efforts between teachers and Raytheon volunteers provide opportunities for students to learn about the application of math and science while gaining visibility into the corporate world and networking with professionals in a technical field. Among the many areas and events where Raytheon partners with McKinney ISD are: National Engineer Week, Engineering is Elementary, LASER – Leadership and Science Ensures Results, Math MovesU, campus robotics programs and judging science fairs.
- HNTB Corporation – Dallas
HNTB is a nationally recognized engineering, architectural and planning firm with offices nationwide. Of the 107 employees within the Dallas/Plano office, 13 employees volunteer with the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center in the Dallas ISD’s School-2-Business (S2B) program. During the 2013-14 school year, the volunteers donated more than 750 hours to the program. Through the program, which runs from January to May, students are given an assignment and follow through on the project from start to finish. During the 2013-14 school year, the S2B program involved students in designing improvements to an existing transit station on a proposed extension on one of the Dallas Rapid Area Transit lines. The program is designed to provide students with a hands-on approach and a basic understanding of engineering design, project development, project management and more.
- Brookshire Brothers – Red Oak
For the past two years, the Brookshire Brothers Grocery Store in Red Oak has been a proud supporter of the Red Oak ISD in Ellis County. The company actively encourages its employees (many of whom are students) to participate and volunteer in the local school events. In addition, the store provides both monetary and material donations to many of the district’s programs. More than 15 percent of the store’s employees are often found mentoring and helping with various district activities. The store provides support for the Red Oak ISD Special Olympics, the annual Back-to-School Fair, athletics, the annual talent competition, Teacher Appreciation Week and has membership on the Red Oak ISD Education Foundation.
- BASF Corporation – Freeport
The BASF Corporation in Freeport is well known in the community for supporting more than 50 non-profit organizations in the Freeport area and partnering with the Brazosport ISD. Employees donate more than 500 hours a year volunteering as tutors, educators, coaches, mentors and more. The BASF Responsible Care Outreach Team, in partnership with the local community college, has sponsored the “Responsible Care Week” for area fifth graders for the past 22 years. The program educates students about careers in industry, science, technology, engineering, math and more. More than 1,000 students and their teachers spend the week participating in workstations featuring a pilot plant lab, maintenance lab and Process Education Training Plant. In addition, an average of 50 BASF employees engage with students on a weekly basis through tutoring, mentoring and education programs.
- Complex Community Federal Credit Union – Odessa
Since 2008, Complex Community Federal Credit Union in Odessa has actively supported the Ector County ISD. Company employees have participated in many of the district’s projects and programs, and provided support to the Education Foundation of Odessa. The credit union has been a major supporter of, and instrumental in the success of, the program Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) in many different ways. That support includes providing an annual motivation speaker, teaching financial literacy planning sessions and providing teacher supply scholarships along with other activities. Credit union staff have taught, in total, more than 2,700 hours to 4,900 ECISD students in the areas of financial lending, budgeting, delayed gratification, check writing, savings and investments, FAFSA and setting college goals.
- U.S. Army – Fort Hood
For the better part of two decades, Fort Hood has partnered with several area school districts, including the Killeen ISD, through the Adopt-A-School (AAS) program providing mentorships to thousands of students. The program’s mission is to routinely contribute military resources and services to the Killeen-area schools to nurture the intellectual, emotional, social and physical growth of the children in the greater Fort Hood area. Every year, Fort Hood’s AAS program dedicates 3 percent or more of its active duty workforce to tutoring, coaching, and mentoring local students. This effort equates to more than 20,000 dedicated man-hours. Fort Hood, through Brigade/Battalion/Unit/Club support, has 106 unique adoptions in Central Texas, of which 52 are in the Killeen ISD alone. Activities regularly include: student reading programs, field days, fine arts activities, holiday celebrations, pen pal programs, recycle initiatives, athletic events, vocational training, media support and special events.
- Insperity – Kingwood
Insperity, a national organization that provides human resource services to small and medium-sized businesses, has consistently provided outstanding volunteer services and dedication to the Humble ISD. For more than 15 years, Insperity employees have been long-time volunteers and committed community partners to the district. In the 2013-14 school year, Insperity donated more than $200,000 to the district, while 65 percent of their employees volunteered in the district. In addition to aiding teachers, volunteers serve as mentors, host job shadowing days, serve as science fair judges, engage with the Parent-Teacher Organizations and other school-based programs. The company is also a major supporter of the Humble ISD Education Foundation and hosts several fund-raising activities throughout the year including a golf tournament, barbecue cook-off and the Foundation’s annual gala.
- Smart Financial Credit Union – Houston
Smart Financial Credit Union encourages and supports staff participation in the many community service activities in the Houston area. Employees are encouraged to participate in programs that will improve the quality of life for the community at large, including programs within the Houston ISD and its campuses. Through creating effective partnership events, initiatives, volunteer opportunities, financial and in-kind donations, the company believes it has positively impacted student achievement. In one example, students at Lamar High School, though a student-run branch of the credit union, are able to learn first hand about saving and managing money, balancing checkbooks and budgeting. In addition, the company participated in the Houston ISD’s Back-to-School Fest impacting all 295 Houston ISD campuses, its more than 200,000 students and 15,000-plus teachers and staff members.
- Wells Fargo – Wichita Falls
About 15 percent of the employees at the Wells Fargo Bank in Wichita Falls participated in a new reading initiative last year in the Wichita Falls ISD. The program, Read 2 Learn, is designed to ensure that all children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. The company’s employees meet and read to an assigned student one to three times a week. The program was launched in October 2013 and at the end of the 2013-14 school year, Wells Fargo had 196 children enrolled with 350 volunteers participating. According to the Wichita Falls ISD, the Wells Fargo Bank supplied the most volunteers from a single business to the Wichita Falls ISD program.
- Little River Healthcare – Rockdale
Recognized with a Bronze Award is Little River Healthcare, a partner with the Rockdale ISD in Rockdale. Since joining in partnership with the district, the Little River Healthcare and its staff have worked consistently to implement the Little River Healthcare School Based Clinics. In the beginning, the clinics served district staff only. After providing information to parents and gaining parental consent, the clinics began serving students with basic healthcare needs. One of the services the clinic provides are free school physicals, including echo cardiograms for all student athletes. The clinic and its staff are also valuable supporters of the district’s band and athletic booster clubs, and the school health advisory council.
The EEE award was established in 2007 by the Texas Legislature to honor Texas employers who encourage and support staff participation and voluntarism in the public schools.
Any Texas employer is eligible to win the award, including private companies, nonprofit organizations, and state, local, federal and educational entities. Recognized businesses receive a plaque and the EEE designation is recognized for three years.
About the TEA
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is the administrative unit for primary and secondary public education. The mission of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is to provide leadership, guidance, and resources to help schools meet the educational needs of all students and prepare them for success in the global economy. The TEA, the State Board of Education (SBOE), and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) guide and monitor activities and programs related to public education in Texas. For more information visit tea.state.tx.us.