Four Primary School Teachers Receive MCEF Grants

Four outstanding teachers from Madison County Primary School received special grants from the Madison County Education Foundation (MCEF) to support projects that will enhance learning.

Jeannette Michels and Carrie Wintersgill received a grant to purchase “Little Mice for Little Hands.” The young-child-size mouse enables a primary-age student to learn to manipulate a computer mouse to work on projects, respond to directions, and engage in computer assessments. The teachers believe the “mice” will have lasting value for the students. The grant purchases 50 “mice,” which will be used by Pre-K through grade 2 students.
Martha Clements received a grant for her project entitled “Balancing It All.” This grant will purchase 25 balance discs that research demonstrates will enable young children to “focus greater attention on learning by helping them balance their natural tendency to move around and lose concentration.” Ms. Clements said children will carry the balance disc from their seats to various learning centers. “When our extraneous movement isn’t taking brain power and creating distraction,” she says, “we have clarity to successfully complete the task at hand.”

Jennifer Taylor will engage in a special project, “KIDS and Canvas.” Noel Spence, an artist, was formerly a pre-school to third grade teacher. She will work with Ms. Taylor to acquaint students with easels, paint, brushes, and other mediums. Ms. Taylor noted that although “there are no specific SOL objectives for preschool, “KIDZ and Canvas” will show students how to follow the sequence of steps used in creating art. They will create art related to a unit of study. They will identify spatial relationships—left, right, top, bottom, side, center, front, back, over, and under—and will learn about colors, textures, lines, shapes, and patterns.” Perhaps most important, “the students will express themselves through their art work and will leave with a completed work to bring home.”

Asked recently why Teacher Grants are an important part of the MCEF mission, Barbara Kres Beach, president, answered, “We believe in teachers; they are our most valuable resource in Madison County education, and their insights into student needs are on target. We are all fortunate that the County has such a great teaching staff.” Additional grants will be announced by the middle of November.

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MCHS Dedicates New Courtyard and Fountain Honoring Lane Warren

Lane Warren memorial at MCHS

Lane Warren memorial at MCHS


By Laura Burbridge

Members of the Madison County community gathered on Saturday, November 5, 2016 on a beautiful fall day to dedicate the new Courtyard at the High School and to celebrate the life of Lane Warren with a fountain in his honor.

Over this past summer, Mr. Gary Wintersgill, principal of Madison County High School was determined to renovate the senior courtyard, which had been neglected for many years. Through the cooperative efforts of dedicated personnel at the school, in the Madison County Public Schools administration, the School Board, and community businesses, such as Greenscapes Nursery and Garden Shoppe and Plow & Hearth, the senior courtyard was transformed. “This space is not only for seniors to use for lunch but serves as an outdoor classroom and extension of the library for all students,” said Wintersgill.

Brent Lohr, Greenscapes owner who designed the Courtyard, said, “I appreciated working with Gary Wintersgill and Jeanette Alexander. We wanted the courtyard to be accessible to all students—with wheelchairs, if necessary. Anything extra I could do, I did.”

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Lane was a senior at Madison County High School when he died after a tragic car accident in October, 2013. His family set up the Lane E. Warren (LEW) Memorial Fund through the Madison County Education Foundation (MCEF), for gifts honoring Lane.

In attendance to celebrate the dedication were members of Lane’s family from North Carolina and Northern Virginia, Lane’s former teachers, classmates and friends. One of those friends was Alyssa Edwards, who miraculously survived the accident and now lives out of state. Ms. Edwards said, “I wasn’t able to attend any of Lane’s memorials when he passed away because I was hospitalized and recovering from my own injuries. I was determined that I wasn’t going to miss this one.”

Mr. Wintersgill spoke briefly about the how this project came together and thanked the organizations and staff who made possible the courtyard renovation and fountain installation. He presented the plaque that will go on the wall behind the fountain indicating its dedication in memory of Lane Warren.

Barbara Kres Beach, President of the Madison County Education Foundation stated, “The Warren family chose this beautiful fountain to remember Lane and this courtyard to give it a home. The fountain flows as Lane’s life flowed. He explored limitless possibilities in himself and in the world around him; he explored relationships with caring teachers, fellow students and friends. This courtyard is now—and will be—a special place at the Madison High School we love.”

On behalf of Lane’s family and donors to the LEW Memorial Fund, Lisa Warren stated, “We are really honored to be able to donate the fountain in honor of Lane. The renovated courtyard is such a beautiful and welcoming space. I know Lane would have loved it when he was a student at MCHS. The fall of 2013 was a very special time in Lane’s life, and I like to think his energy from that time will continue to flow and be felt in the courtyard, especially with the fountain to remind people of him.”

Wintersgill said that since the courtyard has been renovated, the students have been wonderful stewards by taking care of the space with care and respect. He added, “I hope that every class will enjoy this courtyard and to add to it for future generations.”

2016 Adult Learner Scholarship

Bill Hinkes presents Raven Turner with the 2016 Adult Learner Scholarship Award

Bill Hinkes presents Raven Turner with the 2016 Adult Learner Scholarship Award

Raven Turner is on a mission to help teach students important life skills she wished she had when she was growing up. Now, thanks to the Madison County Education Foundation (MCEF), she is one step closer. “I decided to go in the Family/Consumer Science to give students the opportunity to learn the necessary life skills such as balancing a check book and preparing for college” said Turner.

In a presentation, on Sunday, July 17, 2016 held at the Madison United Methodist Church, Bill Hinkes, Vice President of the MCEF presented Raven the 2016 Adult Learner Scholarship in the amount of $500.00. This money will help Raven with earning her Master’s Degree in Education and in obtaining her teacher certification from Liberty University.

After graduating from Madison County High School in 2011, Raven returned home having earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Bridgewater College. However, she didn’t really think about continuing her education. According to Raven, “the decision to return to college was not an easy decision because of the time and cost involved. I know this opportunity will allow me to help those kids who may have thought college was out of the reach.”

Raven is currently the Coordinator for the Skyline Cap Project Discovery helping students prepare for post high school life. She is also a cheerleading coach at Madison County High School (MCHS). As a lifelong Madison resident, Raven credits her love for education from amazing teachers at MCHS, such as Dawn Tucker and Jayne Penn-Hollar. Raven stated, “Once I get my certification, I’m so excited to work in the classroom, hopefully in Madison, to give back to a community that has given so much to me!”

The Madison County Education Foundation is proud to support Raven in achieving her dreams and hopeful that Raven’s story will inspire more adults to finish their education and reach for their goals, no matter how far away they may seem. MCEF stands ready to offer financial support to those adults who are considering furthering their education.

Scholarships in Action

June 29, 2016

P.O. Box 1277
Madison, VA 22727

Dear Mrs. Beach:

I wanted to thank you for all of the help that I received from the Madison County Education Foundation during my first year at college. Being at college has meant that I have been able to expose myself to more diverse groups of people and it has also meant that I have been able to learn how to live and care for myself while also expanding my knowledge and love for the sciences. While attending a liberal arts college, I have also been able to see the connections of other professions and the importance of each one in every day life. I have a higher respect for others and I have developed leadership skills that I never knew I could acquire. I have also met some of the most amazing and influential people while attending Lynchburg College.

The Madison Blueprint

Showing how students and staff use new technologies to not only advance the learning experience for students, but how the availability of new technology can positively influence how a teacher can collaborate with students in the classroom.

Help Support Public Education in Madison on May 3

As you know, The Madison County Education Foundation is focused on all aspects of educational opportunities in Madison County. We believe that Education is the cornerstone on which we build a strong and thriving community. We know that our children are our county’s future and that the best investment we as a county can make is in our children’s education. MCEF supports education through teacher grants, student scholarships, and a non-profit resource center.

We ask that you consider making a donation to MCEF during The Northern Piedmont Community Foundation’s annual Give Local Piedmont fund drive for local non-profits on May 3rd.

Remember … every dollar donated to MCEF stays in Madison County… every gift makes a difference.

Thank you for all you do to help support public education in Madison!

March Madness 2016

MCEF March Madness 2016

Get your tickets here for the 5th Annual March Madness Dinner & Silent Auction to benefit public education in Madison. Cocktails, Hors d’ oeuvres, Dinner, Music, Fabulous Auction Items and more! The games will be playing in the background on big-screen TV’s for you NCAA fans.

Graves’ Mountain Lodge, Inc. Pavillion
205 Graves Mountain Ln, Syria, Virginia 22743
Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cocktails & Hors d’ouvres – 4:30 p.m.
Silent Auction – 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Dinner 6:00 p.m.

MCEF awards $8,850 in grants to teachers

Madison County Education Foundation awards $8,850 in grants

Teacher grants are a centerpiece of the Madison County Education Foundation (MCEF) mission.

“The common thread,” MCEF President Barbara Kres Beach said, “is that our teachers know what our students need; each grant adds something special that supports learning in the county and helps make our young people successful. There is no single formula.”

This year, the foundation awarded grants totaling $8,850—more than ever before. Faculty applicants cited goals, grade levels affected, methods of assessing project success, project budgets and their principal’s agreement in their applications. Awards this year were made to teachers at all four Madison County Public Schools for projects that, according to Beach, “excelled in usefulness, creativity and sustainability.”

Read the rest in the Madison Eagle

The Madison County Education Foundation is proud to support  public education in Madison County, Virginia, both by supporting the Madison County Public Schools and by supporting community wide educational endeavors.

Education is the cornerstone on which we build a strong and thriving community. We know that our children are our county’s future and that the best investment we as a county can make is in our children’s education.

MCEF supports education through teacher grants, student scholarships, and a non-profit resource center.