Released by Larry Goddard with the Tyler ISD Foundation:
TYLER, TX - The Tyler ISD Foundation begins its 20th annual fund drive on Monday, October 12th, with an invitation-only campaign Kickoff Luncheon at W.A. Peete Elementary School, 1511 Bellwood. The theme for this year's campaign is, "The Power of Public Education: Transforming Lives". Leading the Kickoff Luncheon Committee this year is Beth Whitney, Tyler ISD Foundation's Vice President - Governance.
"This year, we felt it was vital to get back to the basics of education, and what better place to do that than on an elementary school campus? This way, our guests will see firsthand the impact we as a community can have on bettering Tyler's public education," said Whitney.
The keynote speaker for the event is Arnold D. Oates, Ph. D., a well-known educator, author and businessman throughout Texas and the United States. He is the former principal of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia during the time of the school's integration, reenacted in the film, Remember the Titans, which starred Denzel Washington.
Oates began his career in education as a science teacher in Talco, Texas in 1958. Since then, he has served as principal, assistant superintendent, education training consultant, superintendent, and senior lecturer at Texas A&M University, College Station, an educational consultant and president of his company, Texas School Planning, Inc. located in Tyler, Texas where he now resides with his wife, Dr. Martha Oates. Both are graduates of Texas A&M University-Commerce.
"We are honored that Dr. Oates will speak at the Campaign Kickoff Luncheon," said Larry Goddard, Executive Director of the Tyler ISD Foundation. "Dr. Oates has lead educators and communities through tumultuous times in public education and we know his message will be well received."
The Peete Elementary third-grade choir, under the direction of Tim McCormick, music teacher, will be the entertainment for the event. Dr. Stuart Baskin of First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Randy Reid and Whitney are all on the program's agenda as well as Matthew Evans, a middle school student from Moore MST. Evans received a Foundation grant to attend the Lone Star Leadership Academy last summer.
"Tax dollars keep the lights on in the school District," said Goddard, " but donations to the Foundation help to light up the lives of our teachers and students."
Last year, the We Believe in Tyler ISD Campaign resulted in total donations over $400,000 in contributions to various programs and to the areas of greatest need, as determined by the Foundation Board of Directors. The Campaign will last until February, 2010.