The Chillicothe Education Foundation celebrated its annual benefit reception Wednesday evening at the home of Ed Milbank, foundation board member, and applauded the nominees and recipients of the Teacher of the Year Award and Beacon Award.

The Chillicothe Education Foundation celebrated its annual benefit reception Wednesday evening at the home of Ed Milbank, foundation board member, and applauded the nominees and recipients of the Teacher of the Year Award and Beacon Award. Early estimates indicate that the event raised approximately $25,000. At the banquet, foundation president Ed Douglas thanked those who attended and gave special recognition to Milbank for having hosted the banquet for the last 20-plus years. More than 80 people attended. Douglas also introduced the rest of the foundation board members and thanked them for their service. He stated that the foundation’s purpose is to do projects that the school is unable to do by itself. “That’s the role was play and it proves to be an important role,” Douglas said. According to Douglas, the foundation spends approximately $12,500 annually for Teacher of the Year and Beacon awards, and an estimated $6,000 for teacher mini-grants which are awarded each year. The foundation also makes funds available for teacher recruitment bonuses. Douglas noted that the foundation purchased 60 acres north of the high school and recently gave that land to the school district; the foundation took the lead on the $4 million stadium project and gave that to the school, and took the lead role in developing a road for the new elementary school. Although the foundation is involved in many projects, it is the Teacher of the Year and the Beacon of the Year awards that are the foundation’s signature programs. “The school district can’t give performance bonuses, but we can,” he said. Because of Chillicothe Education Foundation’s success, patrons of other school districts often want to know how to establish a similar education foundation in their own districts, Douglas said. During the reception, Douglas noted that the foundation was the recipient of Irvin Foundation funds on an ongoing basis. “That will allow us to be involved in other projects,” he said. “We will have additional funds that we may be able to take an even larger role going forward.” Following his remarks Wednesday evening, Douglas introduced the school superintendent and building administrators, as well as the nominees and recipients of this year’s Chillicothe R-2 Teacher of the Year and Beacon Award. Earlier in the school year, each school nominated one teacher for the Teacher of the Year Award. Those nominees were Katherine Gibson (Garrison Preschool and Transition to Life Center), Anne McKiddy (Dewey Elementary), Brandi Ellis (Field Elementary), Will Ford (Central Elementary), Kathy DeBoer (middle school), Dr. Jill Watkins (high school), Anthony Hinnen (Grand River Technical School). This year’s award winner was Anne McKiddy. McKiddy teaches kindergarten and first grade Title I Reading and Reading Recovery. She has taught 24 years, nine years with the Chillicothe R-2 School District. As this year’s Teacher of the Year, McKiddy received $1,500 cash and $1,000 for educational items. All other nominees received $500 cash and $1,000 for education supplies, equipment, or professional development. Staff members nominated for the Beacon Award were: Sue Bachman (Garrison and Transition to Life Center), Rick McCully (Dewey Elementary), Richard Gibson (Field Elementary), Heidi May (Central Elementary), Robin Morales (middle school), Lisa Wilson (high school), and Lisa BeVelle (Grand River Technical School). This year’s award winner was Lisa BeVelle. BeVelle has worked for the Chillicothe R-2 School District for 19 years, with all years as an administrative assistant at Grand River Technical School. As this year’s Beacon of the Year, BeVelle received $300 cash. All other nominees received $100 cash. The Chillicothe Education Foundation Board consists of Ed Douglas, president; Roger Barnes, Ed Milbank, Julie McCoy, Mike Turner, Inger Young, Lindy Chapman, Mary Staton, Trent Miller, and Bruce Brodmerkle. The Teacher of the Year Award began in the 1992-93 school year and the Beacon of the Year Award was added in 2007. Past recipients of the Teacher of the Year Award: Charles Epps (1992-93), Terri Critten (1993), Bill Maupin (1994), Pat Nichols (1995), Nancy Zelmer (1996), Kathy Breeden (1997), Greg Thurmon (1998), Janet Zion (1999), Linda Fox (2000), Marsha Leopard (2001), Jamie Caughron (2002), Debbie Goodwin (2003), Larry Vance (2004), Rosie Smith (2005), Keith Dietzschold (2006), Tami Riekena (2007), David Goodwin (2008), Tammy Price (2009), Ellen Gott (2010), Christine Jones (2011), Tim Riekena (2012), Billie McGraw (2013), Terria Cox (2014), Sophie Chambers (2015), Pam Miller (2016), Anne McKiddy (2017). Past recipients of the Beacon of the Year Award: Gary Eide (2007), Ron Rader (2008), Lesa Lee (2009), Rick McCully (2010), Laurinda Davison (2011), Carla Meyers (2012), Dave Sheler (2013), Anita Coult (2014), Mike Lewis (2015), Kathy Midgyett (2016), and Lisa BeVelle (2017).