Newton Federal Bank was named the 2016 Newton County School System Partner of the Year Wednesday.
NCSS, which has approximately 150 school-business partnerships, selects one business partner each year for its Partner of the Year recognition.
Chamber president Ralph Staffins presented the award at the Board of Education.
Newton Federal Bank officially partners with four schools in the district — Middle Ridge Elementary School, Porterdale Elementary School, Liberty Middle School and Eastside High School, and all four principals nominated the bank for the Partner of the Year Award. Each school principal said that Newton Federal Bank provides not only significant financial support, but also numerous volunteer hours at the schools.
“Newton Federal Bank has provided monetary support as well as volunteers to support a number of our school events,” said Middle Ridge Elementary School Principal Rhonda Battle. “Faculty and staff have been treated with special baked goods, caramel apples, doughnuts, valentine candies, and morning muffins. And Newton Federal Bank associates have volunteered time working at our fall festival, book fairs, and our annual literacy night. It is important to note that these plentiful donations and volunteer efforts from Newton Federal Bank have taken place without a single request for anything in return. Their kindness and generosity have been given out of a genuine desire to support teachers and build up educators; that in turn supports and builds our students — our future.
“What makes Newton Federal Bank stand out as a partner in education is the fact that their family (associates) has become a part of our Middle Ridge Elementary family this year.”
Porterdale Elementary School Principal Nikkita Warfield nominated Newton Federal Bank because its representatives have attended school council meetings and made frequent contact with her school to volunteer and provide any assistance, which enabled the school to meet several goals for the year, including increasing the level of education for the students.
“They volunteered at the annual PTO Fall Festival and our book fair and provided refreshments and supplies for events such as our Father/Daughter Dance and the Spelling Bee contest,” Warfield said. “Most importantly, Newton Federal assisted us with our goal of improving academic achievement in science and increasing technology integration. It was Newton Federal that accepted the daunting task of cleaning up and renovating our courtyard. They provided all of the manpower and materials needed to clean out the debris, build tables, and construct raised flowerbeds. As a result of their efforts, our students now have an area to participate in STEM and other learning activities; they were so excited about their new learning space!”
But Newton Federal didn’t stop there, according to Warfield.
“To further help with our academic needs in science, they asked our teachers to make a wish list of supplies needed to have hands-on experiments and other activities in the classrooms,” she explained. “To our surprise, Newton Federal Bank purchased and delivered to the school all of the items on our wish list! The charity of Newton Federal Bank makes a positive impact on the education of our students each and every day; in fact, Newton County Schools needs more partners like Newton Federal Bank.”
In her nomination, Keisa Taylor, principal of Liberty Middle School, noted that Newton Federal Bank representatives proudly serve as members of the school council. She added that Newton Federal Bank has also been a key player in promoting and encouraging student success.
“One of the most important contributions of Newton Federal to Liberty Middle School is highlighting student achievements by supplying recognition awards for Student of the Month; providing iPad Minis for students with the highest number of accelerated reader points and Beats for Dre for students with the second highest number of AR points; and providing a backpack for our Spelling Bee winner. As a result of Newton Federal Bank acknowledging student academic success, Liberty Middle School students are inspired to dream bigger, strive for excellence, and to become better prepared for the future.”
Eastside High School principal, Jeff Cher, stated in his nomination that Newton Federal Bank has been a proud partner in education with his school for numerous years, adding that their support, “has resulted in countless recognitions and accolades provided for students and teachers. Their generosity has enabled our school to highlight the accomplishments of our students through Honors Day and Honors Night activities each year. They have also supported the teachers through holiday gifts and teacher appreciation week treats.”
Cher added that most importantly, Newton Federal Bank’s partnership has helped “better educate the graduating seniors of Newton County.”
According to Cher, while Newton Federal officially partners with Eastside High School, the bank spearheaded the implementation of the EverFi program at all high schools in the district to promote student financial literacy. The program exposes students to multiple learning modules to generate awareness and to equip students for important financial decisions they will be making as independent young adults.
Just at Eastside alone, Cher noted that over 200 graduating seniors have received their EverFi financial literacy certification prior to embarking upon the next phase of their life.
And Newton Federal Bank hasn’t limited their support strictly to the school level. For many years, the bank has supported the school system’s New Teacher Induction/Orientation program by providing thousands of dollars in gift cards for door prizes each year. Newton Federal has also sponsored both the NCSS Technology Department’s Innovation Expo and Teach for Tomorrow Conferences. They also supported the NCSS Book Bus by conducting a book drive that resulted in the donation of hundreds of books to be distributed to children in the Newton County community.
Representing and accepting the award on behalf of Newton Federal Bank at the NCSS/Chamber of Commerce Partners in Education Reception were: Greta Heard, Assistant Vice President, Branch Sales Manager Main Office; Aimee Corcoran, Assistant Vice President, Branch Sales Manager Eastside Office; Nancy Mask, Vice President, Branch Manager Southside Office; Jimmy Tanner, Vice President, Business Development; Tessa Nolan, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer; Marsha Peters, Vice President, BSA Officer; Lynn Martin, Vice President, Operations Manager; Kenny Lumpkin, Chief Lending Officer/Marketing; Kala Aldridge, Sales and Service Coordinator; and Johnny Smith, President/CEO.
“On behalf of the staff of Newton Federal I wish to thank the Board of Education for this really big honor,” Lynn Martin said. “We strive as a bank to invest in our community. We always have and we plan to continue to invest in the community that we live and work in. We want to support our educators because by doing that we are investing in the future of Newton County with the teachers that are here and the students, so thank you very much.”
Speaking on behalf of the four nominating schools at the reception, Cher said, “Newton Federal truly has established a network of support for each of our schools as well as the entire school system. It is just an amazing commendation to them for who they are as citizens, who they are as an organization, and who they are for Newton County. Students at all ages throughout life are touched by their support and their generosity, which allows our life-long learners that we are trying to grow and develop here in our school system to truly be impacted. We thank you for all that you have done for each of our schools and our school system in making our community a place for all of us to live, work, enjoy, and grow and develop.”
“As the president of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce, it makes me so proud to know that we have businesses like Newton Federal Bank in our community,” said Staffins. “They truly want to make a difference in our community and make a difference in the lives of our children.”