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Gala celebrates education champions
Board members and volunteers of the Rockdale Foundation for Educational Excellence. Left to Right: Dawn Butler, Cindy Ball, Sara Merritt, Rose Collins, Robyn Chapman, Susan Paul Smith, Lindsey Preiss, Linda M. Owen, Walt Hawk and Scott Hartsell. - photo by Submitted Photo

Rockdale Foundation for Excellence in Education celebrated its 25th anniversary Sept. 14 with the inaugural Champions of Education Gala at Acuity Brands Lighting People Center. 

RFEE started as a collaborative between the school system and the Chamber of Commerce 25 years ago with the purpose of funding educational programs and projects not supported by the Rockdale County Public Schools general budget. Since the Foundation began in 1988, it has provided more than $1 million in grants to support teachers in Rockdale County Public Schools. 

At the Gala, 25 people and/or businesses that have supported public education and the Foundation through the years were recognized. Guest speaker, Davis Middle School teacher Katy King, spoke about projects the Foundation has funded through the years such as “Project Sea Turtle,” which was featured on CNN, and several award-winning art projects that were selected by the Istanbul Center’s Art and Essay contest and that were presented in Istanbul, Turkey. “After 25 years of service, the Foundation is stronger than ever and poised to work harder to help sustain excellence in public education in Rockdale County,” said RFEE Chairman Scott Hartsell.  

The companies and individuals recognized include: 

Acuity Brands Lighting, AT&T, Barksdale family, Conyers Animal Hospital, Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce, Cowan Hardware Company, East Metro Eyecare, Georgia Power, Dr. Robert Golden, D.M.D., Andrew S. Harper, M.D., Hedrick and Dodson Family Dentistry,, Kids R Kids International, Lexicon Technologies, Maddox, Nix, Bowman and Zoeckler, NuVision Financial, Outback Steakhouse, Preissless Design, Rockdale County Board of Education, Rockdale Family Practice, Rockdale Medical Center, Sparkmon and Associates, SPS Communications, Talley and Associates, United Community Bank.