Columbus Municipal School District is the largest contributor to the United Way of Lowndes County. And each year, the district outdoes itself.
This year, Columbus schools raised $80,044.34, campaign coordinator Marilyn Agnew announced to board members Monday night.
“We outgive every other organization that gives to Lowndes County United Way,” Columbus schools Superintendent Dr. Del Phillips said, qualifying the figure.
“I like to help. I like to give,” Agnew said, explaining that her passion for the program seems to be contagious.
Agnew, secretary to the Columbus High School principal, took over the district”s United Way campaign efforts in 2006. Prior to then, the district goal was only $7,000. In 2003, the Columbus Municipal School District raised $6,634.
Now, in addition to employee contributions, schools host special events, such as concerts and dances, and also offers incentives, such as a day without school uniforms, to students and staff who contribute to United Way.
“We applaud her and her tireless work and devotion,” Phillips said of Agnew.
“It”s just really incredible the way the Columbus school district has embraced the United Way campaign, from the superintendent”s office, throughout the schools,” said Jan Ballard, director of United Way of Lowndes County. “They get the kids involved, so they are learning what it is to give to those that are less fortunate.”
Agnew bases each school”s campaign goal on the number of students and faculty and staff. The breakdown of campaigns for CMSD is as follows:
· CMSD Alternative School: $730
· Brandon Central Services: $3,512
· Columbus High School: $20,225.10
· Cook Elementary Fine Arts Magnet School: $12,574.66
· Fairview Elementary Aerospace and Science Magnet School: $4,551
· Franklin Elementary Medical Sciences and Wellness Magnet School: $3,764.42
· Sale Elementary International Studies Magnet School: $3,553
· Stokes-Beard Elementary Technology and Communication Magnet School: $7,001
· Hunt Intermediate School: $ $4,004
· Lee Middle School: $18,407
· McKellar Technology vocational school: $1,721.12
Most schools exceeded their campaign goal, most notably at Lee, Cook and Columbus High, each of which had campaign goals of $11,500, $7,000 and $13,000 respectively.
Thus far, United Way of Lowndes County campaigns have raised $422,500, 70.4 percent of the agency”s $600,000 goal. United Way will announce its final 2011 campaign results at the first of the year.
In other matters, the school board:
· Recognized Assistant Superintendent David Sullivan, who is retiring after 10 years with the district and a 38-year career in education.
· Approved the purchase of a 2007 bus for $57,500 from Waters Truck and Tractor. The purchase was $2,500 more than estimated. The bus replaces a bus the district lost to a fire in September. The bus was parked near the intersection of 21st Street South and College Street, at a driver”s home, when it was set on fire, police said.
Police arrested Deaire Haskins, of 108 Dowdle St., for the arson.
· Accepted donations for construction of an indoor facility for baseball and softball at Columbus High School. Weyerhaeuser donated $3,000; Nammo Talley donated $500; Bancorp South donated $200; Frederick and Patricia Comer donated $25.
Softball and baseball leadership and booster clubs plan to build an 80-by-100-foot facility, including a locker room, concession stand and bathrooms. The facility will be built on land near the current baseball field.
Columbus High is the only 6A school without an indoor facility and the only school in the county without one.
The estimated cost of the project is $150,000. Thus far, $5,000 has been raised. Project organizers plan to build the facility completely with private dollars. Parents of team members will meet in January to begin heavily campaigning for funding.
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