The Jacksonville Education Foundation announced three recent memorial donations to benefit Jacksonville ISD students and staff. Two new named scholarships were established and endowed by a Jacksonville High School alumnus and his wife, and another in memory of a former JHS teacher to last for 25 years. A family memorial donation has also designated a JEF Indian Chief award while endowing classroom grants for the next 10 years.
• The family of Dr. Floyd Verheyden recently honored their father as a Jacksonville Education Foundation Indian Chief with a $5,000 donation, and with remaining funds established the Floyd Verheyden Classroom Grant to be awarded each year for the next 10 years. Verheyden left a long legacy of dedication and support of "all things Jacksonville," and in particular JISD, as he served for many years on the Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees. Verheyden's legacy and support of JISD and his family will be honored during the Aug. 5 "Evening With Our Stars" event where he will be officially designated a JEF Indian Chief, joining only two others with that distinction. Darryl Porter and Tim L. Smith were designated Indian Chiefs by their families in 2012 and in 2013.
• The Rev. Benny Walker and his wife, Louise, served others as educators. She believed in education and opportunity for all students, and was a fervent champion for them, no matter their circumstances. Both were passionate about students being able to pursue higher education. As a legacy for Louise and Benny, the trustees of their estate donated $50,000 to the Jacksonville Education Foundation in memory of Louise and her work at Jacksonville High School, and another $50,000 to the LaPoynor school district in memory of Benny, where he served students throughout the majority of his career. Beginning in May, two Louise Walker Memorial Scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded to two seniors from Jacksonville High School each year for the next 25 years.
• Paul M. Bass, JHS Class of 1961, and his wife, Sheena, recently established the Will and Annie Bass Memorial Scholarship. This endowment will award a $20,000 scholarship, disbursed over four years, to a senior JHS student entering the Corps of Cadets while pursuing a degree at Texas A&M. The first Will and Annie Bass Memorial Scholarship will be awarded at the Academic Awards Ceremony on May 14. The donation will also fund several classroom grants geared toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) subjects.
Additional scholarships will be presented during the Academic Awards Ceremony through the Jacksonville Education Foundation. These named scholarships annually awarded include a $2,500 Joseph Villavisencio Memorial Scholarship, a $4,500 Health Careers Scholarship, a $1,500 Larry Garner Business Award, a $1,000 Tim L. Smith Scholarship, a $500 Driver Bob Scholarship and a $1,000 Doris Finley Educators Scholarship. The seventh annual JEF Salutatorian scholarship for $4,000 also will be presented.