Ivester Foundation expands Teacher of the Year awards in Hall County

The Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation is expanding its support of the Hall County Teacher of the Year program. The foundation will now recognize outstanding teaching in the district by awarding $500 to each individual Teacher of the Year selected by their respective schools. The foundation will continue to award the district level Teacher of the Year $10,000 as it has been doing annually since 2019.

The expansion also includes an award of $300 to a Classified Team Member of the Year from each of the district’s 37 schools. Those individuals will be announced during the first semester of the school year and will be recognized at their respective schools by their school families.

Ivester Foundation President Lynn Darby says extending the awards program to the individual school level is a further celebration of teachers and staff.

“When you look at successful Americans, many, many times, you will see the influence of a teacher at the elementary, middle or high school level,” says Darby. “We simply want to say ‘Thank You’ to the Teachers and support staffs of Gainesville and Hall County.”

The Ivester Foundation is a staunch supporter of the Hall County School District. The foundation has donated millions of dollars through the years to support education in the Hall County and Gainesville community. Earlier this month, the Ivestoer Foundation committed $100,000 to the Hall County School District to enhance the learning commons at East and North Hall middle and high schools. The foundation also funds the annual Hall County and Gainesville Teacher of the Year Banquet.

County school superintendent Will Schofield says the district is grateful for this latest contribution.

“This idea of celebrating and rewarding those who pour into the well-being of future generations is a legacy worth acknowledging—and a model for all of us to follow,” he says.

“The Classified Team Member of the Year Award is a reminder that it takes all of us, classified and certified, K through 12, working together to make a difference,” says Deputy Superintendent Kevin Bales.

Doug Ivester is the former chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. He and his wife Kay (Grindle) grew up in Hall County. They established the Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation to support nonprofit institutions and charitable causes in their home community.

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