20th annual Excellence in Education Week on tap

MARQUETTE – The 20th annual Excellence in Education Week is set to begin Monday, with a week’s worth of events slated to take place in honor of the highest academic achievers in area high schools.

The 47 students from 10 area schools receiving EEW academic scholarships represent the top 5 percent of graduating seniors. In addition, 25 professional development awards will be presented to educators in Marquette and Alger counties. The awards are used to further academic training or enhance classroom activities.

“Since this program started in 1994, we’ve been fortunate to work with schools, businesses, foundations and individual citizens in Marquette and Alger to recognize students, their families, and their teachers for the culmination of their hard work together,” said Judy Watson Olson, president of Great Lakes Center for Youth Development.

The GLCYD organizes the annual event, which boasts a wide array of sponsors.

The 47 students who will be receiving $1,500 academic scholarships weren’t even born when the program was created.

That’s why the Alger Regional Community Foundation, the Marquette County Community Foundation,and the GLCYD have combined efforts to make sure that today’s children will have the same opportunities when they are high school seniors.

In previous years, funding for EEW scholarships and professional development awards was administered by GLCYD through its grant support from the Kellogg Foundation. In 2008, the EEW endowment began funding the awards.

With a $1 million lead gift from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1999, the Alger and Marquette foundations have added approximately $1.8 million to the fund since then.

“However, we encourage and welcome additional gifts, especially in light of a challenging economy and the effect of market activity on endowments everywhere,” Watson Olson said.

To make a donation, contact the Marquette Community Foundation at 226-7666 or the Alger Regional Community Foundation at 387-3900.

Since its inception, approximately $1.875 million has been awarded through EEW academic scholarships and professional development awards to more than 950 students and more than 490 educators.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is jstark@miningjournal.net.