Jacksonville School District 117 will be celebrating its 150th anniversary next year.
As such, the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation is playing a large part in organizing a number of events leading up to the celebration. The first such event is on June 2nd with the Believe In Education drawing, which serves as the foundation’s biggest fundraiser.
While the drawing has taken place annually since 2010, the Public Schools Foundation is starting another tradition to celebrate the district’s extensive history. Joining WLDS’ “What’s On Your Mind?” program last week were the foundation’s John Buchanan and Amy Albers, who announced that the organization is introducing their first annual “Distinguished Alumni Award” this fall.
Buchanan says they’re currently accepting nominations for the award, which will be announced at a banquet this fall.
“There’s going to be a big celebration and a banquet on November 11 of this year, and one of the highlights of that banquet will be the installation of the inaugural class of our Hall of Fame. We’ve highlighted athletic accomplishments through the years, but we also feel that there have been so many successful graduates from JHS that the students that are going there need to understand that the district has provided successful opportunities. We need role models, and we need to recognize these folks for their achievements,” says
Albers, who serves as the foundation’s Executive Director, thinks the award will help develop a sense of pride amongst current students.
“I think it’ll be really good to show our current Crimsons that these people started out just the same way they did, and this is the potential that they also have and share by showing these success stories. I think that’s really important to our students,” says Albers.
Buchanan will serve on the selection committee for the Distinguished Alumni Award. Nominees must have completed at least ten years of life’s work to be eligible, however, Buchanan says the foundation would like to get nominees with a variety of backgrounds and accomplishments .
“We hope that we have a lot of folks that remember folks from all ages, all classes, all decades. We’re going to consider folks from every walk of life. Perhaps it’s military service, philanthropic activities, volunteerism, arts and sciences…there are so many talented people who have gone on and led, what we remember here, as rather quiet careers. So we wanted to emphasize and recognize success and we’re looking forward to seeing some interesting nominees,” Buchanan explains.
To nominate someone for the Distinguished Alumni Award, applications can be found online at jsd117.org, or by contacting any of the foundation’s board members. The award will be presented at a banquet on November 11th.