Meet the New Take Stock in Children Students

These students signed their Take Stock in Children (TSIC) contracts on Tuesday, May 16, at Suwannee Education Foundation’s end of year luncheon for students, mentors, and sponsors. The Suwannee TSIC Program inducted eight students this school year from Suwannee Middle School and Branford High School. New students will begin the TSIC Program as freshmen, next school year, 2017-18.

Students participated in a highly competitive application process to be admitted to the TSIC program. Each of the new students will be matched with an adult mentor and will receive a two-year full tuition-paid scholarship to North Florida Community College upon high school graduation.

Our new TSIC students are:

Rylee Bolyard

E’Leric Ivey

Shalanna Perkins

Shaniyah Williams

Caleb Parsons

Fidencio Mesquite

Christian Xavier  Ayola

Autumn Stancil

Ameris Bank Presents – TSIC Financial Literacy Workshop

On May 17, representatives from Ameris Bank will present a Financial Literacy workshop to Take Stock in Children students at Suwannee High School. The workshop will cover topics that every student needs to know as he/she embarks on college and career.

The workshop will focus on budgeting, living and tuition prices, building credit, writing checks, opening a bank account, financial aid, and more!

Thank you to Ameris Bank for providing this vital information to our Take Stock in Children students. SEF is grateful for caring partners such as you.

Suwannee Take Stock in Children is Recruiting New Mentors for 2017!


Take Stock in Children (TSIC) was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization in Florida that provides a unique opportunity for deserving low-income students, many from minority families, to escape the cycle of poverty through education. We offer our students college scholarships, caring volunteer mentors, and hope for a better life. Our comprehensive services start in middle school, continue through high school and include their transition into college.


Are you a caring adult who wants to invest in the life of a child? By offering consistent support and encouragement through weekly lunch meetings, you can make a huge difference in the life of a Take Stock in Children student. Click here to learn more about becoming a mentor.

The Commitment of a TSIC Mentor:

  • Weekly 30 minute lunch meetings with TSIC student on high school campus
  • Mentors may purchase lunch to bring to their students, (Dairy Queen, Subway, etc.) but this is not a requirement
  • Ideally, we want to pair 9th grade students with mentors who will support and guide them throughout their four years of high school
  • During lunch meetings, mentors will offer wise advice, scholastic support, and help students with goal setting and college and career exploration
  • Mentors report lunch meeting to the Program Coordinator by signing the sign-in sheet, or by emailing dates of lunch meetings

Traits of a Great TSIC Mentor:

  • A community/outreach minded adult with a heart for youth
  • Has experience interacting with high school aged students
  • Familiar with college applications, scholarships and financial aid processes, ACT and SAT, high-school course load, etc.
  • Willing to help a student with homework if needed
  • Knows how to be an encourage, can help a young person set goals, and can walk with a young person through various potential family, financial, or academic struggles
  • Can inspire students to make wise decisions and reach their full potential for success

Do you want to talk to someone about becoming a mentor?

Call Katherine Haney, TSIC Program Coordinator, at (386)688-7182, or e-mail at

Apply to Become a TSIC Mentor in Suwannee County:

Submit the application below to Katherine Haney by mail (1314 Pine Ave SW, Live Oak, FL 32064) or email ( She will be in touch with you upon receipt.

Suwannee Mentor Application

Thank you for your interest in mentoring!

Check out our newest grant project – Ozobot robotics, coding in the classroom

Suwannee Education Foundation (SEF) is rolling out a new grant project this year, called Ed Tech for Teachers. This project will be focused on offering needed resources and support to teachers in Suwannee County School District as they adapt to the 21st-century classroom environment and STEM requirements.

SEF plans to host educational technology workshops each year, intended to help teachers purchase STEM materials and learn new technologies involved in teaching STEM curriculum including computer coding, robotics, engineering, and science lessons, in addition to helping teachers learn how to utilize resources such as Google Classroom.

The first Ed Tech Workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. This workshop will demonstrate Ozobot (small, spherical robots) classroom lessons for teaching computer coding in grades two through eight.



Now Accepting Applications for Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program – Deadline: March 27, 2017



Are you an 8th-grade student in Suwannee County public schools? If you meet the income eligibility requirements, you could become a Take Stock in Children Scholarship recipient.

TSIC Eligibility Requirements:


TSIC Application:


Submit completed applications to Katherine Haney, by mail, 1314 Pine Ave SW, Live Oak, FL 32064, or e-mail,

Don’t miss this opportunity to take control of your future. Take Stock in Children can help by providing you with the motivation, support, and academic assistance you need in order to achieve success.  This rewarding opportunity provides the promise of a college scholarship, a caring mentor committed to the development of your gifts, and continuous involvement from skilled student advocates who engage in educational /career counseling.

We want to see our students succeed, which means we have high expectations and demand accountability among all participants.  Therefore, each student is required to sign a contract promising to abide by the program’s rules in order to attain a fully paid college tuition scholarship. To receive the scholarship, you will be expected to:

  • Stay in school
  • Maintain good grades
  • Attend regular mentor-mentee meetings once per week
  • Stay drug and crime free
  • Exhibit good citizenship

The intent of obtaining the scholarship is a long-term goal that is achieved through years of hard work. Years that are filled with building meaningful relationships with others who deeply care about your success, and helping you reach your full potential. During the weekly sessions with your mentor, you will set goals, build positive values, and develop academic skills to help you excel in your schoolwork.

As you transition through your high school years, you will have the opportunity to participate in a college readiness curriculum that will help prepare you for the ACT and SAT exams.  TSIC Success Coaches will provide workshops that will get you college ready and assist you with the college application process when you’re ready.

TSIC believes all young people should have access to post-secondary opportunities. Why shouldn’t you? Now is the perfect time to take a hold of your future and choose your own path – the path to success.

For more information about TSIC, visit

Teacher of the Year Banquet 2017

588229b01297f-image-1DOWLING PARK — The Suwannee Education Foundation presented the 2016-17 Suwannee County Teacher of the Year and School Related Employee of the Year banquet Tuesday.

Eight educators and 12 school district employees were honored for excellence in their performance, passion and talent for serving students. Each of Suwannee County School District’s schools and departments selected a TOY and SREOY representative. Each finalist participated in an interview and application process to be selected as the 2016-17 Suwannee County TOY or SREOY. The announcements of TOY and SREOY winners were the highlight of the banquet.

Andrea Lanier, a paraprofessional from Branford High School, was chosen as the Suwannee County SREOY. Her peers describe her as someone who always has a positive attitude, a team player who is always willing to help others, and a “service above self” type of person. Outside of the classroom, Andrea volunteers many hours with the Branford FFA and Take Stock in Children Programs.

Melva Batts, an eighth-grade language arts teacher from Suwannee Middle School, was chosen as the Suwannee County TOY. Melva is passionate about preventing bullying amongst students, providing equal opportunities for all students to succeed regardless of socio-economic demographics, and advocating for “education beyond the classroom,” in which entire communities commit to becoming stakeholders in the growth and success of their youth. Melva will go on to represent Suwannee County in the 2017 Florida Teacher of the Year Program.

The recognized TOY representatives from each school were Vickie Pagliai (SPS), Lindy Meeks (SES), Cathy Nicely (SIS), Kary Black (SHS), Margaret Williams (BES), Cara Soride (BHS), Janie Maxwell (RTC) and Batts.

The recognized SREOY representatives from each school and department were Linda Cheshire (SPS), Joann Ledew (SES), Amy Steed (SIS), Jackie Wiggins (SMS), Heather Crotty (SHS), John Sinclair (RTC), Janice Lee (BES), Mary Ann Chaney (SCSB Office), Julian Durham (Facilities), Brian Gollery (IT), Scott Melanson (Transportation) and Lanier.

The Suwannee Education Foundation extends appreciation to the sponsors who made the 2017 Teacher of the Year Program possible: First Federal, Pilgrim’s Pride, Wes Haney Chevrolet, Poole Realty, Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative, Klausner Lumber One, Suzie’s Flowers and Gifts, Dr. Herbert C. Mantooth, Windstream Communications, Sara Jane Moore, Branford Rotary Club, and Advent Christian Village.