The Beaver Dam Unified School District will honor the 2015 Friends of Education at the Eighteenth Annual Wall of Fame Banquet on Sunday, November 1st, at the Beaver Dam High School. Friends of Education Awards are given to individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the district and its students. The nominators provided the following information about the award recipients:
Friend of Education – Mr. Mark Killingsworth
Mark Killingsworth has a strong belief in the value of education and has demonstrated that belief in the countless hours he has volunteered to serve the students in the Beaver Dam Unified School District. Mr. Killingsworth’s nominator stated, “He has always shown a tremendous interest in education in Beaver Dam and continues to support local education to this day.” This is evident in his involvement in youth-oriented organizations and programs that benefit students, including the school district’s Partners are Learning (PaLs) program. He has been a mentor for several years, not only tutoring a number of students, but also making a difference in their lives. Further testimony of Mark’s interest is his service to the Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation, where he served as a board member. Mark has been instrumental to the success of the Foundation’s annual golf-outing fundraiser. The proceeds of the fundraiser provide scholarships for students who otherwise may not have the opportunity to pursue higher education.
Mark was able to affect student achievement during his tenure on the Beaver Dam Unified School District’s Board of Education, where he served as president, treasurer, and clerk. Mark also served on the board of the YMCA of Dodge County, where he was key in the fund drive to construct the new facility which serves families and students.
Friend of Education – Mr. Jerry Rechek and Rechek’s Food Pride
Jerry Rechek and Rechek’s Food Pride have been a foundational supporter of the Beaver Dam educational system and the Beaver Dam youth for more than 20 years. Mr. Rechek instilled a belief system within Rechek’s Food Pride that values community service and giving back to the greater Beaver Dam community. Educating the youth of Beaver Dam is the primary area that Jerry and Rechek’s Food Pride have chosen in which to give back. He encouraged his employees to actively participate in the school system. Mr. Rechek and many of the store managers find themselves in the Beaver Dam Middle School and High School classrooms working with students to bring real-life learning to classroom communities.
Mr. Rechek and Rechek’s Food Pride have always encouraged student employees to take part in their school and the community, and he also directed all managers to work around the student employees’ school schedules: a trademark of Rechek’s Food Pride. Jerry’s commitment to students and their education is further evident in the scholarships provided to student employees attending two and four-year colleges. Mr. Rechek and Rechek’s Food Pride have been staunch supporters of many school activities, including wrestling, baseball, softball, basketball, football, trap shooting, and hockey. They have also given substantial financial support to the community of Beaver Dam with a great majority of those funds implemented in the schools and classrooms, student activities, and youth to help extend their education beyond high school.
The nominator stated, “Jerry Rechek and Rechek’s Food Pride have never turned down the opportunity to provide gifts, guidance and help.”
Friend of Education – The Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation
The Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation is an integral part of education in Beaver Dam. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded 569 scholarships totaling $3,500,000. The Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation was created 24 years ago by a group of local citizens who were concerned with the rising costs of education. The mission of the Foundation is to provide talented local students with funds to attend either a 4-year college or a technical college of their choice. The scholarships are awarded based on need and merit, thus providing funds for students who may not have otherwise had the resources to attend college.
One of the nominators stated, “The assistance the Scholarship Foundation provided allowed me to attend college and have those experiences that have shaped my life.” The nominator further stated, “It’s allowed many students from Beaver Dam to attend school and pursue their dreams. The impact Beaver Dam has on other communities, both near and far can be in many ways a big result of the assistance that the Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation provides.” The Foundation also continues to support the district’s Partners are Learning (PaLs) program that assists students who need additional help and support. The Foundation recognizes the importance of instilling learning skills in all students.