Lea Ann Cooper, executive director of the Terrell ISD Excellence Foundation, gave an update last week on the foundation’s support for education during a regular meeting of the Terrell Rotary Club.

From a financial standpoint, she reported that the district’s new Global Leadership Academy (GLA) received about $65,000 from the foundation in the past year. The GLA serves grades K-5 within TISD and provides an alternative educational experience from that of traditional campuses. Students at the academy engage in hands-on, self-directed learning centered on a project-based curriculum. 

Also, Cooper reported that the foundation disbursed about $35,000 in academic grants and provided the TISD Health Sciences Academy with about $50,000. Another $20,000 went to the district’s engineering program. The robotics program was awarded $41,000, and career tech received about $28,000 to $29,000.

Further, the Excellence Foundation distributed 19 grants to TISD teachers with a combined total of about $241,000, she reported. That total moves the foundation amount of grants to teachers total close to $1.5 million since the foundation’s inception.

Aside from financial totals, Cooper told Rotarians that TISD’s partnership with Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) is bearing fruit for students. In partnership with TVCC, Terrell High students can earn college credits for free, “which is amazing,” Cooper said.

She reported that 34 percent of Terrell High students earned between 3 to 9 college credits from TVCC. In addition, 13 percent of high school graduates also left Terrell High School with an associate’s degree.

The non-profit TISD Excellence Foundation was formed in 2008 as a way to support and enhance the education of all students in Terrell ISD. The foundation encourages creativity and growth among the district’s staff by providing resources. It seeks to develop excellence in education by promoting and funding successful programs.

This year, the foundation’s primary fundraiser will be presentations of the “Nutcracker Ballet” on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 at the Jamie Foxx Performing Arts Center.

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