By JOSEPH HAMRICK
CADDO MILLS —
When the state cut $5.2 billion from Texas public schools, teachers and residents of Caddo Mills decided they wouldn’t let that hamper them from educating their children.
Last year, Anne Payne, principal of Caddo Mills High School, helped create the Caddo Mills Independent School District Education Foundation to raise money for students and teachers.
“Our goal is to raise money for students that goes beyond what the state gives,” Payne said.
And raise money they did.
Through the various fund drives throughout the year, including a shrimp boil, a raffle for a trip to Mexico, and an opportunity for teachers and staff to enroll in a payroll eduction program to go directly toward the fund, the foundation raised more than $80,000 for students and teachers to use for everything from extra supplies to a new program to aid kids who have learning disabilities.
This year, the foundation gave away more than $25,000 in grants to teachers at Caddo Mills ISD.
Payne said the board encouraged the teachers to think outside the box and make a list of things they wanted if funding was not an issue.
“With the state of school finance right now, they’re helping a lot,” Vicki Payne, superintendent of Caddo Mills ISD said. “The great thing about the end result is that we were able to provide things that we would have otherwise not have been able to.”
According to Anne, “You can’t achieve greatness without the support from the community,” she said. “We have a great president in Tony Gavin.”
Vicki said she is not surprised the community stepped up to help raise the fund for students.
“Anything that we do, the community embraces it wholeheartedly,” she said. “That to me is how we are able to raise the money, by showing them the great things we do for kids.”