Local school foundation receives $150,000 donation

Stacey Spivey

POSTED: Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 6:10pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 22, 2014 - 9:48am

Jacksonville high school alumni, Mark and Judy Cook, donated $150,000 to the Jacksonville Education Foundation. "We have received amounts of money that have been substantial in the last two or three years, but nothing of this size," said Matt Montgomery, foundation board member. He said he's still in shock about the record breaking donation.

"We just cant believe the Cooks were so nice and thoughtful and really you can tell that their hearts still in Jacksonville even though they don't live here anymore," said Montgomery. This money will be used for the school's Vision 2020 program. Karen Kubara, the high school principal said its making the dream of college or vocational school more of a reality for her students. "I think its great they came in with a vision for our students," and she continued to say, "the high school is just super excited because we usually don't get this kind of funding from outside sources."

"Its basically designed to start with incoming freshmen and to help get them on path to college or vocational school," said Montgomery. He also told KETK the Cook's along with other generous donators are filling in the financial gaps that the school cannot provide for. "Every student no matter what their financial need is, has a chance to qualify for money that's going to help them get ready for college," said Montgomery.

The vision will pick up the tab for everything from ACT fees to college campus visits, and help not only students, but their parents too. "We just want them to get to a college campus and see that it is a reality for their child to get to college," said Lisa Melenbacher, high school counselor. She also said the money will be rewarded to students who make good grades, and take challenging dual-credit courses.

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