Western Governors University helps Port Salerno Elementary score 100 percent


Kate Cotner, EFMC Board President; Lisa Rhodes; Lindsey Ferschke; Tracey Miller, MCSD Assistant Superintendent of Academics; Lauren Gifford; David Shaffer, PSE Assistant Principal; Nicole Bagley, PSE Assistant Principal

A very special new partnership between the Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) and Western Governors University (WGU) has resulted in the teachers and classrooms at Port Salerno Elementary School (PSE) achieving 100-percent adoption for the first time.

The Education Foundation’s district-wide Adopt-a-Class program is decades old and allows for individuals or businesses to “adopt” or sponsor a class for $100 annually.  The funds are used by teachers to purchase educational enrichment resources for the benefit of their students.

For the first time ever, each teacher at Port Salerno Elementary has received at least one $100 adoption as part of the program.

“We are so thankful for our new partnership with Western Governors University (WGU) and their commitment to support our local educators.  When I met with Lindsey Ferschke, Strategic Partnership Manager, and explained the need for additional support for Port Salerno Elementary, she immediately agreed to adopt the 33 classrooms at PSE that had not yet been adopted this school year,” Lisa Rhodes, Executive Director of EFMC.

When Rhodes shared the news with Lauren Gifford, principal of PSE, the two coordinated a surprise announcement for the staff.

Gifford explained, “It was very hard for me to keep this a surprise for a couple of weeks. I cannot thank Western Governors University enough for their generosity and the Education Foundation of Martin County for their continued support of our students and teachers.

This is the first time in PSE history that we are 100-percent adopted. I am thrilled that all our teachers will be able to purchase additional items to support the educational needs of their students. Their smiles and excitement during the surprise announcement were very touching.”

Western Governors University was established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with the mission to expand access to online, high-quality, affordable higher education and now serves more than 142,578 students nationwide with more than 300,000 graduates in 50 states. In Florida, WGU has more than 7,180 enrolled students and 14,800 graduates. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, it is recognized as a highly effective postsecondary education model. Learn more at wgu.edu.

Kimberly K. Estep, WGU’s Southeast Regional Vice President said, “We are delighted to have helped PSE achieve its goal of having every classroom adopted,” said Kimberly K. Estep, WGU’s Southeast Regional Vice President.”

For more on how you can help support Martin County classrooms, visit www.EducationFoundationMC.org or call 772-600-8062.


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