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Community partners with NISD teachers

Educational Foundation hosts annual benefit breakfast

The tacos in Casa Olé Tuesday might have tasted different because they came with a “worthwhile cause.”

When patrons sat down to enjoy the Nederland Educational Foundation’s annual benefit breakfast inside the Central Mall eatery early Tuesday morning — an event that collected more than $4,200 dollars by Tuesday afternoon — they were entering a “partnership” with Nederland teachers.

Gail Krohn, Nederland Educational Foundation president and former Nederland Independent School District superintendent, said the benefit breakfast is the largest fundraising event for the foundation’s permanent endowment fund to support and enhance academic achievement in Nederland schools.

Catherine Baker, a pre-calculus and calculus teacher for Nederland High School juniors and seniors, enjoyed her breakfast with coworkers before heading to school for teacher in-service.

Baker, the winner of a special $2,500 Nederland Educational Foundation grant in spring 2015, said she will start the new school year with a Texas Instruments Nspire Calculator’s Navigator System — a wireless router with “cradles” that attach to the students’ calculators, allowing her to monitor their progress and create interactive content from her classroom computer.

“I have all my equipment in and went to several conferences this summer to learn how to make them the most (effective) in my classroom,” Baker said, finishing her breakfast, Tuesday. “I’m so ready for school next week — I’m excited.”

Krohn said Baker was one of 56 teachers who received an Educational Foundation grant in the 2014-15 school year. The foundation awarded more than $11,000 in 2014-15 to help close the gap between classroom needs and the school district’s budget, she said.

Diana LaBorde, Nederland Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau president and CEO, said supporting the Nederland Educational Foundation is the quickest way to “partner with our teachers who are helping to raise our kids.”

“These teachers need supplies that, unfortunately, the district may to be able to afford on its own,” LaBorde said. “Something as simple as coming to eat breakfast is now an opportunity to become a partner in a really worthwhile cause.”

Angela Fanette, Nederland Parks and Recreation director, was one of several City of Nederland employees enjoying tacos before the restaurant officially opened at 11 a.m.

“We try to get as many of our city employees out here as we can, because it’s such a good thing to support,” Fanette said. “The foundation is supporting our schools, our kids and our community. It’s important to give back to them so they continue their work.”

Mandy Clayton, treasurer for the Nederland Educational Foundation board of directors, said the money totals for Tuesday morning could still climb higher.

“We’re up to over $4,200 right now, but we still have checks coming in,” Clayton said Tuesday afternoon. “We sold approximately 355 tickets this year and had at least 240 people in attendance at the breakfast this morning. I’m excited to see the follow-up response.”

Krohn said the annual breakfast has evolved into more than an event just for Nederland teachers — it’s about community.

“We’ve got 23 members on our board of directors running the restaurant, serving everyone you can think of — business people, attorneys, retired Nederland ISD employees, church groups, everyone,” Krohn said. “It’s a wonderful cross section of the community, all coming together to support our Nederland ISD teachers and students.”

For more information about the Nederland Educational Foundation, click here.

Twitter: @crhenderson90