Rural heroes celebrated at Reeds Spring Rendezvous

???????????????????????????????It was a day of celebration on April 23 at the Rural Schools Partnership’s annual Rendezvous, which this year was hosted by the Reeds Spring R-IV School District at Reeds Spring High School.

The Rendezvous featured the annual awarding of Coover Place-Based Education Grants, this year totaling $72,000 to four groups. The RSP also introduced the nine members of the newest class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps, a cadre of teaching education majors who have a special interest in rural schools and plan to teach in a rural district after graduation.

The day also included a keynote presentation by Lavina Grandon, a key player in rural districts’ fight against Arkansas’ controversial Act 60, which consolidated scores of districts in that state. Former CFO president and RSP founder Dr. Gary Funk, now with the Rural Schools Collaborative, also spoke.

But the heart of the day was wrapped up in two individuals – both from Reeds Spring – who were honored for their contributions to the Stone County town and district.

High schooler Sophia Greenwalt (pictured) featured in 2012′s “Hats, Pies and Fiddles” video for her Helping Hats charitable program, was awarded the RSP’s first Youth Philanthropy Award. Sophia, who for almost two years has been battling leukemia, accepted the award in person, flanked by friends and family.

???????????????????????????????The other award was the inaugural Arthur Mallory Award, named for the longtime Dallas County and Missouri education official who was vital to the RSP’s establishment and a former CFO board chair. The award went to longtime Reeds Spring administrator Jim Holt, the longtime leader both of the district’s very active education foundation and the Table Rock Lake Community Foundation.

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Rural Schools Rendezvous, April 23 in Reeds Spring

RuralSchoolsPartnershipLogo_ClrThe Rural Schools Partnership’s annual Rural Schools Rendezvous is set for Thursday, April 23, at Reeds Spring High School.

As usual, the day will include the presentation of Coover Place-Based Education Grants and the introduction of the newest class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps. Other highlights for 2015 are keynote speaker Lavina Grandon, who has taken a leading role in fighting the Act 60 school consolidation legislation in Arkansas, and former CFO president and RSP founder Dr. Gary Funk. A full schedule is below.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. with welcome at 10:30. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Dismissal will be by 3 p.m.

Click here for a map to Reeds Spring High School. Parking is on the back side of the school. Contact the CFO at (417) 864-6199 with questions. Call Reeds Spring High School at (417) 272-8171 if you get lost.


10 a.m.: Registration and Coffee

10:30 a.m.: Welcome & Introductions
10:45 a.m.: Keynote Speaker – Lavina Grandon
“Fighting Act 60: The Battle for the
Heart of a Rural State”

11:30 a.m.: Introduction of the Ozarks Teacher

Noon:  Lunch

Announcement of Coover Place-Based Grant Recipients
Special Awards

1 p.m.: Mt. Judea Area Alliance

 A conversation about schools, communities, and
coming together to support and enrich education.

2:15 p.m.: Dr. Gary Funk and the Rural Schools

3:00 p.m.: Dismissal





More than $1 million in CFO scholarships available to regional students

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is offering a record number of scholarships that open Feb. 1 for applications from students across southern Missouri interested in pursuing advanced education opportunities.

This year’s scholarship awards and renewals, which are made possible by generous donors, are approaching $1.04 million, up from about $1 million awarded during the 2014 scholarship cycle. These represent some 365 named scholarship funds, with many awarding multiple scholarships to students across southern Missouri.

Information about the scholarship opportunities is available at, where students and parents can search for scholarships by city of residence. Students also can contact their high-school counseling offices. Application deadlines vary, with the earliest due on March 6, 2015.

Several scholarships will be awarded for the first time in 2015, including:

 The Beadles, Pryer, McCoy Scholarship established to honor three generations of family graduates from Ozark High School; for current graduating Ozark seniors attending a two- or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school.

 The Betty H. King Scholarship for college-bound females from the following Missouri counties: Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Ozark, Polk, Stone, Taney, Webster, and Wright, who intend to obtain a degree in math, science or engineering.

 The Dr. Mary Newman Scholarship for college-bound graduates of Cassville, Exeter and Southwest (Washburn) High Schools in Missouri. One scholarship awarded to each school.

 The Protect the Farm Scholarship supporting graduating seniors in Polk County who are majoring in agriculture or agriculture-related fields: Students from Bolivar, Fair Play, Halfway, Humansville, Marion C. Early and Pleasant Hope high schools are eligible.

The Thelma Stanley Jayhawk Scholarship for Carthage High School graduates and/or current college students from the Carthage area, who are attending the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

The CFO scholarships offer a wide range of opportunities for students attending public or private colleges and universities, medical or nursing schools, vocational-technical education, and funds designated for students from specific high schools by donors and alumni giving back to their communities. Amounts range from $250 to $5,000 per academic year, with many of the scholarships renewable for up to three additional years.

“Through our many donors’ generosity, CFO is proud to serve outstanding students in our greater Ozarks community,” Scholarship Coordinator Judith Billings said. “Almost daily, we hear from recipients who so appreciate the support and opportunity these scholarships provide toward their future.”

For more information about CFO scholarship programs, contact Judith Billings at:; or call (417) 864-6199.