The Blount County Education Foundation, which supports educational endeavors in Blount County schools, is beginning the new year with volunteers in key roles for the foundation.
P.J. Silver stepped down in May as executive director to pursue a nursing career. With economic conditions the way they are, the Foundation board voted to leave the position of executive director dark for the time being, with the board members playing a key role in the foundation activities.
First activity was last weekend with Stuff the Bus, a drive to get needed school supplies for Blount County schools. The event, held annually at Wal-Mart, was supported by both the Alcoa and Maryville Wal-Mart stores. Between $10,000 and $20,000 was collected in supplies plus $700 in donations. (See page A10).
Foundation board members gathered at Aubrey’s last spring to say goodbye to Silver as she began a new chapter in her life. Silver has been at the helm of the BCEF for 10 years, and was the foundations first, and only, director.
Silver said she began thinking about a nursing career after a vacation to Costa Rica where she talked with townspeople about their health care. There is, she said, a worldwide need for nursing, especially in under-developed countries. She is studying at Lincoln Memorial University and wants to work in Mexico after receiving her degree.
Silver pointed with pride the things the BCEF has been able to do, including Stuff the Bus, Clayton Homes Turkey Trot, the Love Your School Library program and the It’s All About Kids campaign.
At the farewell gathering, educators and board members praised Silver for her dedication to the schools.
“She loves to serve. When educators called, we knew it was not a burden or a chore,” said board member LaNae Keith. “She was delighted she could come forward and serve the faculty and the kids. I know she is moving into a new service orientation, and I will be expecting to see her love of community arise in those areas.”