Three Augustans devoted to supporting education received the 2013 "Friends of Education" award.

Three Augustans devoted to supporting education received the 2013 "Friends of Education" award, given by the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force. Awardees from Augusta were Armfield Dentistry; Jaime Simpson, Founder of Project Jai Play; and Tera Camp, Vice-President of the Lincoln PTO.

Recipients of the South Central region of Kansas School Public Relations Association (KanSPRA) received their awards at a formal brunch held at Goddard USD 265's Eisenhower Middle School Saturday, April 13. The emcee for the event was Sierra Scott, whose Sunday evening show "It's All Good" (cable channel 5) recognizes "good stuff" going on in metro Wichita.

Armfield Dentistry was nominated by Dr. John Black, Augusta USD 402 Superintendent. Armfield Dentistry has been an active business-citizen in our community for 25 years. Also for 25 years, through their professional practice, Drs. Mark and Melodee have provided free yearly dental screenings and dental care education for students in Lincoln and Ewalt Elementary Schools and plan to expand this community service into the high school next year. Furthermore, Dr. Mark is active in the Friends of Augusta (formerly the Optimist Club) organization. For many years, this organization has sponsored the Students of the Month program, which recognizes four fifth graders, one eighth grader, and one senior from public schools and a fifth grader from St. James Catholic School each month of the school year with a luncheon that includes their principal and their parents. For 10 years, Dr. Mark has been the organization's chairperson for this program and is instrumental in putting the luncheon together each month, printing the certificates, purchasing the frames, and acting as emcee at the luncheons. Through these efforts, Armfield Dentistry has had a positive impact on many hundreds of school children and their families, as well as on the school culture in our community.

Jaime Simpson was nominated by Mrs. Kim Clark, Garfield Elementary Principal. In addition to volunteering in classrooms and donating her professional expertise to design flyers for our site council and other school projects, Jaime Simpson has been a tireless cheerleader and promoter of Project Jai Play (PJP), which has raised tens of thousands of dollars to provide soft surface playgrounds for Augusta children. With her leadership, PJP has already accomplished Phase One at Garfield--soft surface for the early childhood and kindergarten playground--and has moved into Phase Two--soft surface for the grades 1-5 playground. PJP has identified Ewalt Elementary as the next recipient of soft surface, and Jaime says PJP won't stop until every playground in Augusta has soft surface! Inspired by her daughter Jaiden, Project Jai Play exists because of Jaime's leadership and promotional skills, not to mention her passion and vision for all children to have access to safe playgrounds.

Tera Camp was nominated by Mr. Lyle Dosser, Lincoln Elementary Principal. Mr. Dosser says, "Tera is a positive role model for parents and students at Lincoln Elementary. She is vice-president of our PTO and a volunteer for many of the activities at school. She is instrumental in the success of fundraisers that PTO sponsors. She is positive, caring, and willing to work with all staff members and classes. She takes the time to help students any way she can. We appreciate her hard work and all she does to help make Lincoln a great school."

The Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force is made up of eight professional education organizations. The Task Force is responsible for some prestigious state-level awards given to individuals and schools across the state each year. Click on the organization's name to learn more about it.