CFFK and Generous Partners Support Teachers and Students

The 2018 Teachers of Merit (left to right): Henry Kaiser (Chemistry), Robert Eggers (Social Studies), Kyla Shoemaker (English), Ruth Holland (Exceptional Student Education), Mr. Wolkowsky, Christy Ledbetter (Science), Marjorie Rodriguez (Math), Chaz Jimenez (Social Studies), and KWHS Principal Amber Archer Acevedo. Not pictured: Shannon Perkins (Art).

CFFK and its generous partners have awarded $81,000 in teacher awards and student scholarships to further education, teaching and academic pursuits in the Florida Keys.

Eight Key West High School (KWHS) teachers received a total of $40,000 through the distinguished “David Wolkowsky 2018 Teachers of Merit Awards.” Key West philanthropist and businessman David Wolkowsky gives the awards annually to teachers who go the extra mile in giving their time, energy and expertise to students. CFFK has administered the awards since 2001.

The Community Foundation and its donors also awarded $41,000 to 11 deserving KWHS graduating seniors through scholarships to continue their education and awards in recognition of their academic achievements. Whether the students will be studying the arts, aviation, business, or a variety of other fields, the scholarships and awards funded by generous Keys individuals, families and businesses provide critical help for students to pursue their academic goals. The student scholarships and awards are:

  • Fred R. Cabanas Aviation Memorial Scholarship: $1,000 to Matthew Roy for pursuing a career in aviation.
  • Andrea Staci Carbonell Scholarship:  $500 to Thalia Conde for pursuing an education in the medical/health care field.
  • First State Bank Diego L. Caso Scholarship: $1,000 scholarship to Aidana Gumarova-Mercier for pursuing a business degree or banking-related field.
  • Jeff MacNelly Memorial Scholarship Award: $5,000 award to Harrison Dudley for artistic ability and interest in political cartoons.
  • Ross McKee Jr. Scholarship: $5,000 scholarship to Olivia Fettis for work/desire to achieve a college degree.
  • Floy V. Thompson Community Awareness Scholarship: $20,000 scholarship to Phuong Khanh Nguyen for encouraging future participation in community affairs.
  • Boyd & Elsie Hamilton Family Scholarship: $3,000 to Avery Zuelch and $2,000 to Finnian Valle. Both awards are for academic achievement.
  • Boyd’s Key West Campground Scholarship: $1,000 to Phuong Khanh Nguyen for academic achievement.
  • Katie Higgs-Wyrwicki Memorial Culinary Scholarship: $1,500 to James Nguyen for pursuing a career as a culinary professional.
  • Gail Heintz Scholarship Fund: $1,000 to Andy Muniz for pursuing a nursing degree.

“The Teachers of Merit Awards and the student scholarships are key examples of how philanthropy is positively impacting the future of education in the Florida Keys, inspiring our educational leaders and building future community leaders,” said Dianna Sutton, President and CEO of CFFK.