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SEF Awards Record Amount in Circle of Success Grants

Circle of Success honorees and their honored teachersThe Sherman Education Foundation (SEF) has provided over $130,000 through 97 project grants across the district this year through its annual Circle of Success Recognition Event, the most funds ever awarded to provide exciting educational opportunities to Sherman ISD students.

“The tremendous support we receive from the Sherman community is truly moving,” said Kathy Bickerstaff, executive director of SEF. “This investment in local schools and educators is crucial in building leaders and professionals who can carry on the Bearcat legacy.”

Grant recipients were surprised earlier in April as SEF volunteers traveled campus to campus to reveal the winners. These grants cover costs for enriching educational experiences, like field trips, or for special projects, like 3D printers, and funds are provided through community sponsorships given through the Circle of Success Recognition event, which marked 24 years Thursday night.

“Through the years, the Circle of Success has awarded hundreds of amazing educators and enabled unique opportunities for thousands of students,” Bickerstaff said. “When these students grow older, those opportunities become special memories, and they give back so other students can experience the same.”

Grants this year are funding STEM electrical engineering lab kits at Piner and Sherman middle schools as well as astronomy equipment at Piner. High-level math materials and several science, technology, engineering, art and math projects are also being awarded across SISD elementary schools. You can view the complete list here.

“SEF is dedicated to providing the support needed for deeper learning and innovative educational programs that enhance our students’ curriculum,” Bickerstaff said. “Without the generous support of the Sherman community, none of this would be possible.”

The event also recognized seven outstanding Sherman High School seniors selected based on their character, service and leadership. Teachers first nominated students, and then finalists were selected by SEF Board members who are not parents of SHS students. Those seven students in turn honored SISD educators who played a major role in their education and character development.

Those seven students and their honored teachers are:

  • Tanner Carter, senior, and SHS teacher Sherry Young
  • Jackson Dominick, senior, and SHS teacher Amelia Antillon
  • Thalia Estes, senior, and SHS teacher and coach Rodney Pilcher
  • Kate Foley, senior, and SHS teacher and coach Jessica Dunlap
  • Cooper Morgan, senior, and SHS teacher and teacher Alan McDougal
  • Javier Rodrigo, senior, and SHS teacher and choir director Heidi Scheibmeir
  • Garrett Wilkens, senior, and SHS teacher Cheryl Wroe

You can hear from them and their honored educator here.

Those interested in sponsoring Circle of Success or donating to the Sherman Education Foundation should contact Bickerstaff at or 903-891-6431.