Sunday, May 19, 2013
Take Stock in Children to hold graduation ceremony

Florida Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett will be the guest of honor and speaker at the 13th Take Stock in Children graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 1.

"I'm very excited to be part of this ceremony and looking forward to my first visit to Monroe," Bennett said. "With the support of their Take Stock mentor and their families, these graduates have excelled and become models for all of their peers."

"We'll be honoring the accomplishments of the 52 graduates in the Class of 2013," said Superintendent of Schools Mark Porter. "Take Stock provides an unbelievable opportunity for motivated scholars from lower-income families to realize their dreams. Having Dr. Bennett here will make the event very special."

For nearly 30 years, Bennett has dedicated his life to educating students. He began his career in southern Indiana as a high school science teacher and basketball coach. He was appointed commissioner of education in Florida last summer. He is a national leader who has worked to set up the Common Core State Standards.

Take Stock graduates from across the county will come together to share and celebrate their accomplishments in a single ceremony at Marathon High School. The processional begins at 11:30 a.m., with a reception to follow. Families, friends, and mentors will all be there and the public is invited.

There are 250 active Take Stock students in 12 different schools in the Keys and 52 are graduating this year.

John Padget, president of the Monroe County Education Foundation, will present the students with their medallions and recognize the top students with "named scholar" certificates. "This designation recognizes each donor who has contributed $25,000 or more to our scholarship fund this year," Padget said. "It is with great excitement that I will be recognizing 12 different high performing students as our 2013 Named Scholars. Collectively, members of the Class of 2013 are receiving four year tuition- and fee-paid scholarships worth $1,716,000 at today's prices! We couldn't be prouder of them." To become a donor and or a mentor, please call Leslie Holmes at 305-293-1546, or email