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Excellence in Education: Teachers, students, honored

By Staff | Apr 29, 2016

The Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce got the best teachers and students from all the Cape Coral area schools together Monday to celebrate their accomplishments.

The 24th annual Excellence in Education Awards were handed out at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, where one student and one teacher from each schools in Cape Coral and North Fort Myers were honored for what they are in and out of the classroom.

“It was a great event with a great turnout. We had a lot of great students and teachers who deserve the recognition that they get,” said Melanie Lempke, administrative generalist and head of the chamber education committee “It was a really good year.”

The teachers nominate the top students and the top teacher. The principal decides on who the winners are. They are then recognized at the banquet.

For the high school students, they write a short essay and the ones who wrote the best essays got the bigger scholarships. The best essay won a $2,000 scholarship, while the other six earned a $1,000 scholarship.

“In previous years, we would get the scholarships and base them on need. This year, the committee decided to do something different, with the winners getting scholarships,” Lempke said.

Much of the scholarship money was raised through “Taste of the Cape,” one of the Chamber’s largest fundraisers of the year.

Beside The Breeze, there were numerous sponsors who also pitched in, such as LCEC and J.J. Taylor.

Major Asselin, marketing director for J.J. Taylor and a member of the education committee, said the company takes education seriously and backs many of the Chamber’s education-based events.

“We sponsored some of their events through the Chamber with the purpose of it going toward education. One of those was Taste the Cape,” Asselin said. “It seemed like a really good fit for us.”