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Kelley receives state retired teachers’ scholarship

Special to the Times
The Apalach Times

The Franklin/Gulf Retired Educators are pleased to announce that Krista Kelley, a member of the recently graduated Franklin County High School Class of 2020, has been awarded one of this year’s state scholarships.

Each year, the Florida Retired Educators Foundation (FREF) awards scholarships to high school seniors who plan to go to college, major in education and become a teacher in the state of Florida.

A $4,000 scholarship is presented to the recipients over a four year period, with $1,000 awarded each year. The foundation is a part of the Florida Retired Educators Association which includes the local unit.

“We are delighted that the state selection committee chose Krista as one of their recipients,” said Elinor Mount-Simmons, president of F/GREA.

Since 1980, the foundation has awarded scholarships in excess of $1 million to more than 400 students who wanted to become, and became, Florida teachers.

“Our local unit has had two FCHS graduates to receive FREF scholarships, this year Krista, and in 2017, Melody Hatfield, and that’s great for our small local unit,” said Mount-Simmons. “Melody completed her student teaching at FCS this past year and will be employed there this coming school year as a third grade teacher.”

As chair of F/GREA’s scholarship committee, Annada Faircloth communicates with high school guidance counselors in both Franklin and Gulf counties, making sure they have the scholarship information to distribute to interested seniors.

With the primary requirement being the student must plan to become a teacher, Faircloth said “there have been years when we had no applications turned in, but this year we did and we were all excited about that.

Along with winning the FREF scholarship, Krista also was recipient of F/GREA’s local $500 scholarship.

“We are always happy when a local student applies for our state scholarship and even happier when their application is well-received by the scholarship selection committee and they are chosen as a winner,” said Arlene Oehler, F/GREA’s liaison with the state foundation. “When we were notified that Krista was a recipient, it was very good news for F/GREA.”

Krista, the granddaughter of Beverly Kelley, also a retired teacher and a F/GREA member, will be attending the University of West Florida in the fall, majoring in elementary education. After college, she plans to return to Franklin County to teach.

“F/GREA is very proud of Krista and we look forward to her returning and beginning her teaching career in her home county,” said Mount-Simmons.