Denning will be “roasted” by educators and community leaders May 24 at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church.
Proceeds from the event will be used to fund education programs of the Chamber of Commerce and grants provided by the Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation.
The Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2003 to partner with Bradley County and Cleveland City Schools to raise community awareness, gain financial support, and enhance teaching and learning. This partnership supports classroom instruction in 27 schools for more than 15,000 students by providing funds for supplemental programs and materials not covered in regular school budgets.
“Dr. Denning was instrumental in establishing the Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation,” said Lynn Voelz, executive director of the Public Education Foundation.
“He has continued to support it financially by encouraging his educational team to give and by freely providing physical space for its offices.”
Denning has served on the foundation’s Executive Committee, providing invaluable direction and sharing his knowledge and experience with the Trustees.
“This leadership and his jokes, mostly funny, will be missed by the Foundation team,” Voelz said.
Specifically, the Foundation provides support through annual mini-grants, maxi-grants for targeted programs and projects, and National Board Certification for teachers.
“Dr. Denning has an incredible heart for education,” Voelz noted. “Dr. and Mrs. Denning have generously shared their love for teaching with our community. They backed up their commitment with generous financial support for mini-grants and National Board Certification for teachers (NBCT). Dr. Denning’s verbal support and charitable gifts were the impetus that established a fund for NBCT.”
To date, the NBCT fund has enabled 24 teachers (from both systems) to complete Take One!, a component of full certification, and six teachers to begin the process of National Board Certification. Their portfolios are submitted, and they take their exams in June.
“Considering there are currently only four NBCTs in Cleveland and Bradley schools, this is an amazing accomplishment and an incredible gift to our schools,” Voelz said.
The Cleveland/Bradley Chamber Foundation is also a 501(c)(3) organization that administers funds supporting many education programs offered through the Chamber.
“Education is one of the cornerstones of a growing and vibrant community,” said Sherry Crye, the Chamber’s director of workforce development.
“Education is also a vital part of all economic and community development — the two key missions of the Chamber of Commerce. We commit a lot of energy and resources toward the development of our students for the jobs of the future through a variety of workforce development programs.
Tennessee Scholars, Business/ Industry in the Classroom, Ethics in the Workplace, Teachers Academy, Teacher Shadowing and Job Shadowing “partner with and support the mission of Cleveland/Bradley County schools,” Crye explained.
“There are components within each of our programs that address preparing our students for tomorrow’s workforce.”
At present, 1,153 students are enrolled as Tennessee Scholars, a program that promotes a well-rounded curriculum and more rigorous courses, along with community service. Approximately 325 high school juniors participate in the annual Job Shadowing program. Teachers Academy has impacted 93 classroom teachers and hundreds of students since its inception in 1999.
She continued, “With the recent economic development announcements for our county, such as Arch Chemicals, Olin Chemicals, Wacker Polysilicon of North America and Whirlpool, it is very important that we continue to provide these programs to our local high school students to help prepare them to be the future employees in our local businesses and industries.”
Corporate tables for the “roast” are $300, and individual tickets are $30. Tickets are available at the Chamber. Call 472-6587 to make reservations.