Coach Cowen Is a Winner!

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Lady Marlins Head Coach Stephanie Cowen was awarded TABC 2016-2017 2A Dean Weese Outstanding Coach Award.


Academic Excellence Awards 2016-2017

Monday, May 22, 2017
The Academic Excellence Recognition Ceremony for Olsen Elementary School & Brundrett Middle School for the 2016-2017 school year was held at the Port Aransas Community Center.

During the ceremony Dylan Merchant received the Accelerated Reader of the Year award. Bill Furlow, son of the late Barbara Furlow, presented the award that was given in his mother's memory. Bill was able to speak about his mother and her love for reading.

L to R: Bill Furlow, Dylan Merchant, Molly Furlow, Ansel Furlow,
June Furlow & Bruce Furlow (seated)

2017 PAEF Grant Awards total over $124,000!

A big THANK YOU to our community for your support!


PAEF Treats PA High School Art Class to a CC Museum of Art Trip

In 2014, PAEF funded a field trip for the Port Aransas art class to the Corpus Christi Museum of Art. Use the link below to view a video of their trip.

Art Adventure Video

A Letter to Members of PAEF

I recently read an article discouraging young people from becoming teachers. The teacher-author said that if he had it to do over again, he would never choose a career with such low pay, little appreciation, and lack of support from parents, community, and society. Bless his heart. He didn’t work in Port Aransas.

In Port Aransas, in April, teachers feel appreciated. Our community is there for us all year, sometimes in the forefront, sometimes in the background. But in April, we see the culmination of their hard work, generosity and selflessness, as the members of the Port Aransas Education Foundation award teachers and students at PAISD thousands of dollars in grants.

I am buoyed by your support. It keeps me afloat when standards and assessments change and paperwork and pressure threaten to drown me. It lifts my spirits when I am struggling to get seniors to understand that graduation is not in March but in June. It provides a smile when I have given my lunch up three days in a row to tutor a struggling student. I am there because you are there. We are a team.

Of course, the grants you gave me this year will have tangible results as well: I am already adding paper and digital books to my classroom library, and planning for the phenomenal national English teacher conference in Boston in November. These things will directly and positively impact my students.

But more than the tangible is the intangible. I have a student right now who wants to be an English teacher. I will show her the article by the teacher who says, “Don’t do it!” And I will tell her: Bless his heart. He didn’t teach in Port Aransas. Thank you, PAEF.

Melanie Mayer
(also published in South Jetty, April 25, 2013)

What Teachers Have to Say:
PAEF Funded iPads in Class

Last year, PAEF awarded Kris Jones a grant to purchase iPads for use in his classes.

The world geography textbooks provided by the state are over ten years old now. Mr. Jones uses them as a resource, but of course much has changed in the world in the last decade!

I follow TCEA (instructional technology group) on Twitter, and noticed they had sent out a tweet about the National Geographic World Atlas app being offered for free in the App Store on that day. I let Mr. Jones know, and he was able to download the app for free on his classroom iPads. Later, I visited Mr. Jones’ World Geography class and observed how the students are using iPads in the classroom.

The students are studying Central and Southwest Asia. Part of the key understandings for each unit of geography are climate, land coverings, settlement patterns, and resources. Mr. Jones had them working in groups on an assignment to help them understand the key understandings. Each group was using textbooks and a paper world atlas as resources, but each group also had an iPad with the National Geographic app loaded. This app is updated regularly, so the information is current. The students were also using the internet on the iPad to learn more about climate changes, reasons for settlement patterns, etc. in this region.

Thanks again for funding grants that allow our students to learn in the best way possible!

Sharon McKinney

Sharon McKinney Recognized by TASSP

PAEF congratulates Sharon McKinney, our Port Aransas High School principal. Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) recently recognized Sharon McKinney as Outstanding Principal of the Year in the organization’s Region 2, the coastal area of South Texas. The accolade also makes her eligible to win the state’s Outstanding Principal of the Year next summer.

McKinney has initiated advancements in technology studies and college preparation during her three years as principal.

One initiative McKinney has helped advance is the expansion of dual credit classes in which high school students can earn both high school and college credit simultaneously. The online curriculum, which was originally limited to online recovery courses, has also been expanded to include many additional classes such as advanced placement biology and physics.

Click here to

Ms Cook and Ms Martinez ask: "How would you picture America?

Marilynn Cook and BMS art teacher Philina Martinez put together an exciting program for BMS students. Based on the Picturing America project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, this program incorporates art history into reading and critical thinking skills. 

The students are challenged to act as art curators for an art exhibit at Brundrett Middle School. Their task is to help select the 15 pieces of art work for our exhibit. Click here to visit the website and learn more about this exciting program. 

Melanie Mayer Wins Two Prestigious Awards!

PAEF congratulates and is proud of PAHS ELA teacher/PAISD ELA Coordinator Melanie Mayer for having earned not one but TWO prestigious statewide awards! Melanie has been a recipient of PAEF grants multiple times and we greatly appreciate her dedication to her students.

First, she has been selected at one of the 2011 Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award by Humanities Texas.

Humanities Texas presents these awards annually to Texas social studies and language arts teachers who have made exemplary contributions in teaching, curriculum development, and extracurricular programming. Each recipient, chosen from a pool of applicants, receives a $5,000 prize, with an additional $500 for his or her school to purchase instructional materials.

Representatives from Humanities Texas were here on January 2, 2012 to present the award to Melanie.

Second, Melanie has been named a recipient of the Texas Exes Award for Outstanding Teachers.

Each year, in cooperation with the Texas Exes alumni association and the UT College of Education, the University recognizes ten Texas high school teachers and two elementary school teachers with the Texas Exes Award for Outstanding Teachers. She will receive a $2250 prize.

Melanie will be honored at a ceremony in Austin on February 24, 2012.

Marilynn Cook Gives PAISD AND PAEF International Recognition

Marilynn Cook spoke about the Port Aransas Education Foundation (PAEF) and the recent PAEF-funded "Lunch and Learn" program at the Kappa Delta Pi International Convocation Crossroads of Excellence 2011 Idea Swap in November 2011.

In her brief overview of the program, Marilynn plans to tell the international audience that, in the "Lunch and Learn" program, students in the Port Aransas Independent School District (PAISD) conducted a study in neuroscience to uncover how the brain learns. The goals of this project were to help students understand their unique learning strengths and to raise awareness about learning challenges. Students used what they learned in the project to understand and overcome their own learning challenges and help their fellow students have the same success.

During a brief history of the funding of the project, she will let the convocation attendees know that the PAEF is focused on creating exceptional and enriching educational experiences for the students, projects that encourage students and teachers to "think outside the test."

Marilynn will talk about the success of "Lunch and Learn" as she shares quotes from some of the students and tells the story of students who discovered their best way to learn and then became more successful in class and more confident in their ability to learn. She will also mention the continued success of the program through the students' participation in Brain Awareness Week, a program form the Dana Alliance that increases public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

Click here to read Marilynn's handout for her presentation at this prestigious event.

In the News

We are grateful to the Port Aransas South Jetty Newspaper for their awesome coverage of the Foundation. Below are links to past news stories involving the PAEF.

Port Aransas South Jetty PAEF Awards Ceremony
PAEF makes awards
Zach Perkins

The entire Port Aransas ISD student body waved blue and white pompoms and cheered loudly as the Port Aransas Education Foundation awarded teachers with grants at an assembly on Thursday, April 13...

KRIS TV News - PAEF Awards Ceremony
Thursday morning, the Port Aransas Education Foundation held a grant awards ceremony, announcing awards totaling more than $124,000 for the city's education system.

Port Aransas Elementary, middle and high school teachers received grants from the foundation. More...

02/05/2015 - Spelling bee winner advances
... runner-up and will be Parker’s alternate. The Port Aransas bee was held on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the school district’s …

02/12/2015 - B-O-U-N-C-E forward
Education notes ... put the wheels into motion, but Anne Denton (parent of two Port Aransas high school students) contacted me just before our Christmas ...

02/12/2015 - McKinney tops in Texas
...Reporter Port Aransas High School Principal Sharon McKinney helps seniors Austin Scott (left)...

02/26/2015 - Parker takes home second place in South Texas Regional Bee
... bee, held at the Solomon Ortiz International Center. Port Aransas sixth grader Zach Parker beat 90 top student spellers from throughout …

03/26/2015 - Finding Marlin pride everywhere
Education notes ... Lisa Shelton Marlin pride! It is a way of life at Port Aransas ISD. It may be so imbedded in our daily lives that one might not …

04/23/2015 - Funds for the future
Story help cheer on teachers who had grants approved by the Port Aransas Education Foundation on Wednesday, April 15, at the Doyle Marek Gym in ...

2015-04-22 - 35p1.jpg
Image help cheer on teachers who had grants approved by the Port Aransas Education Foundation on Wednesday, April 15, at the Doyle Marek Gym in ...

04/23/2015 - What makes a district successful
Education notes... that our students deserve nothing less than an excellent education to lay the foundation for a successful life. An excellent education...

05/22/2014 - Reflecting on a good year - Story
... dreams come true in so many ways. I commend the effort of PAEF and look forward to working with them and for them as they continue to ...
05/08/2014 - PAEF awards 74 grants - Story
... She won the card for anwsering the question, ‘What does PAEF stand for?’; teachers, staff and PAEFmembers pose with a giant check after grants were awarded. Seventyfour ...
05/08/2014 - Teachers awarded almost $114,000 in grants - Story
... on Wednesday, April 30, to partake in the eighth annual PAEF awards ceremony. Those who were awarded grants were asked to dance, ... included in the fun and were asked trivia questions by PAEFmembers in order to receive gift cards. All of the grants that were ...
05/08/2014 - It takes a village to raise a child - Story
... community at the recent Port Aransas Education Foundation (PAEF) grant awards assembly. The PAEFfunded all 74 grants that PAISD teachers submitted this spring! Those 74 ...
03/20/2014 - Music of the night - Story
... once-in-alife time experience. I am so appreciative of the PAEF and this community supporting fine arts education. Attending live ...

12/19/2013 - The desire to be successful - Story
... Port Aransas Education Foundation. When I have spoken to PAEF representatives, I always have felt almost guilty in having our staff ... so much and has already paid taxes. After attending the PAEF Fiesta, I was in disbelief at the dedication of the community and the ...
11/21/2013 - Family matters - Story
... delivery and quality of instruction with the support of PAEF. Seeing half of the raised revenue (school taxes) going to the poorer ...
10/31/2013 - PAEF donates $3,000 for schools’ softball scoreboard - Story
The Port Aransas Education Foundation has donated $3,000 to help toward the purchase and installation of a scoreboard honoring the late Karen Hall. The scoreboard will be at the Paul Matthews Softball Field on the corner of Beach and Station streets .
05/09/2013 - Our helping community - Story
... to have the best academic learning opportunities and the PAEF delivers! This community also champions the teachers and staff of …
April 18, 2013 - PAEF awards record $112,000 in grants

January 5, 2012 - Getting it right at BMS
January 26, 2012 - A lot of help from our friends
April 5, 2012 - School grants to be awarded
April 12, 2012 - We've come a long way
April 19, 2012 - PAEF tops $100,000 in grants awarded
May 3, 2012 - Grants enable high tech
May 24, 2012 - Year is result of hard work
October 4, 2012 - Port Aransas kids learn with iPads
October 11, 2012 - Foundation raises $115,000
October 2012 - Fiesta in October
October 11, 2012 - Brain Food

January 27, 2011 – Cinnamon Shore Home Tour Proceeds to PAE
February 10, 2011 – GPS & GIS at PAHS
March 17, 2011 – All Aboard!
April 14, 2011 – PAEF awards grants to PAISD
April 28, 2011 – 5th Grade MARE Sea World Trip

February 11, 2010 - Austin Field Trip
February 25, 2010 - All Dressed Up
April 8, 2010 - Education Foundation to Award Grants Friday
April 15, 2010 - Grant Awards Top '09
May 6, 2010 - Getting Technical
June 23, 2010 - Susan Castor Home Tours to Benefit PAEF
July 22, 2010 - Ramsden Attends Nursing Conference
August 19, 2010 - A Fond Farewell
September 2, 2010 - "a little umph!"
September 30, 2010 - Young Writers
September 30, 2010 - Author Visits
September 30, 2010 - iPads Popular
October 7, 2010 - Another New Record!

January 15, 2009 - Grant Used to Update Welding Technology

February 26, 2009 - A Big Night
March 5, 2009 - Starry, Starry Night
March 26, 2009 - Brain Work
April 2, 2009 - PAEF Will Award Grants on Friday
April 9, 2009 - PAEF Makes a Big Difference
April 9, 2009 - Grants total nearly $60,000
April 23, 2009 - Education Notes
May 7, 2009 - Tasting and Tour for Education
May 7, 2009 - Watching the Birdies
June 4, 2009 - Idea House Opens to Public
June 4, 2009 - Substance Abuse is Topic
July 16, 2009 - Centurytel Grants PAEF $5,000
September 10, 2009 - Mardi Gras event will aid school

September 17, 2009 - Better than ever

September 17, 2009 - Mardi Gras biggest ever!
September 17, 2009 - Idea House tours wrap up
September 24, 2009 - High School offers dispatch program

September 24, 2009 - Mardi Gras 

October 8, 2009 - Mardi Gras Spirit

October 8, 2009 - Quilting for a Cause

February 14, 2008 - Deadline Set for Grant Applications
February 21, 2008 - Friday is Deadline to Seek Grants
April 3, 2008 - Education Foundation to Award Grants
April 3, 2008 - Real Life Connections!
April 10, 2008 - PAEF to Award Grants at Three Ceremonies
April 10, 2008 - Jill Smith Admitted to UMass Summer Institute
April 17, 2008 - PAEF Gets "A" for School Grants
April 17, 2008 - In the Money!
May 8, 2008 - I Never Knew...
May 29, 2008 - Yee-Haw!
June 5, 2008 - Science Camp Scholarships Offered
August 28, 2008 - Variety of New Courses Offered at PAHS
September 4, 2008 - BMS Gets New Books, Bookcases
September 4, 2008 - Mardi Gras in October Raises Money for Schools
September 11, 2008 - Mardi Gras!
September 18, 2008 - Selling Mardi Gras Tickets
September 25, 2008 - Mardi Gras Tickets Limited
September 25, 2008 - Making Music
October 2nd, 2008 - Mardi Gras to Raise Funds for PAEF
October 9, 2008 - Partying Down, Ponying Up
October 9, 2008 - Volunteers, Donors Create Reading Garden
December 11, 2008 - Donate Locally During Christmas Season

April 26, 2007 - Foundation Awards $20,000+ in Grants
May 24, 2007 - PAEF Funds Alamo Trip
August 16, 2007 - Foundation Slates Mardi Gras
September 20, 2007 - Education Group Slates Mardi Gras
September 27, 2007 - October Mardi Gras Offers Food, Fantasies
October 4, 2007 - Mardi Gras!
October 11, 2007 - Mardi Gras Puts Money on Education
October 11, 2007 - True Colors
November 15, 2007 - Foundation Holds Basketball Drawings
December 6, 2007 - Cool Tech Stuff at School
December 13, 2007 - Quite the Quilters

September 21, 2006 - Newly Formed Foundation Plans to Enrich School District
October 12, 2006 - A Rainbow of Possibilities
October 19, 2006 - Foundation Draws Crowd to Kickoff
November 9, 2006 - Anonymous Donor gives $5,000 to Foundation
December 12, 2006 - Foundation Gives $1,200 for Music

Newsletters for Download

Please feel free to download and print our newsletters.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact Jana Snow at

2013 PAEF Newsletter

2011 PAEF Newsletter

2009 PAEF Newsletter

2008 PAEF Newsletter

2007 PAEF Newsletter 

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Last update: 06/09/2017
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