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September 15, 2016

NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey and Newton Federal Bank president, Johnny Smith. 

Although Newton Federal Bank was the official host of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce’s recent September Coffee Call, there was one item on the agenda that bank representatives knew absolutely nothing about. Just before the close of the program, during which several members of the Newton Federal team spoke about the importance of supporting the local community, Chamber president Ralph Staffins asked Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey to come forward for a special presentation. 

Much to Newton Federal Bank president Johnny Smith’s surprise, Fuhrey presented him with a Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) Partnership Commendation award recognizing the bank and its employees for “their support of public education in the community and dedication to Georgia’s youth.”

Fuhrey and school board chair Almond Turner, on behalf of the Newton County Board of Education, nominated Newton Federal Bank for the GSBA honor to acknowledge their outstanding support of the school system. 

"We were shocked,” said Smith after the presentation. “It was a total surprise. We are very honored and thankful to the school system for nominating us. We take great pride in our association with the school system and our partners because we feel it's extremely important for us as a community bank to be involved and work very closely with our schools.” 

Newton Federal Bank has actively participated in the Partners in Education program for many years and is currently an official partner with four schools—Middle Ridge Elementary, Porterdale Elementary, Liberty Middle, and Eastside High. In addition to significant financial support, Newton Federal Bank employees volunteer numerous hours at each of the four schools. They serve on school councils, assist at fall festivals, book fairs, and literacy programs, and provide awards for spelling bees, accelerated reader programs, and more. Newton Federal also spearheaded the implementation of the EverFi program at all high schools in the district to promote student financial literacy. 

“One of our three pillars of our purpose centers around education by way of financial literacy,” explained Kenneth Lumpkin, executive vice president of Newton Federal Bank. “Whereas other companies may measure success by the dollars on their bottom line, our success is actually driven by our purpose.” 

Because of their tremendous and continued support, Newton Federal Bank was named the 2016 NCSS Partner of the Year. The principals from each of Newton Federal’s partner schools had joined together to nominate them for the district’s annual award which recognizes a business or organization that goes above and beyond in support of a school. 

“Our employees look forward each year to planning the events and the sponsored projects for each of our schools as well as our involvement in the system with our financial literacy program,” said Smith. In fact we're already planning bigger and better things with each of our partners this year."

“Newton Federal takes the definition of partnership to another level,” said Superintendent Fuhrey. “I am grateful to the employees and board of Newton Federal Bank for their commitment to our students, staff, and community. They have committed their human and financial resources to ensure our students' experiences are enhanced. Newton Federal Bank is an outstanding partner in education and very deserving of the GSBA Partnership Commendation.”