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May 5, 2017

Newton County School System (NCSS) and the Newton County Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce that Snapping Shoals EMC has been named the 2017 NCSS Partner of the Year. NCSS has approximately 160 individual school-business partnerships and each year the district selects one business partner that stands above the rest as the Partner of the Year. The award was presented by Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce president Ralph Staffins at the annual NCSS Partners in Education Reception/Chamber Coffee Call at the Board of Education on Wednesday, May 3.

Snapping Shoals EMC officially partners with two schools in the district—Veterans Memorial Middle School and Newton College and Career Academy (NCCA) and each school’s principal nominated the company for the Partner of the Year Award. Both principals noted that Snapping Shoals EMC provides not only significant financial support but also numerous volunteer hours at the schools.

According to Veterans Memorial Middle School principal, Dr. Takila Curry, each year, Snapping Shoals EMC provides a back-to-school breakfast for staff to show how much they are appreciated. Company representatives provide gifts for every staff member and also raffle off numerous door prizes.

“Snapping Shoals supports Veterans financially,” said Curry. “Each year they donate over $2,000 to the school.” She noted that the funds are used to support the school’s band, staff, and also to purchase monthly incentives for students.

In addition, the company also supports the students by providing job shadow opportunities to those interested in that field of study.

“They transport the students from Veterans to their facility where they learn a wealth of information about energy and engineering,” Curry explained.

Snapping Shoals EMC employees also spend a large amount of time at the school conducting learning lessons with the students in the school’s S.T.E.M. enrichment program.  This year, the company has also partnered with Veterans Memorial through the Junior Solar Sprint Competition, a classroom based hands-on, disciplinary program designed to teach principles of energy and science in an atmosphere that is fun and exciting for the students.

According to Curry, Snapping Shoals member services representatives will help students build small, solar-powered model cars using identical solar panels and motors. One car will be chosen from the school to compete against cars from other schools and districts in the competition.

“Students will gain a new level of confidence in the area of technology, math, engineering, science, and team building from the experience,” said Curry.

She added, “Snapping Shoals EMC understands the importance of exposing our students to S.T.E.M. on a consistent basis and having students make real world connections. With the support of such a phenomenal business partner, we are able to give our students experiences that they otherwise would not have been given. In addition, with their support, we are also able to shower our entire staff with praises, gifts and esteem boosters each year. We are proud to be in partnership with Snapping Shoals EMC and feel wholeheartedly that they deserve to be recognized for their long-term, consistent and heartfelt dedication to Veterans Memorial Middle School.”

Chad Walker, principal of Newton College & Career Academy also nominated Snapping Shoals EMC for the Partner of the Year award. According to Walker, Snapping Shoals EMC “has been a tremendous help to my program.”

He noted, “They are a true community partner because they have assisted me in multiple pathways, not just the obvious connection in agricultural mechanics.” The company’s assistance has allowed Walker to “train students to be more successful at the FFA Career Development Event that Georgia EMCs host.

Snapping Shoals has hosted or co-hosted a regional training for the contest for the past four years and at the training event, they provide hundreds of dollars’ worth of tools to the students who perform the very best at the event.

“It’s safe to say that over the four years I have been at NCCA, my students have walked away with over $1,000 worth of tools.”

The company also recently strengthened the real-life experience of electrical wiring for the students by providing materials needed to safely wire electrical outlets throughout Chimney Park.

“Students wired them in agricultural mechanics class and then assisted with the installation at Chimney Park,” Walker explained.

According to Walker, the company’s assistance has benefitted multiple programs at the school.

“Snapping Shoals also assisted with the installation of a bird platform to be monitored in Wildlife Management class and they have made the addition to our livestock facility possible by donating and setting poles for our structure,” said Walker. “I can’t begin to count the number of dump truck loads of wood shavings that they have brought for use in our livestock facility.”

The company even donated a Ford F150 truck to be used for both classroom content as well as FFA/livestock related activities.

Moreover, Snapping Shoals does not limit their support to financial donations. Members of the company are often in the schools volunteering their time to support programs like the NCCA Work-Based Learning and Entrepreneurial Business Incubator program, the school’s College and Career Expo, and both the NCCA Networking Luncheon and the Aspiring Young Professionals Work-Based Learning Dinner.

Both principals noted that Snapping Shoals EMC has not limited their support strictly to the school level. For many years, they have supported the school system’s New Teacher Induction/Orientation program by providing numerous gift cards and other door prizes for the event. They have also donated funds for the NCSS Book Bus and provided several thousand dollars in classroom grants to Newton County School System teachers. Snapping Shoals EMC has truly made a difference not only at the school but system level in Newton County.  

Representing and accepting the award on behalf of Snapping Shoals EMC at the NCSS/Chamber of Commerce Partners in Education Reception were Frank Askew, Victor Hurst, Todd Mooney, Chris Wood, Todd Phillips, Brent Meredith, and Ray Cheek.

“We are honored to receive this today,” said Frank Askew, COO of Snapping Shoals EMC. “Service to others is a key tenant of the cooperative Snapping Shoals EMC. We can think of no better way to serve others than to partner in the education process within the territory that we serve. Beyond that I’d really like to call out the educators in the room and say thank you because what you do is vital, it’s important, it’s the cornerstone to make sure that our young people succeed and in turn our community succeed.”

“As the president of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce, it makes me so proud to know that we have businesses like Snapping Shoals EMC in our community,” said Staffins. “They truly want to make a difference in our community and make a difference in the lives of our children.”

For more information on the NCSS Partners in Education program, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools at