The Oklahoma State School Boards Association has honored two organizations that exhibit a strong commitment to community and furthering education as the recipients of the 2021 Barbara Lynch Community Partner Award.

Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation (BPSF) and Tilley Trucking of have displayed an extraordinary passion for their school district through support, donations and building community trust. Partnering with their school districts, BPSF and Tilley Trucking stepped up as a collaborative member of their community to improve the lives of the students, teachers and staff in their schools.

“The partnership between Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation, Tilley Trucking and their respective districts is an extraordinary example of community leaders investing in schools and children,” OSSBA Executive Director Shawn Hime. “Both organizations help create a foundation not only for trust, but for opportunities that will benefit students, school staff and their communities for decades.”

The winners recently were recognized at the annual Oklahoma State School Boards Association/Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration joint conference in Oklahoma City.

The BPSF has been crucial part of the funding initiatives for the Bartlesville school district for 35 years. Staying connected to the school and its community, BPSF has been essential to the district’s success. As a liaison for the school, BPSF has been able to communicate, with detailed knowledge, the district’s needs and priorities.

“Our foundation’s consistent and loyal support allows us to give our teachers and students opportunities they would not otherwise have,” Bartlesville Superintendent Chuck McCauley stated. “It reminds our teachers that they are appreciated by our community.”

BPSF has been integral to identifying financial and volunteer resources, including raising $300,000 in seed money for the expansion of the Bartlesville STEM curriculum, implementing a no-cost after-school running and mentoring program for 5th graders and collecting over $65,000 and 11,000 in-kind contributions in 2020 for personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also awards over $50,000 grants every year to teachers for projects and programs, allowing the district to empower teachers, engage students and enrich its curriculum.

“We credit the receipt of this award to the efforts our district has made to engage us in a true partnership as well as the loyal support of our corporate and individual donors throughout Bartlesville,” BPSF Executive Director Blair Ellis said. “Our community has a culture of prioritizing public education, and the Foundation is honored to be a part of that culture.”

Seeing the impact that COVID-19 had on the Empire School District, Kimberly Tilley, owner of Tilley Trucking, donated several items to the HOPE organization. Tilley provided a generous donation that helped buy gifts, shoes, laundry soap, hygiene products and items needed by the district’s students.

“We are not the only rural school she gave to this year,” Empire Public Schools Teacher and HOPE Sponsor Tammy Skiles stated. “We are very fortunate to have her partnering with our community.”

Created in honor of Barbara Lynch, who served on the Tulsa Technology Center Board of Education from 1986 to 2003, the community partner award honors organizations and businesses that go above and beyond for their schools. A committee of school board members that serve on the OSSBA Board of Directors reviews nominees and selects award recipients.