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New Horizons Learning Center Mentor Program

"Light The World ... Mentor A Child"

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Year-End Awards Ceremony June 2010
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There was standing room only at the year-end Awards Ceremony at New Horizons Learning Center. Bob Fowler, lead tuba player with the Pops Orchestra, opened by singing two songs, including "You Raise Me Up."
Deborah Tainsh, author of Heart of a Hawk: One family's sacrifice & journey toward healing, was the keynote speaker.  She shared about her son, U.S. Army Sgt. Patrick Tainsh, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on February 11, 2004.  He chose to lay his life on the line so that other men, women, and children could receive freedom from fear of tyranny.  She encouraged the students to live fully and selflessly, on their road to success.  Tainsh gave each graduating student her book and a copy of her inspirational speech. (Deborah's web site).
New Horizons staff and teachers recognized the students' academic achievements and presented awards in all subjects and categories for Middle School and High School.  Graduating students were warmly cheered by everyone in attendance--teachers, staff, parents and friends, mentors, and Business Partners.
Several Business Partners with the New Horizons Mentor Program were recognized (all listed on back of program).  
  • Ray Dubuque, AT&T Area Director, was recognized for awarding the mentor program with a grant from AT&T, which made possible a field trip to Tyndall Air Force Base in the spring.  
  • Michael Grimes presented a generous donation from State Farm Insurance for the mentor program.
  • Don Adams, owner of the Chick-fil-A on 23rd Street, provided the food for the reception afterward.


Business Partners were each given a rosewood pen in a wooden business card holder case. Mentors were each given a personalized, framed tribute for their efforts throughout the year, provided by Steve and Judy Ransom, owners of Daystar Cleaning & Restoration.


Margaret Tidmore was recognized for her tireless efforts as Mentor Coordinator and Parent Liaison, as well as being selected Bay District School's Support Employee of the Year, and one of the state's top five finalists in the annual program.



School Incentive Store Opening, Christmas Luncheon December 2009
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New Horizons School Store Honors County Commissioner


Panama City, FL - December 10, 2009 - New Horizons Learning Center (NHLC) students will be able to shop for rewards and learn job skills at their new School Incentive Store, thanks to County Commissioner George Gainer.


The grand opening for the School Incentive Store took place December 10th at the New Horizons Learning Center annual Christmas Luncheon.  The store building was purchased with funds donated by Commissioner Gainer.


Kari Moseley, a Social Worker at the school, will be using a grant recently awarded from Bay Education Foundation to decorate and stock the store.  Students will be able to use the incentive points they earn each week to shop for reward items each Friday.  Moseley will use the store as an opportunity to prepare students for employment.  They will be taught job interview skills as they apply to work as a store clerk, and how to help customers in the store with their point purchases.


Representatives from the Panama City Beach Rotary (Jim Barr), AT&T (Ray Dubuque, District Director) and State Farm Insurance (Richard Tuggle) presented donations to NHLC and the mentoring program.


Mr. Ronnie Everitt, a Pearl Harbor survivor and resident of Clifford Chester Sims State Veterans' Nursing Home, was an honored guest at the luncheon.  Several students gave reports from a recent field trip to the nursing home.  Mentors accompanied their students as they interviewed veterans at the nursing home, and listened to first-hand accounts from past wars and conflicts.  All came away with a renewed sense of patriotism and gratitude for those who serve in the military.


Present at the event were:
  • Sheriff Frank McKeithen
  • Bill Husfelt, Supt. of Bay District Schools
  • Patti Butchikus and Danette Anderson representing Jimmy Patronis
  • Jerry Register, School Board member and NHLC Business Partner
  • Pat Sabiston, School Board member and NHLC Business Partner
  • Bobby Roberts, NHLC Student Advisory Chairman, mentor and Business Partner
  • George Gainer, County Commissioner, NHLC mentor and Business Partner
  • Bill Dozier, County Commissioner and NHLC mentor


Mentors and Business Partners also attended.  Many of this year's mentors are active military from Tyndall Air Force Base.  Business Partners support the mentor program, providing funding for field trips, incentive programs and special events.  


When introduced Sheriff McKeithen stated, “I’ve got the best job in the world.”  NHLC principal Craig Bush later commented, “I have to take exception with Sheriff McKeithen, because I’ve got the best job in the world.”


“My student is so thoughtful and full of life,” Jen Reinhardt said of the student she mentors.  “She has really grown into a beautiful young woman in the short five months I've spent with her. She was forced to grow up at a young age and has done it with such grace. She is the epitome of integrity and strength. I am proud of who she is and I am thankful she has touched my life.  I can only hope that I have made even a fraction of the impact on her life that she has on mine.”

The New Horizons Mentor Program does not receive any state funding, and is solely supported by contributions from the local community.  For information on how to become a Business Partner or mentor, contact Mentor Coordinator Margaret Tidmore or Youth Motivator Tammy Hughley at 873-7170.



Sims Veterans Home Field Trip November 2009
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In November 2009, our students and mentors filled the Clifford Chester Sims State Veterans Nursing Home. Our mentors helped the students prepare for the field trip during the month of October, with books in our Mentor Library on U.S. wars and conflicts since World War II. During our field trip, the mentors helped our students interview the veterans. Afterward, we all enjoyed a picnic and games at Under The Oaks Park. At our Christmas Luncheon, several students gave oral presentations on what they learned from the veterans. They truly gained an appreciation for the brave sacrifices our veterans made for the sake of freedom.