Tifton Gazette

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January 24, 2013

Gibbs to be honored with mathematics chair

TIFTON — Sara Bowen Gibbs dedicated her professional life to the teaching of mathematics to Tift County students. In her will, she provided for a $40,000 endowment to the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence to establish its 11th Academic Chair, which will benefit local math teachers and students forever.

Over the 24 years of the foundation’s existence, 628 grants totaling $399,656 have been awarded to allow teachers to put their best ideas into practice.

Gibbs made the provisions for the “chair” back in 2005 through her friend and attorney Greg Sowell (former foundation board member) and Foundation Executive Director Mike Brumby. It was her firm decision that the gift remain anonymous for the remainder of her life. The Sara Bowen Gibbs Mathematics Chair will generate its first grant this spring.

Current Foundation Director Carla Miles had this to add about her former teacher: “I was in the eighth grade at Tifton Junior High when I fist met Sara Gibbs. I was very fortunate to have had her for eighth grade math. She was a little dynamo — she walked fast and talked fast. She taught math with that same exuberance and knew how to make it important, as well as interesting, to her students. She didn’t demand respect, she earned respect, and we all loved her. My relationship with Ms. Gibbs didn’t end in the eighth grade. She continued to be a positive influence on me as we maintained a close relationship until the time of her death. She was a lady in every sense of the word and an extraordinary woman whom I loved and respected. I am so happy that her wonderful legacy lives on.”

The following is a description of the “chair” as it appears in the foundation’s Academic Chairs brochure:

“In accordance with her wishes, the Sara Bowen Gibbs Mathematics Chair was endowed posthumously in 2012 through her estate. As the foundation’s 11th Academic Chair, it will generate annual grants to provide opportunities for students to develop their mathematical skills. Sara was a native of Tift County, born, raised and educated in Ty Ty. She began her higher education at Georgia State Women’s College in Valdosta and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in mathematics from the University of Georgia. She was elected to Phi Kappa Phi and was named an honorary scientific by Xi Phi Xi. All of her life, she was an avid University of Georgia fan.

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  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

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