CLAY COUNTY – Wells Fargo Regional Director Matt Hutchins thought he was traveling to Tallahassee recently as part of his volunteer duties for the Clay Education Foundation – helping to advocate for state matching funds for local contributions for classroom innovation and teacher support. It made perfect sense to him since for most of the eight years he has served as a volunteer leader for the nonprofit organization it had no paid staff and limited board engagement.
Little did he know that the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations and Volunteer Florida had teamed up to surprise him with the “Excellence in Volunteerism” award at its luncheon at the Florida State Capitol.
Hutchins was singled out from among 13,215 regular volunteers for the local education foundations aligned with Florida’s countywide school districts for his dedication and tenacity through times of transition for Clay’s foundation.
“There are many volunteers who dedicate time, money and talent, but Matt really led our organization through some challenging times and has set us up for long-term sustainability and success,” said Clay Education Foundation Executive Director Makayla Buchanan. “He dug in with the hard work of developing a board handbook, establishing policies and procedures, recruiting volunteers and helping us implement more impactful programming.”
State Sen. Rob Bradley (Rep.-5) joined in the surprise presentation, thanking Hutchens for his selfless work for Clay County teachers, students and schools.
This is the fifth year the CFEF has partnered with Volunteer Florida to honor a local education foundation volunteer on a statewide level.
“Local education foundation board members and volunteer leaders are often behind-the-scenes unsung heroes who are helping to raise funds and provide targeted support for students, teachers and schools in their community,” said Mary Chance, president of the Consortium. “Each of them understands how much a strong public school system means to their community. It is so gratifying to be able to give special recognition to one each year through our partnership with Volunteer Florida.”