Foundation Selects Four Honorees for Wall of Distinction
Four exceptional honorees have been selected by the Rogers Public Education Foundation to be added to its Wall of Distinction this spring. This special honor will go to former Rogers teacher and school board member Joye Kelley, Rogers graduate and veteran hero Cpl. Aaron Mankin, Rogers graduate and attorney David Matthews, and community altruist Virginia Mocivnik.
Friends, family, colleagues, foundation supporters and the entire community are invited to help honor these notable individuals who have helped strengthen both the Rogers schools and community at a gala fundraiser March 14 at the Embassy Suites. Tickets to this celebration will cost $100 and will be available at Arvest branch locations starting Feb. 14. Tickets will be offered at a discount for current or retired Rogers teachers and staff.
Proceeds from the event will help the foundation continue its mission to promote and enhance the quality of education in the community by raising funds and distributing grants to teachers for additional materials or special classroom needs.
The names and special accomplishments of each honoree will mounted on the Wall of Distinction at Rogers High School and Rogers Heritage High School location. The wall on each campus is located prominently outside the auditorium for visitors to see.
“We hope the community will join us in honoring these very distinguished individuals who have made their community so proud,” said Angie Tucker-Ridley, the president of the Rogers Public Education Foundation Board. “The Wall of Distinction gala is a great way to celebrate individuals who have brought honor to the Rogers schools and community.”
Kelley recently retired from the Rogers Board of Education after serving for 29 years, 20 of which were as board president. During Kelley's tenure, the Rogers School District built 14 schools, including a high school. Under her leadership, the Rogers school board intervened in the Lake View lawsuit that examined the equity and adequacy of education funding in Arkansas, and insisted Arkansas make funding education a top priority.
Kelley was an elementary teacher for 10 years including three in the Rogers School District at Westside Elementary. After joining the board of education, Kelley served on
countless school-related committees to study curriculum, policies, facilities,
boundaries, a second high school, and millage campaigns, as well as on the Rogers Public Education Foundation and the Arkansas School Boards Association board. In 1992, she was named Outstanding School Board Member of the Year by the Arkansas School Boards Association. Kelley’s other civic service included leadership roles in the Rogers Community Schools Recreation Board, the United Fund, the Rogers Centennial Commission, Main Street Rogers, the League of Women Voters, and the Benton County Election Commission.
Mankin was a 2000 honors graduate of Rogers High School. While serving as a combat correspondent in Iraq, Mankin was severely wounded when a bomb destroyed his 26-ton amphibious assault vehicle, fatally wounding six other Marines. Since then he has undergone seven years of treatment, surgeries, and physical therapy. In 2006, he became the first patient in UCLA's Operation Mend, a pioneering program which combines the best of the military's resources with the skills of UCLA Health System for a comprehensive and collaborative approach to healing military personnel wounded and disfigured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mankin has become a spokesman for Operation Mend as well as for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
For his military service, Mankin was awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for Valor. In December, 2008, Cpl. Mankin was awarded the USO's George Van Cleave Military Leadership Award and named Marine of the Year. He is often asked to present his perspective on the care and support of wounded veterans at national events. In March of 2013 he will be the keynote speaker for CNN's Annual Meeting in New York.
Matthews, a 1969 graduate of Rogers High School, is a partner in the law firm of Matthews, Campbell, Rhoads, McClure, and Thompson and has been a longtime advocate for public education and the Rogers School District. In 2001, Matthews served on the Arkansas Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Education. He also led the Rogers School District in its legal efforts to establish adequate funding for schools across the state.
During his distinguished legal career, Matthews received the Charles L. Carpenter Memorial Award from the Arkansas Bar Association in 1992, and the following year he was named the Outstanding Lawyer Citizen by the Arkansas Bar Foundation. He also served as a Special Justice in the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1991. From 1983 until 1990, Matthews served as an Arkansas State Representative from District 10.
Locally, Matthews has been active in the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce, serving as chairman in 2003. He was also a member of the St. Mary's Hospital Foundation Board, where he was president in 2000. From 1993 to the present, he has been Community Director for the Arvest Bank of Lowell. Other areas of his service include the Art Center of the Ozarks, Mercy Health Systems of Northwest Arkansas, and the Arkansas Community Foundation.
In the late 1960s, Mocivnik and her husband John arrived in Northwest Arkansas where they quickly became involved both professionally and personally. They established their business, Kedzie Transmissions, which is still in operation today, and Virginia became a driving force in community philanthropic endeavors.
A star athlete growing up in Illinois, Mocivnik was an early advocate for sports activities for girls in Rogers, creating leagues and training coaches herself. She was a founding member and continues to serve on the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors. Mocivnik was also a driving force behind the establishment of Northwest Arkansas Community College which awarded her an honorary Degree of Humanitarian Service in 2005. The Mercy Hospital Foundation has also been one of her focuses. Mocivnik's life of service inspired the Center for Non-Profits at St. Mary's to name its new lobby "Ginnie's Place" in her honor.
Each year, the foundation seeks nominations for other former students, faculty and school supporters to add to the wall for their outstanding achievements in areas such as education, military or public service, the arts and community involvement.
“Although only a few people are honored each year, we know the list of potential honorees is unlimited,” Tucker-Ridley said. “We look forward to seeing who the community will nominate next year.”
For more information, please contact Tucker-Ridley at 479-381-0633 or email@example.com.
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