About CEF

Improving Lives through Educational Experiences

The Columbus Education Foundation was founded to enhance and enrich the educational experiences of CISD students through scholarships and grants.

Our mission is to build a stronger community by enriching educational benefits for students and teachers of Columbus Independent School District (CISD) in Columbus, Texas. 

To accomplish our goals, CEF awards classroom grants to teachers and scholarships to graduating high school seniors, made possible by financial support from community members, local businesses, and CISD alumni. Together, we can make a positive difference throughout CISD.

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From Our President

Thomas B. Hancher, MD, FACP
President, Columbus Education Foundation

The Columbus Education Foundation is proud to enhance the educational experience of CISD students by utilizing classroom grants and scholarships for graduating seniors.

Funding for classroom grants is an exciting part of future plans for the Columbus Education Foundation. Classroom grants will further students’ education while in school by supporting specific teacher requests to enhance classroom learning.

For the 2022-2023 school year, providing scholarships for Columbus High School graduates is our primary focus. Scholarships will be awarded to deserving graduating seniors to further their career choices in trade school or college/university programs.

To achieve these goals, we look forward to community support. We thank all of those who have already donated to support our mission as well as those who are considering gifts in the future. Together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of students throughout Columbus ISD!

Board of Directors

The Columbus Education Foundation in Columbus, Texas is a nonprofit 501c3 corporation founded in 2022. The 7-member Board of Directors also includes ex-officio members such as the CISD Superintendent, CISD Chief Financial Officer, CISD Board of Directors, Teacher Representative, and Advisory Members. The Foundation has no paid employees; all work performed is by volunteers dedicated to make a positive difference in our community.  

Photo credit: Isabel Martinez, Columbus High School

First Row (left to right):

  • Patsy Hodge, Vice President
  • Phillip Garcia, Board Member
  • Dr. Thomas B. Hancher, President
  • Shannan Gerik, Corresponding Secretary

Second Row (left to right):

  • Amy Venghaus, CISD Teacher Representative
  • Robert Russell, CISD School Board Representative
  • Willie Mae Williams, Board Member
  • Scott Leopold, CISD, Chief Financial Officer

Third Row (left to right):

  • Rebecca Edminston, Treasurer
  • Chris Arthur, Advisor/Consultant
  • James Conner, CISD Superintendent
  • Michael Trefny, Advisor/Consultant
  • Rachel Post, Recording Secretary
Jordyn Templeton

Logo Contest Winner

In April 2022 Columbus High School students were challenged to enter the CEF Logo Contest sponsored by the Columbus Education Foundation.

Out of many talented entries, Jordyn Templeton, CHS Class of 2023, won the gold medal. Jordyn credits her teacher, Mrs. Lorrie Walla, for fueling her love of graphic design. Jordyn plans to major in either UI (User Interface) or Data Visualization. Both career paths focus on creating clear and effective communication experiences with internet use.

In her winning design, Jordyn included a live oak tree because live oaks are an integral part of Columbus’ identity.  Her personal love of oak trees began when she was young. The gigantic oak on the elementary school grounds provided a dream-like place where she enjoyed spending time with friends while gazing at the massive canopy above.

To Jordyn, the oak tree is also a symbol representing family, specifically parents nurturing their children with education to build steadfast “roots” for a strong future. She included a diploma and graduation cap among the roots to emphasize the importance of education.

As a senior, Jordyn’s extracurricular activities involve golf, tennis, fishing, and part-time work to help pay for college. She’s “fishing” for a scholarship in the THSBA (Texas High School Bass Association) competition. Those who know Jordyn best describe her as impressive, caring, smart, fun-to-be around.  CEF wishes her the best in her last year at CHS and wherever her post-graduation plans lead her.