It is a combined recognition from Walker County Public Schools and Chickamauga City Public Schools.
The non-profit replaces the committee called WACOPEP (Walker County Partners for Educational Progress).
Vice chairwoman Lynne Cawthorne announced the Arnold Eaves award, named for one of the founders of Walker County’s public school and community partnership.
“This year’s recipient has been a partner for as long as I can remember and has served public education in numerous ways,” Cawthorne said.
The LaFayette Women’s Club won the prestigious award.
The humbled president of the club, Maggie Stultz, tearfully accepted it from Cawthorne.
"I am so honored and quite speechless,” Stultz said. “I am extremely proud to accept this prestigious BEAT Arnold Eaves volunteer award on behalf of all the women who are members of the LaFayette Woman's Club. We are truly committed to supporting the school system within Walker County and making a unique difference, one child at a time."
In 2011, their organization supported 23 projects within Walker County Public Schools, donated more than $16,000 and completed 6,000 volunteer hours.
The club has given supplies to schools, proctored exams, judged contests, mentored, contributed to scholarships and honored hard-working teachers.
Helping special needs and economically disadvantaged students has been a specific and compassionate cause for the group.
Other award winners
Several other businesses were recognized in the remaining five categories, amid the nearly 250 people in attendance.
Lee’s Tae Kwon Do received the Small Business Partner award. Owner Jung K. Lee volunteers as a guest physical education teacher. His wife guest speaks to advanced students in Kaleidoscope classes. They teach students and staff members along with assisting in a talent show and the international Christmas production.
The Large Business Partner award went to Covenant College, for volunteering at numerous schools, ranging from helping with projects to tutoring.
Education majors at the college work with teachers and students at several elementary schools.
Rossville Exchange Club received the Civic Partner award for the many resources they provide to children with special needs. Their volunteers focus on child abuse prevention and honoring a Ridgeland high School student during monthly meetings.
The System Partner award went to Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
The college’s staff helps high school students by waiving application fees for dual enrollment and any tuition not covered by the HOPE scholarship.
McFarland United Methodist Church collected the Faith Partner award. Church members mentor and tutor students at local schools. They also donated supplies for less fortunate students and helped with several special events.