The Newton County School System announced that Frank's Restaurant in Covington is the system's 2012 Partner of the Year. Frank's was nominated by its school partner, Alcovy High School. The award was presented at a special ceremony at the Newton County Board of Education during the district's annual Partners in Education Reception with Newton County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. Pictured, from left, are Dr. LaQuanda Carpenter, principal of Alcovy High School; Keith Fuller of Frank's Restaurant; Chris Castellana of Frank's Restaurant; and Hunter Hall, president of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce.
COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System recently awarded Frank's Restaurant as the school district's 2012 Partner of the Year.
Alcovy High School Principal LaQuanda Carpenter nominated Frank's for the annual award, which recognizes the school system Partner In Education that goes above and beyond what is expected of a business partner.
According to Carpenter, both the student body and the faculty have benefited tremendously from the school's partnership with Frank's Restaurant. Frank's has been a loyal business partner with Alcovy High since the school opened in 2006.
Frank's "has provided a positive and constructive work environment for the school's CBI, or community based instruction students," said Hunter Hall, Newton County Chamber of Commerce.
He said the students, who are autistic, nonverbal or wheelchair-bound are given the opportunity to come in and accomplish tasks, which they take very seriously, including neatly rolling silverware and setting tables.
"The care and concern these business owners show for these students does not stop with just allowing them the opportunity to come in and work," Hall said. "This partner also publicly recognizes these students by placing pictures of them in their business for customers to see when they walk in. And when the CBI students were having a fundraiser, this business gladly allowed fundraising items to be on display for sale to its customers. In years past, they even sponsored a prom for special education students."
In addition to the CBI students, Frank's also monetarily supported the school football team with a pre-game meal and has regularly supported the Newton County School System New Teachers program with funding for door prizes.
"Frank's Restaurant and the Castellana/Fuller families have exhibited an amazing commitment to the Alcovy High School and the Newton County community," Carpenter said. "This is a family and a business that works with children each week on various tasks in an effort to help motivate and energize students who may not normally be given an opportunity to make a difference. However, Frank's Restaurant sees and understands the purpose of creating meaningful opportunities for students and our community. This is a family that has created a legacy for their children in regards to making a positive difference in reference to family, the meaning of business and the love for community."
In accepting the award on behalf of the restaurant, Keith Fuller said, "It's a pleasure to give back to the community, and I hope we can keep doing it in the future. We have always looked forward to all the kids and doing whatever we can do. We'll always be there."
Gary Mathews, superintendent of Newton County Schools, said Frank's is a prime example of community ownership of its public schools.
"Their many contributions to Alcovy High School speak loudly as to their support for our students and staff," Mathews said. "I believe they realize that no community is better than its public schools."