One last donation

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Courtesy photo The National Resources Education Outreach made their final donation to the three local school districts last month. Pictured are NREO Director Doug Yrjana, NREO Director Lex Smith, Woody Woodford, Les Wells, Bob Ranells, and NREO Director Joe Guardipee. Not pictured is NREO Director Nick Hoffman.

Last month the directors of the Natural Resources Education Outreach (NREO) met with the three local school district superintendents to provide each school with a check that is to be used for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs in each of the respective districts.

NREO has been providing funding for education for 12 years, but will be dissolving after this donation as they feel they have accomplished their mission and reached the goals they had set for themselves.

NREO director Lex Smith was thankful for the opportunity to serve the community and thank the support the group had received over the years.

“NREO had great support from the educational community in the Silver Valley, Coeur d’Alene and beyond,” Smith said. “We also received very generous support from the mining community as well, both in the form of financial assistance as well as with providing outstanding educational opportunities for the many school teachers grades K-12 in the form of underground mine tours and surface operation tours. The teachers participating in our classes every year found these tours to be the highlights of our classes. NREO also enjoyed the generous support of Silver Valley Merchants and volunteers. Everyone working together made NREO possible. We could not have done it without them.”

After making the decision to dissolve the organization, directors Smith, Nick Hoffman, Doug Yrjana, and Joe Guardipee made the decision to distribute the last $11,783.67 to the three Silver Valley school districts and to distribute it evenly in regards to school size and population.

Forty percent to the Kellogg School District, 30 percent to the Wallace School District, and 30 percent to the Mullan School District ($4,713.47 to Kellogg School District, $3,535.10 to each the Wallace and Mullan School Districts).

Both the Kellogg and Wallace superintendents released statements thanking the NREO for their support over the years.

“The staff and students of Wallace School District very much appreciate the work that has been done over the years by the Natural Resources Education Outreach group,” Ranells said. “This group has provided funding for training of staff as it relates to mining and other natural resources opportunities around our valley. Now as they choose to end their adventure, the committee gave funds to our schools to support STEM Education. We are all truly appreciative.”

Kellogg superintendent Woody Woodford had a similar thought.

“In light of NREO being dissolved,” Woodford said, “we the Kellogg School District greatly appreciate the donation to be used for ongoing STEM educational opportunities.” NREO, an Idaho nonprofit 501(c) (3) was incorporated on May 20, 2005.

Created by the directors of the Silver Valley Mining Association, the incorporators of NREO were, JoAnn Corley (President), Lex Smith (Vice-President), Jann Higdem (Secretary) and Lisa Millard (Secretary). Smith would like to thank several people who were involved with NREO over the years, as well as those who are helping the organization during its dissolving.

“A huge thank you to JoAnn Corley who was NREO’s president/director/an original incorporator. She was the biggest driving force behind the success of NREO,” Smith mentioned. “Bonnie Farmin of Kellogg was a huge asset to the success of NREO, Peter Smith, of the Smith & Malek, PLLC Law Firm in Coeur d’ Alene. Peter will draft all of the necessary documents to be filed with the state of Idaho to officially dissolve NREO. He is donating his time to do this pro bono in support of education and in support of teachers and students in the Silver Valley and all of Idaho.”

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