Celebrating more than 25 years of partnership with Bolivar Schools
Kerry Douglas’ roots run deep in the Bolivar community. “I was born to Elvin S. and Florence Douglas in 1946,” he said. “Our family home was the two-story house that sits across the street from Bolivar City Hall.” In addition to his parents, Kerry’s family included one brother, Elvin S. Douglas, Sr. (now deceased) and one sister, Ellen Rose Roweton. A 1964 Bolivar High School (BHS) graduate, Douglas participated in concert band, jazz band, marching band and track. As for a teacher who made an indelible impression on his life, he said, “Miss Margaret Chiles, English 4. She taught me the writing skills that I have used to my advantage throughout life. I will forever be grateful for her teaching skills.”
Kerry married his high school sweetheart, Synda L. Kelsey in 1968. Together they have two sons, Thomas H. Douglas and K. Patrick Douglas. Both sons are BHS graduates, 1992 and 1994 respectively. In 2008, after 40 years of marriage Synda died after battling breast cancer for 13.5 years. Kerry remarried Synda’s identical twin sister Lynda and they will celebrate 10 years of marriage in August of 2019. Kerry has six wonderful grandchildren.
The vision for community growth is a gift Kerry Douglas is sharing now and with future generations of Bolivar students through the Bolivar Educational Advancement Foundation (BEAF). Douglas, the founder and president of BEAF since its inception in 1991, designed the foundation to support the Bolivar R-1 school district educate and prepare students for the future. By supporting the school district financially through classroom grants, capital improvements, educational programs, scholarships and athletics, more than $1 million has been gifted to Bolivar R-1 Schools since 1991. Annually, BEAF issues $40,000 in scholarships to assist students with college tuition, room and board, books, supplies and other educational costs. With the high cost of college, Kerry and the BEAF Board believe anything they can do to help reduce the burden of the cost of college and help students prepare for their future careers by reducing student loan debt is a good thing.
After a career in law that spanned more than 40 years, Kerry is now “of-counsel” at the law firm of Douglas, Haun and Heidemann. In his case, “of-counsel” means he’s still associated with the firm and works when he chooses to do so!
Kerry, thank you for your vision for BEAF. The work you and others have done and continue to do has and will impact Bolivar and Missouri for many generations!
A graduate of Bolivar High School (BHS), Brady Vestal and his wife Missy (also a BHS alum) have three kids, Jack, Sophie and Knox. During his time at BHS, Brady participated in tennis, basketball, choir, student council and FCA. When asked about a teacher who made an indelible difference in his life, Brady said, “Mary Ann Smashey and Delrae Glidewell challenged me in different ways but also demonstrated that they cared and were interested in me as an individual. Both got the best and most out of me and helped me realize what I could accomplish through hard work and persistence.”
Brady has served on the Bolivar Educational Advancement Foundation (BEAF) Board since 2017, and has chosen to serve because “I love the Bolivar School District! The teachers, administrators and staff are all committed to educational excellence.” Of the BEAF Board, Brady says, “The BEAF Board includes many talented, creative, and committed individuals who support improvements to the district and support students in achieving their greatest potential. BEAF works with and supports the Bolivar School District to provide world class education and help kids be successful in life.”
Brady is an Account Manager with Duck Creek Technologies.
Thank you for serving your community and Bolivar students! Ask Brady how you can get involved with BEAF the next time you see him.
A Bolivar High School (BHS) Hall of Fame recipient, Tammie Callaway was a point guard for the 1982 Lady Liberator state basketball champions. In addition to being a basketball star, Tammie stayed busy with volleyball, softball, track, Lady B Club President, journalism newspaper staff and band. During her time at BHS, Junior Roweton made incredible impact on her life, “Junior Roweton was our basketball coach. He taught us to adapt to conquer the challenge in front of us. He challenged us to not be happy with how good we are today, but to work hard to be even better.”
Since 2007, Tammie has served as a Board member of BEAF because “BEAF is able to provide support to Bolivar Schools through scholarships and donations for things the school district needs and probably wouldn’t be able to do without some help. BEAF helps enhance the educational opportunities in our school district and prepares Bolivar students on their journey to college.”
Tammie is married to Kenny Callaway and together they have three children. Ashley (Martin) Pugh is married to Zach and they have a son named Maddux. Cody Martin is married to Brena and they have a daughter named Joleigh as well as another baby on the way. Kenna Callaway is a BSN student at Wichita State University.
Tammie is the Administrator of Butterfield Residential Care Center in Bolivar.
Tammie, thank you for your dedication to BEAF and Bolivar kids! Do you know Tammie? Ask her how you too can serve Bolivar R-1 Schools through BEAF.
A farm girl at heart and lifelong resident of Bolivar, Teresa grew up on a farm with three brothers and graduated from Bolivar High School (BHS). During her time at BHS she actively participated in FHA, choir, drill team and pep club. She was even crowned the FHA Sweetheart Queen! Her fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Grace Pursley has had a long-standing impact on the lives of her students, including Teresa. They remain friends today.
Since 1998, Teresa has served Bolivar children and the community as a member of the Board for the Bolivar Educational Advancement Foundation (BEAF). One of the most impactful contributions BEAF has made included providing grants for teachers to purchase much needed classroom items. When asked why she serves on the Board of BEAF, Teresa said, “BEAF is an important part of our community because it highlights and promotes the importance of education for the next generation of leaders.”
Teresa is married to Mike and together they have two children and five wonderful grandchildren. In addition to spending time with family, Teresa is passionate about spending time with her lifelong friends and worshipping at First Baptist Church of Bolivar. Following a career in banking that spanned 40 years, Teresa now serves the community and state of Missouri as First Lady, alongside her husband, Missouri Governor, Mike Parson.
On behalf of the BEAF Board, thank you for your service to our community and state!
Kyle Lancaster and his wonderful wife, Sarah are the proud parents of two daughters, Olive and Daly. An active Bolivar R-1 Schools Board Member, Kyle jumped at the opportunity to participate and be involved with the Bolivar Educational Advancement Foundation (BEAF). “The school board has always had a member of their Board serve on the BEAF Board as well. So, as a member of the school board, when the opportunity was presented to me, I felt it was another way to help Bolivar students with their educational experience,” said Kyle.
A graduate of Fort Scott High School in Fort Scott, Kansas, Kyle was active in yearbook, track and basketball. When asked about an influential teacher, he shared this, “I had an art teacher in high school who saw you as you were in the present and not for what you had done in the past. Her name was Ellen Kendrick and she taught me to try to see a person for who they are and not for what they have done.”
Kyle has served on the BEAF Board since 2017 and is most proud of the 2018 Dollar Match for Dual Credit Campaign. “The BEAF Board challenged the community of Bolivar to a 100 percent matching fundraiser. The money raised allowed students who enrolled in the dual credit program at the high school to earn college credit while in high school,“ he said.
When he’s not serving Bolivar students and the community, Kyle is the Funeral Director and Embalmer at Butler Funeral Home.
Thank you, Kyle for serving the community and Bolivar students! When you see Kyle, ask him how you too can become involved with BEAF.
“I am a Liberator for life!” says Jenni (Poindexter) Williams, Bolivar High School (BHS) graduate and member of the Board for the Bolivar Educational Advancement Foundation (BEAF). During her time at BHS, Jenni (Poindexter) Williams participated in cheerleading, many clubs and choir. Additionally, she served the BHS community as student body vice-president. When asked about teachers or staff members who made an impression on her life, Jenni said, “I had lots of great teachers: Mrs. Whisler, Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Morehouse and Mr. Randy Jones. They always pushed us to be the best version of ourselves.”
Since 2018, Jenni has served as a Board member for BEAF and to date the project she’s most proud of is the Dollar Match for Dual Credit campaign launched in August 2018. “I love that we supported the matching fundraiser for the dual enrollment courses offered at BHS. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to take those classes when I attended school. BEAF invests in our students, so they can have a positive impact on the communities they will serve in as adults,” Jenni said.
Jenni and her husband John have two sons, Fisher and River. John works at his family owned business, Whites Marine Center in Pittsburg, MO. Jenni’s parents are Greg and Carol Poindexter. She has one sister, Taylor (Poindexter) Pitts and two brothers Preston Poindexter and Nathan Poindexter.
As the Vice President of Secondary Market Lending for OakStar Bank, Jenni helps people finance their next home.
Jenni, we appreciate your commitment to Bolivar students! The next time you see Jenni, ask her how you can get involved with BEAF.
Education has always been the cornerstone of Marty Garrison’s life, serving various school districts in southwest Missouri as an educator, coach, principal and superintendent. A graduate of Buffalo High School, Garrison says one of the most influential people in his life was D.A. Mallory, the superintendent of schools in Buffalo, “At Christmas time, he would come to all of the grade schools and pass out candy canes and pencils to each student. I always thought it was very special, that he would take the time to do that for each student.”
Marty joined the Bolivar Educational Advancement Foundation (BEAF) Board in 2018. “As a former administrator in the Bolivar School District, I was aware of the contributions BEAF made to the school district. I felt honored to be asked to serve on the Board and hope to give back to the Bolivar School District through my service. BEAF is an important part of our educational community, providing avenues to advance education for students right here in Bolivar.”
Marty and his wife Susie (Bowling) met at Southwest Baptist College and have six children, Carie Corey, Callie, Casey, Coday and Conley. They are blessed with 10 grandchildren. Following 31 years of work in the field of education, Marty now enjoys retirement working part time for Fantastic Caverns and portrays Santa Claus during November and December.
We appreciate your service, Marty! If you know Marty, ask him how you can get involved with BEAF.