Foundation for Excellence in Education Names Amason Executive Director

Amason takes the reins from John Whitehead.

Amason is the only person in the 30-year history of the FFE that has been elected president twice.
Amason is the only person in the 30-year history of the FFE that has been elected president twice.
By Anisa Sullivan Jimenez

The Foundation for Excellence in Public Education (FFE) recently named Cynthea Johnson “CJ” Amason as its new Executive Director. Amason is a two-time former FFE president, Clarke County School District parent and consultant for various organizations. 

"I am honored and excited to be working again with this unique organization whose mission matches my own passions: excellence and encouragement,” said Amason. “There is no group I would rather serve and support than educators – they are true heroes on a daily basis.” 

The Foundation for Excellence is a privately funded volunteer organization that supports local schools and teachers. This past year, the Foundation awarded $17,000 in grants, $14,000 in teacher awards and $3,000 in student awards. The Foundation’s endowments are nearing the $1 million mark. 

In her role, Amason will serve a variety of functions, with her major responsibility to manage and distribute the Foundation’s endowment. She will also be a liaison between the FFE and the Clarke County School District, develop an annual budget and strategic plans, assist in fundraising efforts, cultivate partnerships and present at various meetings with the Foundation and throughout the community.

“Ms. Amason will be a wonderful leader for the Foundation for Excellence,” said Foundation president Mona Robinson. “Her leadership and creativity will help us find new ways to encourage, recognize and reward excellence in the Clarke County School District."

Amason is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, and is a native of Sparta, Tenn. She and her husband, Buz, have lived in Athens since 1993. They have four children, two of which graduated from Cedar Shoals High School (Phil and Mary Hill) and two that are juniors at the school (Saralee and Stephen). She works with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) on the University of Georgia campus, in addition to being an entertainment and JROTC consultant. She is the only person in the 30-year history of the FFE that has been elected president twice.

Former executive director John Whitehead is retiring after seven years of service to the Foundation in the director role, and three years before that as a trustee. He will continue to assist with financial oversight.

“I have enjoyed my time with Foundation as both a trustee and as executive director because it has put me in contact with the broad group of people in Athens who support our great public schools,” said John Whitehead. “CJ Amason is a wonderfully enthusiastic person who will spread the news of our schools to an even wider audience.”

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