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John F. Kennedy MS teacher earns national honor for St. Jude fundraising

John F. Kennedy Middle School seventh grade math teacher Lisa Ballard was recently named the 2017 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Math-A-Thon Coordinator of the Year.

Ballard, who has been leading the annual fundraiser for 10 years at JFK, stressed she accepted the award on behalf of all who have helped raise $353,641 over 10 years.

“Our success is due to my amazing colleagues at JFK,” Ballard said. “Also the students, parents and the community are incredibly supportive of our fundraiser.”

The Memphis-based hospital treats children with life-threatening diseases and searches for cures for cancer and certain immunodeficiency diseases.

Each January students get pledges for doing math problems based on common core curriculum.

The fundraiser also teaches student the importance of helping others.

Students also can earn pledges by babysitting, shoveling snow or doing other chores, Ballard said.

Ballard’s interest in St. Jude goes beyond dollar signs and includes raising awareness about the hospital. She has also volunteered at St. Jude for the last six summers.

“It is an honor being able to bring awareness to St. Jude and raise money for them,” she said.

JFK Principal A.J. Hundal is proud of Ballard.

“This is a great honor for Lisa and one that is well deserved,” he said.

Ballard accepted the award on July 23, 2017 during the annual awards dinner in Memphis.