Originally published Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 06:00a.m.

Two new members — Leslie Horton of Prescott and Jodi Rooney of Prescott Valley — were elected to three-year terms on the Gardner Family Teachers Scholarship (GiFTS) board of directors during its May meeting.

The two join a nonprofit, philanthropic board that focuses exclusively upon generating funds and awarding academic scholarships to aspiring teachers enrolled in accredited college and university education programs.

Horton is director of Yavapai County Community Health Services, and Rooney is currently a member of the Prescott Valley Town Council.

Horton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Northern Arizona University before accepting a positon with Yavapai County in 2002.

Rooney was the first citizen from Prescott Valley to be selected for participation in the prestigious statewide Flinn-Brown Leadership Academy.

“Both persons are exceptional leaders in the greater community, and both have been honored previously for their dedicated support of education. We’re privileged to have them.” said Robert St. Clair, GIFTS president. St. Clair is vice president and branch manager of BMO Harris Bank in Prescott Valley.

St. Clair noted that both were members of the board that voted to increase the number and the amount of GiFTS scholarships granted this past month. The result — 12 Yavapai County students received $2,300 each — the most ever granted annually ($27,600) by the private foundation. GiFTS was formerly known at the Education Scholarship Endowment of Yavapai County but legally changed its name this spring to counteract the perception that it was an entity operarted by Yavapai County.

Other board members are as follows: Cory Gardner, vice president; Tim Carter, secretary; Ray Newton, treasurer; and Lance Barnes, Danny Brown, Mike Holder, Tara O’Neill, and Ron Minnich.

Mike Beatty, founder and president of Prescott Investor Services, serves as the financial consultant.