Permanent School Fund Logo Contest

PSF logo winner

A state Brand the Fund contest was held to create a logo for the Permanent School Fund (PSF), a Texas treasure that traces its history back to 1845 when a new state constitution established a perpetual education fund.

Four hundred forty-two Texas public high school students submitted 521 unique designs in the  contest. The winning design was submitted by Melissa Richardson, a sophomore at Dripping Springs High School in the Dripping Springs Independent School District.

The contest runner-up was Spandana Kamepalli, a junior at Vandegrift High School in Leander ISD.

Along with Richardson and Kamepalli, the top 10 design finalists were:

• Aaron Ballif
Conroe High School
Conroe ISD
Educator sponsor Stephanie Scaletta

• Hagen Carter
Stephenville High School
Stephenville ISD
Educator sponsor Emily McLemore

• Maite Gordo
Cypress Springs High School
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD
Educator sponsor Diana Lookabaugh

• Ashleigh Jamison
Round Rock High School
Round Rock ISD
Educator sponsor Matthew Wilson

• Kathryn Kelly
Cedar Ridge High School
Round Rock ISD
Educator sponsor Elise Arellano

• Arthur Mangum
Conroe High School
Conroe ISD
Educator sponsor Stephanie Scaletta

• Ben Meyer
James Bowie High School
Austin ISD
Educator sponsor Gina Cottone

• Natalie Tieu
Cypress Springs High School
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD
Educator sponsor Diana Lookabaugh
 
Each student learned about this important endowment and the top 10 designs incorporated related elements such as textbooks, oil wells, and mortar boards into their logo design, which fulfilled another important goal of the contest. Board members wanted Texans to learn about the fund. 

Few know that, through the continued prudence and diligence of the State Board of Education, the PSF is today the nation’s largest educational endowment and continues to fulfill its original mission: providing free textbooks to Texas students enrolled in the state’s school districts and charter schools.

However, it also does more. In addition to instructional materials, PSF support provides needed technology to Texas classrooms and supports overall public education funding. Since 1960, the fund has put more than $27 billion into our classrooms. The PSF also guarantees local bonds, saving taxpayers more than $150 million and ensuring that more bond funds go to school construction projects with less spent paying  interest. Unfortunately, most Texans have little or no awareness of this wonderful treasure.

The State Board of Education embarked upon an effort to raise the PSF’s public profile, and wanted students to be part of this effort. A five-member judging panel made up of a State Board of Education member, a Permanent School Fund administrator, and three graphic artists reviewed the 521 entries and narrowed the field to 10 finalists.

The State Board of Education reviewed the finalists and selected a winner and runner-up. The winner was announced Feb. 1, 2019. Richardson received a cash prize of $3,000 and a replica of her design. Kamepalli received $1,000 and a trophy.  Funding for the awards was raised by individual contributions from the board members themselves.

Learn more about the Permanent School Fund:

Brief history (PDF, 376 KB)

 Brief history  (text)

Annual Report

Bond Guarantee Program  

  Brand the Fund contest rules