State Board of Education News

Student-designed Permanent School Fund logo unveiled

The Permanent School Fund, an education endowment that has helped pay for Texas students’ education for more than 170 years, today has a new logo and it is fitting that the logo was  designed by one of the fund’s beneficiaries.

A logo created by Melissa Richardson, a sophomore at Drippings Springs High School in the Dripping Springs Independent School District, was selected by the State Board of Education (SBOE) as the winner of the “Brand the Fund” logo contest.

The first runner-up award went to Spandana Kamepalli, a junior at Vandegrift High School in Leander ISD.

A total of 442 Texas public high school students submitted 521 unique designs in the “Brand the Fund” contest.

“The State Board of Education is grateful to all the students and art teachers who took time to learn about the Permanent School Fund. Our student artists submitted phenomenal designs,” said Tom Maynard, the State Board of Education member who oversaw the contest.

“The distinctly Texas design selected provides a unique image for the PSF, which is today the country’s largest education endowment,” he said.

Richardson’s winning red, white, and blue design features a shield and a mortar board that incorporates the name of the fund and the year the perpetual education fund was created.

Richardson received a replica of her design and a check for $3,000. Her design will hang in the Permanent School Fund offices and will be used on a variety of fund materials, such as the annual report.

Kamepalli received a trophy and a check for $1,000 as the runner-up. SBOE members made personal donations to cover the two cash prizes.

Additionally, the board today approved a resolution honoring the two student designers and approved a resolution for Laurie and Tyler Wieghat, two College Station-based professional graphic designers who helped facilitate the competition.

A judging panel comprised of professional graphic artists and representatives from the SBOE, the Permanent School Fund, and the Texas Education Agency reviewed all eligible submissions and narrowed the field to the top 10 finalists.

Along with Richardson and Kamepalli, the 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

The top 10 designs underwent trademark reviews before the winner and runner-up were selected by the board.

The fund has played a vital role in Texas throughout its history. The state’s first constitution in 1845 created a perpetual fund for the support of free public schools. In 1854, the state provided $2 million for the fund.

Today, the total Permanent School Fund, which includes not only assets managed by the SBOE but also assets managed by the School Land Board, stands at about $44 billion. It provides funding for instructional materials, technology and general operating costs and provides millions in costs savings to school district and charter schools through the bond guarantee program. Learn more about this Texas treasure at /sites/default/files/Texas%20Education%20and%20the%20Permanent%20School%20Fund2.pdf.