Educators and administrators with the Stephenville Independent School District have proven that a little determination and friendly competition go a long way when it comes to raising funds for neighbors in need.

Despite a troubled economy, school district employees once again increased its annual employee contribution to Erath County United Way, with a total donation of $8,148.

Staffers at each of the campuses and district administrators go head to head each year to see who can bring in the most funds.

“The effort has become very competitive, especially between the principals,” SISD Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd said.

Principal Kristen Carey, in her first year at the helm at Gilbert Intermediate, sent out a rallying cry across her campus, which brought in the most funds per employee. The campus has 44 employees who brought in $38.64 per capita for a total of $1,700.

Principal Kathy Haynes, whose campus carried the fundraising title for many years until she was dethroned by Stephenville High School Principal Travis Stilwell, came in second this year by raising a total of $1,580 or $31.60 per capita.

Stilwell was bumped to fourth place by Central Elementary where 39 employees brought in almost $19 each.

SHS still brought in the highest dollar amount by raising $1,745 but as the school with the most employees, the per capita contribution only amounted to $17.11.

In the 2008-09 the competition raised $6,753.

Floyd said he is proud to lead a district where employees go above and beyond to help others.

“I want to send a huge thank you to all of the district’s employees for committing themselves to helping those with the greatest need,” Floyd said. “In the current economic times, all of our local organizations need assistance and I am grateful and proud to have employees who are willing to step up and contribute.”