Background

In 1977, Clifford E. Ripley, then Palm Beach County Schools' Assistant Superintendent, called together several key administrators from public, private and parochial schools, and proposed the idea of a dinner to recognize outstanding scholastic achievement of high school seniors throughout the county.

The Scholastic Achievement Foundation was born when this committee engaged administrators in this recognition concept and a sponsor was found. Since then the sponsorship ¬has been broadened to include leading high-profile Palm Beach County businesses, foundations, civic groups and individuals that en¬courage excellence in education.

While the purpose of the Foundation initially was to provide recognition to scholars, awarding scholarships was added to help those students attend college who may not have been financially able to otherwise.

The recognition is in the form of an elegant dinner held in the Venetian Ballroom of the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. The dinner closes with a keynote speaker encouraging the students to strive even higher and bring their talents back to Palm Beach County. The number of student representatives from each school is in proportion to the number of graduating seniors at that school, which accounted for 183 students at the 2015 dinner with 27 receiving a minimum of $1,000 scholarships and one each receiving a full tuition scholarship to Florida Atlantic University and to Lynn University.

The Foundation includes all public, private and parochial schools in Palm Beach County. In more than 35 years, over 3,000 students have participated in this prestigious event and in the last 16 years over 300 students have received scholarships to help them pursue their secondary education.