Mr. Alsie Cluff Jr., Varnett’s facilities and operations director who also serves as a board member, received the “Education Foundation Award” during a ceremony attended by nearly 1,000 people Sunday, April 21.
The award was presented by the Ivy Educational and Charitable Foundation of Houston, Inc. during the 32nd Annual Scholarship Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Hilton Americas – Houston. The organization honored Mr. Cluff for his “leading edge approaches to education,” his commitment to education, civic involvement and impact in the community.
Mr. Cluff and his wife, Dr. M. Annette Cluff, co-founded what is now The Varnett Public School, a nationally-recognized charter school of which Dr. Cluff is superintendent. They established the school in 1984 after they could not find one that offered a strong academic program as well as a diversified environment for their then-4-year-old son, Alsie III.
In addition to providing a quality education to PreK through 5th grade students, the Cluffs have created a culture that encourages students to “give back” through community service projects.
During the event at the Hilton, U.S. Reps. Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee (pictured at right) each issued a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to Mr. Cluff and seven other honorees as the sold-out audience applauded.
Mr. Cluff, who earned a Business Administration degree at Prairie View A&M University, paid homage to his parents as he recalled his past. “They taught us a lot about integrity, morals, principles and a good work ethic,” said Mr. Cluff, the eighth of nine children and one of two boys. They provided all that we needed to be successful in life.
Mr. Cluff is a lifelong member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also is a member of the National Alliance of Black Educators and Wheeler Baptist Church in Houston.
The Ivy Educational and Charitable Foundation of Houston, Inc. is a private, non-profit corporation that distributes funding for charitable, educational and scientific projects to those who qualify. It also provides financial assistance to deserving high school graduating seniors and college students so they may pursue a college education.