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Sanger ISD receives national awards for its commitment to improving its students' mental health

Ann Hughes and Linda Tutt H.S. recognized

On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, two Sanger ISD staff members were awarded the National George Washington Freedom Medals from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge - Dallas Chapter. The Freedoms Foundation’s National Awards were founded by Dwight Eisenhower, who presented the initial awards in 1949.

The Freedoms Foundations National Awards were established “As a way to say thank you and recognize those whose projects, words or deeds reflect the best of the American spirit on volunteerism by offering constructive solutions to contemporary problems.” (

Mr. Anthony Love, Principal of Linda Tutt High School (LTHS), accepted the award in the school category. This particular award recognizes schools where community service learning is exemplary and whose students regularly demonstrate community involvement in action. The LTHS Grocery Store was the specific program recognized for this honor.

LTHS’ Grocery Store is a partnership between Sanger ISD & First Refuge Ministries of Denton that was initially funded through the THRIVE grant awarded by Texas Health Resources. Since opening in 2020, the store has served over 4,500 families and students in the Sanger community. Over 1,100 volunteers, including LTHS, SHS, SMS, community members, and staff from various SISD campuses, have worked in the store on Tuesday evenings when it is open to the general community. Several local farmers and gardeners regularly donate produce to the store. On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, the LTHS Grocery Store continued what is now an annual tradition, distributing hams/turkeys for Thanksgiving to sixty families.

The last and most prestigious award of the evening went to Dr. Ann Hughes, Sanger ISD’s Director of Student Intervention, was awarded the George National George Washington Freedom Medal in the area of Educator. This national honor is awarded annually to an educator who “Goes above and beyond the call of duty for America’s youth.” Dr. Hughes was recognized for the social-emotional learning programs and mental/behavioral health supports and interventions that she has helped to put in place in Sanger ISD over the last 20 years.

Mr. Love & Dr. Hughes, in their acceptance speeches, emphasized that the success of all of the programs recognized can be directly attributed to the entire community that were involved in and worked together to make these programs successful. This community involvement and commitment was very evident at the awards dinner with 40 plus Sanger community leaders (including Mayor Thomas Muir); SISD staff, LTHS Staff, First Baptist Church of Sanger (Pastor Grant Bowles), First Refuge Ministries Leadership & many other friends, family members and LTHS students present.


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