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🎒 GBA Investors Shine & Support A Worthy Cause

A standing-room-only crowd squeezed into the auditorium on the campus of Stuart Cramer High School for the Gaston County Educational Foundation’s 15th annual “Are You Smarter Than A Gaston County 5th Grader” event Thursday night.

“It was even bigger and better than last year,” Foundation Executive Director Amy Spencer said with a smile. “We had more teams, more sponsors and more people come out.”

This year, Rankin Elementary (Clariant Corporation), Kiser Elementary (Next Generation) and New Hope Elementary (CaroMont Health) advanced to the championship round.

Kiser Elementary, who dressed as characters from the Young Adult Novel "Holes," emerged victorious.

It was a storybook ending for everyone, however.

  • Thanks to title sponsors, Tindol Subaru and Wells Fargo, along with the generosity of many others, $47,000 was raised to support the Gaston County Educational Foundation, specifically the Ron L. Ensley and Jennie Stultz grants.

  • The Ensley grants are given to teachers to fund innovative classroom lessons and projects while the Shultz grant focuses specifically on funding for the arts in schools.

GBA’s very own Senior Vice President, Steve D’Avria emceed the event, getting into character to boost energy for all participants.

GBA Investors Represented This Year:

  • Caromont Health and New Hope Elementary

  • Dominion Energy and Lowell Elementary 

  • GSM Services and Pleasant Ridge Elementary 

  • Fleetnet America and W.B. Beam Intermediate 

  • East Gastonia Rotary and North Belmont Elementary

  • Tindol Subaru and Gardner Park Elementary 

  • Clariant Corp and Rankin Elementary

  • Piedmont Lithium and Belmont Central Elementary 

  • Courage Kia and Brookside Elementary 

  • Rotary Club of Gastonia and Bess Elementary

For more information on the Gaston County Educational Foundation, or how to become involved in the 2025 “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?” visit the organization’s website,


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