Fenton Education Foundation will present awards to two people who have dedicated themselves to Fenton Area Public Schools.
These two individuals are Roger Archbold, who is the recipient of The State Bank Community Contribution to Education Award, and Pam Bunka, who will receive the Nancy and Edward Petruska Lifetime Achievement in Education Award.
The awards will be presented at the Fenton Education Foundation (FEF) annual Black Tie Awards Dinner at The Laundry on Thursday, Sept. 5. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. A limited number of tickets are still available at $250 per person. Call (810) 516-9480.
Roger Archbold, 58, was one of seven children raised in Fenton. In 2016, he set up and funded the Robert Archbold Memorial Find and Scholarship, in memory of his late brother who died due to chronic heart disease.
The purpose of the fund and scholarship is to assist Fenton band members with an annual scholarship and to provide additional funds for band members to fully enjoy the experience of music at the high school level.
Archbold was born in Tucson, Arizona and moved to Fenton when he was 3 years old. He attended Tomek and State Road elementary schools and Fenton Middle School. He graduated from Fenton High School in 1979, before graduating from Western Michigan University in 1983.
Archbold spent the majority of his professional life engaging and transforming K-12 education through a variety of positions at IBM, Dell and Microsoft. As result of his efforts, Archbold was awarded the Microsoft Chairman’s award, the highest award that Microsoft offers. Archbold has spent the last 16 years at Microsoft engaging executives, educators and legislators and various thought leaders on preparing students to work in the 21st century.
Growing up in Fenton with a large and caring family provided Archbold the sense of community and helping others, which led to the creation of the memorial funds. Archbold has been married for 29 years to Laurie, and has two grown sons who reside in the Traverse City area. When he is not working, Archbold is an avid woodworker creating and donating items to friends and family and to silent auctions. He is also a committed golfer, who is still in pursuit of his first hole in one.
Pam Bunka, 65, was raised in Highland and graduated from Milford High School in 1972. “My parents taught me the importance of working hard to achieve my goals and to be a fair and honest person,” she said.
Bunka attended Central Michigan University. She received her teaching degree with a major in journalism, psychology and a minor in sociology in 1976. She finished her English minor at Michigan State University and later received her master’s degree in educational technology along with 15 additional graduate hours in journalism.
Bunka and her husband Don were married in 1977. They have two children — John and Alexis. John is married to Justine and they have two children. John is a neurologist and Justine is a pediatrician. Alexis is married to Kyle Campion and they have two children. Alexis is a journalism and English teacher in the Utica school system and Kyle is an optometrist.
Under Bunka’s leadership, the Fenton yearbook (Fentonian) has received top state honors from the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) since 1980 and is in both MIPA’s and the National Scholastic Press Association’s Hall of Fame. The InPrint (school newspaper) is also in MIPA’s Hall of Fame. Along with their Spartan Awards from MIPA, both publications have received Crown Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and Pacemakers from the National Scholastic Press Association.
“While I am so very proud of all of the national and state honors both the InPrint and Fentionan have received, I am most proud of the knowledge and skill set my students received through their journalism experience at FHS.
“I taught for 42 years because I believe so strongly in the program and because I was able to learn and evolve and create while working with some very talented students. I feel very blessed that I remain in contact with many of them,” Bunka said.
Now retired, Bunka said she is just taking it easy and enjoy the company of her grandchildren, gardening and reading. “I plan to remain active with MIPA as its yearbook chair and work on its 100th anniversary celebration that will occur in 2021,” she said. “Later, I hope to find an outlet or two where I can continue the work I love: writing, design and photography.”