The educator may have retired, but he is as busy as ever, improving education in Carbon County – The Morning Call

Bill Allison made education a matter of his life.

And although he is retired from the class, he continues to support those who have followed in his footsteps.

Allison from Penn Forest spent countless hours through Jim Thorpe’s Rotary and the Carbon County Public Foundation, focusing on education.

“It’s so wonderful that the community has intact institutions that allow a person to do that and make a difference,” Allison said.

Allison spent many years in the Philadelphia area, where he was school principal and teacher.

After retirement he settled in Jim Thorpe, where he could enjoy the outdoors. But he also felt a strong desire to return his foster home. One of the organizations he joined was Jim Thorpe’s Rotary, of which he has been a part for more than a decade.

With Rotary, Allison is active in volunteering, raising funds for a ghost walk and buying clothes for needy families. He was particularly involved in the group’s efforts to promote education in society – supporting and expanding scholarship programs in high school, GED testing, and a youth leadership program.

“Bill has been a big supporter of educational initiatives in Carbon County as a member of the Jim Thorpe Rotary Club,” said Gina Miller, the club’s president.

His favorite part is communicating with students during rotation activities. He enjoys the opportunity to learn from his younger neighbors and also advise them.

“I always like to encourage teens to think about what they’re going to do as adults,” he said.

Recently, Allison was involved in Rotary’s efforts to establish a Jim Thorpe Child Care Center. Jim Thorpe has been identified as a “desert of childcare” due to the lack of licensed centers available to families who live and work there.

“It is very important to be able to place your children in a place where they feel safe and have professionalism,” he said.

In 2015, Allison became a founding member of the Carbon County Public Foundation. The foundation has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations that serve the people of Carbon County.

President and CEO Sharon Alexander said Ellison’s enthusiasm and courteous personality are an advantage of the organization.

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“He has a passion for Carbon County and a return,” she said.

The community fund oversees a number of special foundations, one of which Alison founded in honor of his late wife, who had a long career in preschool education. The Penny Allison Early Childhood Foundation provides grants to teachers and preschools so they can study new programs.

“I like the opportunity to give a grant to people who do special work,” Allison said.

At Panther Valley, they used a grant to fund an innovative reading program. In Jim Thorpe’s school district, teachers used a grant to purchase special furniture and a bag of books full of educational activities so kindergarten students could take them home and try them out with their families.

Allison’s work to promote education has brought him mentions in the press and on television, and now on the pages of the schools he supports on Facebook. Such recognition is always nice, but it is secondary to the satisfaction of having students succeed in class.

“The real reward is inherent,” he said.

More information about the Penny Allison Early Childhood Foundation is available at For more information on Jim Thorpe’s Rotary visit

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