NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Nacogdoches County’s Opportunity for a Better Learning Experience banquet scheduled for March 30 at Stephen F. Austin State University has been canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.

The Leaders of Tomorrow, or LOT Crew, day of service on April 11 at Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary, public safety field trip on April 14 at the C.L. Simon Recreation Center and convocation on April 28 at SFA also have been canceled.

“We are so disappointed that we have to cancel these events, but we want to keep our students and their families safe during this public health crisis,” said Dr. Judy A. Abbott, chair of the education committee for the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and dean of the James I. Perkins College of Education at SFA.

Nearly 200 Nacogdoches County high school seniors who chose a more rigorous recommended or distinguished program of study in their high school courses and completed a service project were invited to attend this year’s now-canceled NOBLE Scholar banquet. Their medallions and certificates will be mailed to their homes.

NOBLE Scholars attending SFA can find scholarship applications for one of 25 $1,000 scholarships at

The LOT Crew program began nearly 20 years ago as a leadership development collaboration among SFA, the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Nacogdoches and the nine Nacogdoches County independent school districts. Since then, the program has provided immersive, community-based experiences for hundreds of local eighth graders.

This year’s LOT Crew members will receive their convocation certificates in the mail. Parents of students starting eighth grade next year can find the LOT Crew applications for the 2020-21 school year at

NOBLE Scholar and LOT Crew are programs of the Chamber of Commerce education committee, as well as the local business community. The chamber’s education committee also sponsors Great Expectations, a program that brings local business leaders to county schools to encourage students to take advanced courses, which will help better prepare them for the workplace and life. The education committee comprises school counselors and administrators, SFA faculty and staff members, and members of the Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, contact Barbara Holl, operations vice president for the Chamber of Commerce, at (936) 560-5533 or