June 5, 2017
As the school year draws to a close I wanted to take a moment and thank all of you for your support of Parents' Association. It has been a very active year for Parents' Association with the implementation of many new initiatives in support of volunteerism, community building and fundraising.
This year saw the revamping of the School of St. Mary’s fundraising model with the launch of our "One Ask" Annual Fund. We set an ambitious goal of $500,000 in our first year based off of gross revenues seen in prior years and best practices at other distinguished schools. We have been extremely pleased with the response to this new model with funds totally over $450,000 and growing, all of which were fully tax deductible and went directly to the school. We are grateful to the many families who donated. The current campaign will end this month and begin again next school year. As referenced previously, the school counts on this money from PA as $330,000 is built into each school year's budget ($210,000 operating expenses, $40,000 tuition, $80,000 teacher stipends). Based on new bi-laws created with the launch of Annual Fund, excess funds generated over the $330,000 will stay at the school and for our children. Decisions on how excess funds will be spent each school year will be determined by school administration and aligned with our SoSM core values.
In addition to the Annual Fund, PA launched a Mothers' Club, enhanced communications and transparency, and held two new social events. We are grateful for the support from our school administration, the many volunteers and the corporate sponsors that made this possible. With each event, we saw our community come together with great pride for our special school.
I have appreciated this past year and the opportunity to be PA President. After a decade at the School of St. Mary, I thought I knew our school well. This role has taught me much more about our caring faculty and staff, our committed families and the values that bring us together. I am deeply grateful for the support PA has received in this year where we tried so many new initiatives. I am also honored to have worked with such a dedicated PA lead team who worked tirelessly to support the interests of our school and our children. My term as President ends this month at which time Ali Chekouras will lead PA into our Fall Centennial events and the school's 101st year. I am more confident than ever that her positive outlook, love for our school, and sensible approach will carry us forward with great success.