SOMERS EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Supporting Education for our Future
Simply put, tax support for public education has not kept pace with the community’s high expectations for students success. The Foundation will provide funding to augment the tax supported budget. The Foundations work may supplement the Board of Educations’ educational priorities, but it is not a substitute for them. The Foundation will not fund items and programs considered to be a normal part of the school budget.
Paul Salva, M.D., PhD.
John Mailhot, MBA
Robin Munson, CPA
Bruce Devlin, JD,
Chairman, Board of Education
Kathy Devlin, Selectman
Maynard Suffredini, Ed.D,
Superintendent of Schools
Kathy Welch, Information Technology
Tim Keeney, JD
The mission of the Somers Education Foundation is to preserve the community’s commitment to educational excellence in the Somers Public Schools, by providing funding for innovative projects and programs which enhance student learning. The foundation is a non-political entity, independent of both the Board of Education and town government regulations.
With the end of the SEF’s 12th year, the phrase - the only constant is change – could not be more apt. SEF bids a fond farewell to 3 Board Members who have each made lasting contributions. Beth Connor gave us insight into the charitable giving, public relations and marketing world when we lost our mentor, Lou Bachetti. Liz Iadarola refined and strengthened an already very good grant review process and worked diligently on making SEF events successful. Terri Henderson was one of the founding members of the Foundation being present before the beginning. She provided leadership as Chairman of the Board of Education and then as Foundation Secretary devoting countless hours to making the SEF a success. The SEF accepts their stepping aside with regret and gratitude for their contributions. After 5 great years, we said also goodbye to the Day Lily Sale. Conversely, we said hello to an end-of-school-year event at Sonny’s Place in June, the www.Smile.Amazon.com program and the formation of its third Named Fund – The Antonacci Family Fund. The Geissler’s Receipts Program continues and is a greatly appreciated source of funding.
SEF welcomes 4 new Board Members – Jessica Antonacci, Clifford Bordeaux, Ben Camerota and Christopher Castonguay - and looks forward to integrating their talents into the organization. The SEF now officially enters its teen years. It has grown from a concept to a strong reality, delivering on its mission statement. One of its major tenets was to build a permanent, sustaining endowment in order to award grants regardless of the economy and fundraising results. For the first time, the SEF utilized funds from the endowment, making it possible to award $24,277 in the fall and $20,080 this spring. This was a huge test-of-concept and it worked! The endowment worked exactly as envisioned!! This is something the SEF and its supporters should be very proud of. The SEF awarded $44,357 this academic year. It has awarded $303,000 in 12 years while building an endowment of $420,000.
SEF’s goals are to continue to grow the endowment, increase community outreach and awareness efforts, and provide greater funding for education opportunities for every student in the Somers Public School System. We look forward to another fascinating year for the Somers Education Foundation.
Paul Salva, President
Now in its second decade, SEF has developed a new avenue for growing its endowment – the concept of “Named Funds.” With a cumulative donation of $25,000, individuals, families or businesses can have a Named Fund created in their honor. Grants are awarded in the name of the donor on a yearly basis. The amount awarded is 4% of the named fund.
The first Named Fund was created in October 2014 with a very generous donation from S. Prestley and Helen Blake. The second fund – the Dan and Jane Roulier Fund - was created in 2015 from their cumulative contributions over the SEF’s first 12 years. The Antonacci Family Fund was created in 2016. The SEF is proud to announce the creation of its fourth Named Fund – the William and Anne Kirkpatrick Fund.
The Somers Education Foundation has played a vital role in supporting the Somers School System with cutting edge projects not normally funded from within the Education Department's annual operating budget. In just 12.5 years, SEF has grown its Endowment to over $430,000, and provides approximately $45,000 annually for innovative projects.
Please consider joining this important initiative. The SEF of course appreciates donations of any size toward building a sustaining private endowment for the Somers Public Schools. With your help, SEF will continue to grow and provide enhanced educational opportunities for all students in Somers.
The Foundation is a non-political entity, independent of both the Board of Education and town government. It is registered with the State of Connecticut and with the Internal Revenue Service 501c3 and is bound by their regulations. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors who oversee the Foundations operation. The membership of the Foundations board includes Somers business persons, school parents, senior citizens, and other community leaders. Ex-officio board members include the Superintendent of Schools, Chairperson of the Board of Education, a member of the Board of Selectmen, and a certified public accountant.