Supporting Education for our Future
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.
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.
SOMERS EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Paul Salva, M.D., PhD.
John Mailhot, MBA
Robin Munson, CPA
Bruce Devlin, JD,
Chairman, Board of Education
Kathy Devlin, Selectman
Superintendent of Schools
Kathy Welch, Information Technology
Tim Keeney, JD
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.
The Somers Education Foundation’s (SEF) 13th year has been an outstanding success. The SEF awarded $59,778 this academic year -the most ever. It has awarded a total of $362,000 during its 13 years of existence, while building an endowment of $503,000. Important changes and improvements continue. VP John Mailhot led a successful Bylaws review/revision project. SEF bids a fond farewell to Board Member Jessica Antonacci and welcomes Michelle Bernier to our Board. We look forward to integrating Michelle’s talents into the organization. Chris Castonguay has accepted the role of Treasurer, after serving as Secretary last year. William Kirkpatrick will continue to manage the Geissler’s Receipts program and serve on the Investment and Grant Review Committees. SEF also bids farewell to Dr. Maynard Suffredini who was Superintendent and an ex-officio member of SEF for ten years. He was a strong supporter of SEF and helped build SEF’s reputation with the faculty and community.
SEF had two new fundraisers this year – A Comedy Night and Brewfest – both very successful. It also announced the formation of its fourth Named Fund – The Anne and Bill Kirkpatrick Fund.
The Geissler’s Receipts Program continues to be very successful. SEF thanks the Nilsson Family for its generosity in continuing its sponsorship of this important program.
SEF was again the beneficiary of a very gracious donation of $50,000 from Mrs. Helen and Mr. S. Prestley Blake, as well as a $10,000 donation from the Antonacci Family.
SEF is now officially 13 years old. 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. In 2015-16, for the first time, the SEF utilized funds from the endowment. It did so again this year. This was a huge, second test-of-concept and it worked - again! The endowment is working exactly as envisioned!! This is something of which the SEF and its supporters should be very proud.
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 and successful year for the Somers Education Foundation.
Thank you for your generosity and support.
Paul Salva, President
And the Somers Education Foundation Board
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 13 years, SEF has grown its Endowment to over $503,000, and provides approximately $60,000 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.