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Education foundation aims higher

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Looking to build on the success of previous campaigns, the Argyle ISD Education Foundation (AISDEF) has set a higher fundraising goal this year in order to help more teachers and students.

The Foundation began the school year with a new board of directors: Robert Burns, president; Judson Clark, vice president— development; Kelly Dunham, director; Zach Rozell, vice president— programs; Troy Valentino, vice president— investments; and, Dr. Jason West, vice president-administration.  Returning board members are Susan Curry-Langston, director; Janelle Hennes, secretary; Jane Krzysiak, vice president— community relations; and, Amy Mouser, treasurer.  The board also welcomes recent additions, Lisa White, director and Sam Slaton, director.

A key AISDEF initiative is the 2013-2014 Back the Red & Black annual appeal campaign. The campaign is expanding this year with a goal of $100,000. 

Last year, donor investments provided more than $37,000 in grants for teacher innovation and instructional support, more than $24,000 for professional development and recognition, plus an additional $14,000 granted for campus and district-wide initiatives.

One grant impacted Hilltop elementary teacher, Lorraine Arnold’s students. Arnold teaches fourth grade math and received a grant providing stability balls for her classroom. Stability balls keep both the brain and body engaged. Research shows this form of “active sitting” can help students focus and concentrate at a higher level. 

Under the direction of campaign chairman and board member Kelly Dunham, the 3rd Annual Back the Red & Black campaign kicked off October 18 with “Foundation Night at Fuzzy’s,”  a night of music and community building at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Argyle. 

Under the twinkling lights, kids played Frisbee and touch football, while friends and neighbors visited over dinner as the Craig McDaniel Band delivered an amazing show. George Dunham and the Bird Dogs wound down the evening that realized over $6,000 for the campaign. 

During the Argyle Homecoming parade on October 23, the Foundation participated with a float designed to highlight grant winners and Golden Eagle Teacher of Excellence award recipients. 

District Teacher of the Year and Argyle Intermediate School campus winner, Brenda Williams, Argyle Middle School winner, Edie Collins and Argyle High School winner, Leighann Fenter were featured guests on the float as well as others.

To date, the Foundation has provided $695,000 in financial resources to AISD invested in innovative, creative teacher and student programs not otherwise funded by the district through tax dollars.

Currently, AISDEF maintains an endowment of $744,000 for future educational investments. While the board is proud of this rich history, they are dedicated to “Think Bigger, Aim Higher” in its quest to help fill in the gaps as needed and provide funds and tools for teacher innovation and educational excellence in the classroom. 

As the year winds down and many consider financial gifts to various organizations, please consider joining AISD faculty and administrators, families and businesses in raising resources to benefit the students and staff of Argyle ISD. 

Argyle ISD Education Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to generating financial resources to invest in innovative, creative teacher and student programs not otherwise funded by the school district.

Visit www.aisdef.org for more information or to donate online.  If you are interested in volunteering for a board committee, there are many opportunities to serve.  Contact Mary Stein at mary.stein@aisdef.org for more information.

Submitted by the Argyle ISD Education Foundation

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