Mission

The Skaneateles Education Foundation (SEF) through its partnership with the community seeks to enrich the educational experience of every student in the Skaneateles Central School District.

Our Vision

SEF fulfills this mission by engaging the community through charitable contributions to supplement state and local funding with the goals of enriching the curriculum, inspiring educational innovation and creating possibilities for the students of SCS.

Our People

The Board of Directors is comprised of parents, teachers and community members who share a common interest in assuring the best possible education for children in our community. Several are SCS alumni and faculty members. All have committed their own financial support to the Foundation and its mission.

Board Members

  • Kathleen Witter '95

    Board President; Finance & Legal Committee

    Kathleen grew up in Skaneateles and after living in Boston for a period after college, she has been back in the area since 2010. Kathleen and her husband, Chad, graduated in 1995 from Skaneateles High School. They have three girls - Celia, ...

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    Kathleen grew up in Skaneateles and after living in Boston for a period after college, she has been back in the area since 2010. Kathleen and her husband, Chad, graduated in 1995 from Skaneateles High School. They have three girls - Celia, Isabel and Lillian. Kathleen does marketing research and consulting for a firm called HawkPartners, which is based in Boston.

  • Ezra Wegbreit

    Vice President; Program & Grants Committee

    Ezra Wegbreit is an educator and a parent of three children in the District. His older daughter is a fifth grader, and his twins are first graders. Ezra is a psychology professor at Cazenovia College and has lived in Skaneateles ...

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    Ezra Wegbreit is an educator and a parent of three children in the District. His older daughter is a fifth grader, and his twins are first graders. Ezra is a psychology professor at Cazenovia College and has lived in Skaneateles since moving to the area five years ago. He has also served as an assistant and head coach for the Skaneateles Youth Soccer Organization. Originally from a small town in rural southwestern Virginia, he went to public schools and attended Virginia Tech, where he obtained bachelor’s degrees in psychology and philosophy, magna cum laude. Ezra then completed a PhD in experimental psychology at Northwestern University. Before moving to New York, Ezra conducted postdoctoral research fellowships studying children and adults with mood and attention disorders at the University of Illinois Chicago, Harvard Medical School, and Brown University Medical School. He is excited to join the Education Foundation and contribute to the academic success and personal growth of all Skaneateles’ students, faculty, and staff.

  • Travis Bradley

    Secretary; Finance & Legal Committee

  • Diane Eller

    Treasurer; Finance & Legal Committee, Chair

  • Keady Azzam '24

    Student Representative; SEF Student Advisory Council

  • Lindsey Babbles '05

    Alumni Committee

  • Erica Barnes Thomas

    Fundraising & Marketing Committee, Chair

    Erica, her husband Stephen, and their two children (SCS class of ’25 and ’33) moved to Skaneateles in 2016, drawn, in large part, by the exceptional school system and amazing sense of community. Prior to Skaneateles, the family lived in the Washington, D....

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    Erica, her husband Stephen, and their two children (SCS class of ’25 and ’33) moved to Skaneateles in 2016, drawn, in large part, by the exceptional school system and amazing sense of community. Prior to Skaneateles, the family lived in the Washington, D.C. area for nearly 18 years. Professionally, Erica spent more than 20 years as a financial/marketing consultant and business development executive for the Advisory Board Company, based in Washington, D.C. “Retiring” from her role last year, Erica is thrilled to have the opportunity to dig into the wonderful Skaneateles community and to give back through positions with the Skaneateles Vincent House Guild Board, as well as the Board of Managers at our YMCA & Community Center.

  • Bill Berthel

    Fundraising & Marketing Committee

    Bill and his wife Karyn and son Will moved to Skaneateles in 2019 from the Southern Tier of NY to be closer to his Leadership Development firm Emergent, headquartered in downtown Syracuse. Able to live anywhere near SYR, Skaneateles was the ...

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    Bill and his wife Karyn and son Will moved to Skaneateles in 2019 from the Southern Tier of NY to be closer to his Leadership Development firm Emergent, headquartered in downtown Syracuse. Able to live anywhere near SYR, Skaneateles was the goal due to its stellar school, the natural beauty of the area and the great location making many opportunities available for all aspects of family life!

  • Jennifer Reschke Bolster

    Finance & Legal Committee

    Jennifer Reschke Bolster moved to Skaneateles with her kids, Avery and Benjamin, in the summer of 2017, drawn in large part to the beautiful, close-knit community and excellent schools. Jenn has spent the majority of her life in the Syracuse area, ...

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    Jennifer Reschke Bolster moved to Skaneateles with her kids, Avery and Benjamin, in the summer of 2017, drawn in large part to the beautiful, close-knit community and excellent schools. Jenn has spent the majority of her life in the Syracuse area, having grown up in Liverpool and is thrilled to have settled in Skaneateles to raise her kids. She attended SUNY Albany for her undergraduate studies and obtained her law degree from Boston College in 2003. She was in private practice for 13 years in Syracuse, where she focused on health law before becoming the Chief Integrity and Compliance Officer at St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2018. She has counseled many not-for-profit organizations in a variety of capacities and is excited to share her expertise with Skaneateles Education Foundation.

  • Cherie Bourcy

    Program & Grants Committee

  • Rhonda Campbell

    Fundraising & Marketing Committee

    Rhonda Campbell is a native to Trinidad & Tobago and has been a resident of Skaneateles since 2004. A SUNY Cortland alumna, Rhonda is certified in Early Childhood/Childhood Education and has 22 years experience combined in banking, public education and International Baccalaureate (...

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    Rhonda Campbell is a native to Trinidad & Tobago and has been a resident of Skaneateles since 2004. A SUNY Cortland alumna, Rhonda is certified in Early Childhood/Childhood Education and has 22 years experience combined in banking, public education and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. Two of her children graduated from Skaneateles High School with her third child set to graduate in 2029. Rhonda is excited to join the foundation and looks forward to contributing to the continued development of the Skaneateles School District.

  • Amanda Ducharme

    Fundraising & Marketing Committee

    Amanda, her husband, Michael, and their two young sons, Charlie & Jack, moved to Skaneateles in 2020, after living in Connecticut for 12 years. They knew they wanted to move to be closer to their families in Lansing, NY and found Skaneateles to ...

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    Amanda, her husband, Michael, and their two young sons, Charlie & Jack, moved to Skaneateles in 2020, after living in Connecticut for 12 years. They knew they wanted to move to be closer to their families in Lansing, NY and found Skaneateles to be the perfect community to raise their boys. As a former 1st grade teacher in Darien, CT and a K-4 reading specialist and literacy coach in Ellington, CT, Amanda is particularly passionate about early childhood education. While working at these districts, she witnessed firsthand the importance of the home-school connection where educators, parents, and the community work together to maximize student learning. Amanda is now thrilled to be joining the SEF team to continue this meaningful work.

  • Michelle Ederer

    Program & Grants Committee, Chair

    Michelle Ederer resides in Skaneateles and has lived in the district for six years. She and her husband, Jon, have two children, both enrolled at State Street Intermediate School. She is President of the Skaneateles Elementary Parent Teacher Committee and ...

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    Michelle Ederer resides in Skaneateles and has lived in the district for six years. She and her husband, Jon, have two children, both enrolled at State Street Intermediate School. She is President of the Skaneateles Elementary Parent Teacher Committee and has served on the board for the past four years in various roles.

    Michelle graduated from South Jefferson Central School in Adams, New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and a Master of Science degree in Pathology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Michelle completed her Physician Associate degree from Yale University School of Medicine. She most recently earned her Doctor of Medical Science degree from the University of Lynchburg. Her doctoral thesis, “Comparing Mindfulness-Based Interventions with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Youth with Anxiety Disorders,” was recently accepted for publication. Michelle has practiced family medicine, school-based health, emergency medicine, urgent care, child and adolescent psychiatry, and pediatrics. She is board certified by the National Commission on Certification for Physician Assistants in Pediatrics. Currently, Michelle practices as a Physician Assistant at WellNOW Urgent Care in Fairmount, New York. She is a Past President for the New York State Society of Physician Assistants and served as Governmental Affairs Chair, Secretary, and President-elect. She has chaired numerous committees and is an active member of the Scholarship Committee. Ederer is a former House of Delegates Representative for the American Academy of Physician Assistants. As the Academic Coordinator for the Le Moyne College Physician Assistant Program, Michelle led the program’s transition to a web-based learning platform. As a Board Member she will utilize her healthcare, grant-writing, and teaching experience to focus on instructional technology, curriculum development, improving the health, safety, and wellness of students and procurement of art and educational grants to benefit academic enrichment opportunities for the district. Michelle hopes that her broad experience will allow her to continue to advance excellence in education for all Skaneateles students and best serve our community.

  • Michelle Mashia

    Fundraising & Marketing Committee

    Michelle Mashia moved to Skaneateles from the Washington DC area in 2008, having been drawn to this small town based on the exceptional school district and opportunities. She currently has two daughters in middle school and high school, and has served ...

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    Michelle Mashia moved to Skaneateles from the Washington DC area in 2008, having been drawn to this small town based on the exceptional school district and opportunities. She currently has two daughters in middle school and high school, and has served on various boards within the community including Holy Trinity Preschool and Skaneateles Youth Soccer. Professionally, Michelle is employed with IBM as a Technical Account Manager primarily focused on managing complex relationships and resolving critical issues. Michelle earned her Bachelor's degree in History from Providence College and a Masters degree in Public Administration from George Washington University.

  • Erin McCormack '92

    Alumni Committee, Chair

    Erin McCormack is the Asst. Vice President and Executive Producer at WXXI Public Media. She is responsible for the creative development, production and distribution of WXXI television, documentary film and digital-first programs. She is also the project manager for the ...

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    Erin McCormack is the Asst. Vice President and Executive Producer at WXXI Public Media. She is responsible for the creative development, production and distribution of WXXI television, documentary film and digital-first programs. She is also the project manager for the Move to Include initiative funded by the Golisano Foundation that aims to change the perception of people with disabilities through public media. Erin graduated from Skaneateles High School, Rollins College and the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications in 2005. She worked in theatre, television and film production in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and finally Los Angeles for 11 years. She moved back to Skaneateles in 2015 with her daughter Genevieve who will graduate with the class of 2027.

  • Mark McSwain, MD. FAAP, FACP

    Finance & Legal Committee

    Dr McSwain and his wife Teresa moved to Skaneateles in 2003 and he has been in private internal medicine and pediatrics practice since that time. He has 4 daughters who have attended Skaneateles Central Schools to include his oldest who graduated in 2020. ...

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    Dr McSwain and his wife Teresa moved to Skaneateles in 2003 and he has been in private internal medicine and pediatrics practice since that time. He has 4 daughters who have attended Skaneateles Central Schools to include his oldest who graduated in 2020. He received his BS from Virginia Military Institute where he graduated 1st in his class. He then attended Duke University School of Medicine where he graduated in 1994. He completed a 4-year residency program in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine from University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. He did serve as a Captain in the Army Reserves Medical Corps. More recently he founded the Urgent Care of Auburn and served as its medical director until 2020. He is also the occupational medicine director for Auburn Hospital. Mark has previously served as the chairman of the department of family practice at Auburn Community Hospital and on the executive committee of the hospital. He has also served on the board for Holy Trinity Preschool and has been a soccer coach for Skaneateles Youth Soccer.

  • Nancy R. Murray

    Program & Grants Committee

    Nancy Murray is a longtime resident of Skaneateles. She raised 6 children here who attended Skaneateles Schools. Nancy gives back to this community in so many ways; she is actively involved at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, the American ...

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    Nancy Murray is a longtime resident of Skaneateles. She raised 6 children here who attended Skaneateles Schools. Nancy gives back to this community in so many ways; she is actively involved at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, the American Legion and Auxiliary, tutoring high school students, and more. Nancy has supported SEF since its early days and looks forward to further supporting its mission as a board member.

  • Allison Olley '94

    Alumni Committee

    Allison Olley is a Skaneateles CSD alumna and proud public school teacher. She studied in Germany before and during college and worked on a Presidential Advisory Commission in Washington DC before moving back to the Syracuse area. She has three ...

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    Allison Olley is a Skaneateles CSD alumna and proud public school teacher. She studied in Germany before and during college and worked on a Presidential Advisory Commission in Washington DC before moving back to the Syracuse area. She has three sons who have attended public school in the City of Syracuse and Skaneateles Districts.

  • Brian Sevey

    SEF Student Advisory Council Advisor

    Brian Sevey has been teaching math and statistics at Skaneateles High School since 2008. His wife, Audra, is also a math teacher in the district. Together they have two children in the district. Prior to serving on the SEF Board, Brian ...

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    Brian Sevey has been teaching math and statistics at Skaneateles High School since 2008. His wife, Audra, is also a math teacher in the district. Together they have two children in the district. Prior to serving on the SEF Board, Brian was a grant winner of the Jean Graham Fund. Through this grant, Brian traveled to St. Andrews, Scotland for a week-long conference hosted by the World Scientific Congress of Golf. During his trip, he was able to geek-out with the industry's best engineers, statisticians, and physicists! He was also able to play the Old Course and attend the Sunday round of The Open Championship. Brian hopes to increase teacher awareness and the overall footprint of the SEF and SAC.

  • Ali Whipple '23

    Student Representative; SEF Student Advisory Council

    Ali Whipple is a class of 2023 student at Skaneateles High School and has lived in Skaneateles her entire life. She is involved in sports and the drama program at the high school and is excited to participate in the school ...

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    Ali Whipple is a class of 2023 student at Skaneateles High School and has lived in Skaneateles her entire life. She is involved in sports and the drama program at the high school and is excited to participate in the school community as the junior class '23 president this year as well as in clubs and extracurriculars. Ali's mother is the district's Director of Learning/Special Ed, and she has a twin sister, Emma.

District Liaisons

  • Gary Campbell

    Skaneateles Board of Education Member; Liaison to the SEF Board

    Gary and his family have been Skaneateles residents since 2004. Their eldest, Raenah, completed her B.Sc. in Nutritional Sciences at Drexel, class of 2022. Their son Matheu, class of 2021, is attending Columbia University, and youngest daughter, Maya, class of 2029, attends Skaneateles ...

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    Gary and his family have been Skaneateles residents since 2004. Their eldest, Raenah, completed her B.Sc. in Nutritional Sciences at Drexel, class of 2022. Their son Matheu, class of 2021, is attending Columbia University, and youngest daughter, Maya, class of 2029, attends Skaneateles schools. Gary’s wife, Rhonda Gall-Campbell, teaches sixth grade Science and Social Studies in the Southern Cayuga School District. Gary holds a B.Sc. Electrical & Computer Engineering and is currently reading for an MBA in finance. He has functioned in various capacities in the primary metals, power generation, downstream petrochemical and bio-pharma chemical industries, as well as in the design and construction of several greenfield sites and their subsequent operations. Gary’s is currently developing his consultancy with a core focus on the comprehensive optimization of business management and technical processes within small, medium and micro enterprises.

    Being native to the Caribbean and having amazing firsthand experiences living in different cultures, the value, benefits and importance of community involvement, diversity and inclusion are of great significance to the Campbell family. Be it Matheu’s weekly classical piano performances at the senior living center, Rhonda’s teaching of faith formation classes at St. Mary’s, Raenah’s coaching with the “Philly Girls in Motion,” or Maya accompanying Gary with Lions’ Club citrus fundraiser deliveries, giving back to their community is of paramount importance.

Ex officio/Committee Volunteers

  • Connie Bohrer '82

    Past Board Member; Jean Graham Fund Committee Chair

    Connie Coyne Bohrer is a native of Skaneateles and a 1982 graduate. After teaching and consulting for Arlington County Public Schools in Arlington, Virginia, Connie returned to New York State to complete her Master’s in Literacy Education with Syracuse University. ...

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    Connie Coyne Bohrer is a native of Skaneateles and a 1982 graduate. After teaching and consulting for Arlington County Public Schools in Arlington, Virginia, Connie returned to New York State to complete her Master’s in Literacy Education with Syracuse University. She began teaching at State Street School in 1994 and since then has taught second, third, fourth, and fifth grades. Connie currently serves as a Reading Specialist for grades 3-6. She enjoys spending time traveling with her three children; Calvin, Emma, and Maddie, who are all SCS graduates.

  • Cristy Winkelman '80

    Past Board Member; Alumni Committee

    Cristy was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1980 graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools. She is currently working as a licensed real estate salesperson and as a customer service specialist at HABA USA in Skaneateles. Cristy has worked in ...

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    Cristy was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1980 graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools. She is currently working as a licensed real estate salesperson and as a customer service specialist at HABA USA in Skaneateles. Cristy has worked in retail for over thirty years, beginning right here in Skaneateles. She previously worked for Ralph Lauren for fourteen years before leaving Florida with her infant daughter to return to family, friends and the much stronger school system Skaneateles has to offer. Cristy serves as the secretary and co-treasurer of the Dwight W. Winkelman Foundation. Her daughter will be a 2022 graduate of SCS.

Staff

  • Heather Carroll

    Executive Director

    Heather Carroll became involved with the Skaneateles Education Foundation in 2011 when she joined the board and began organizing events as chair of the fundraising committee. In 2015, she was hired as its executive director, the only part-time paid employee of SEF. <...

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    Heather Carroll became involved with the Skaneateles Education Foundation in 2011 when she joined the board and began organizing events as chair of the fundraising committee. In 2015, she was hired as its executive director, the only part-time paid employee of SEF.

    In order to put her best foot forward, Heather enrolled in the first cohort of a certification program for education foundation leaders through the National School Foundation Association [NSFA] and earned her CEFL. This rigorous 6-month program explores topics specific to education foundation management– Organizational Planning and Leadership, Legal Requirements, Financial Management, Resource Development, Marketing, Board Development, and Educational Collaboration. The industry professionals she befriended in that course continue to inspire the work she does today.

    Skaneateles is a small town, population 7,500, in the Finger Lakes region of Central New York. The school district has a student population of 1,265. There is very little racial diversity, but broad socio-economic differences. Free and reduced lunch is 7%. SEF is proud to have funded more than $500,000 in grants to the district since it was founded in 2009.

    In 2018, Heather was invited to serve as the New York state representative for the NSFA’s Industry Leadership Council. Members of the ILC are considered thought leaders in the industry and support the NSFA’s collective national efforts in raising the knowledge base, profile and impact of the education foundation industry. In 2019, she became the ILC representative for the entire northeast region.

    In 2020, Heather was honored to join the NSFA board of directors. She has served on the national conference planning committee since 2020. In 2022, she is now proud to serve on the executive committee of the rebranded National Association of Education Foundations [NAEF] as board secretary.

    Heather and her husband have lived in Skaneateles since 1998. Their 4 teenage daughters are all proud SCS Lakers in this community that they love. Outside of work, Heather and Tim enjoy entertaining in their turn-of-the-century Mandana Barn. Renting the barn as a wedding venue and donating the space for fundraisers has become a family business that keeps them busy during the summer and fall.

  • Amy Chabot

    Administrative Assistant

    Amy Chabot, a Central New York native, has two boys attending the Skaneateles Central Schools and with her husband, Stephen, has lived in Skaneateles since 2003. Amy earned her Bachelor's degree in Accounting and her Masters of Business Administration at St. ...

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    Amy Chabot, a Central New York native, has two boys attending the Skaneateles Central Schools and with her husband, Stephen, has lived in Skaneateles since 2003. Amy earned her Bachelor's degree in Accounting and her Masters of Business Administration at St. Bonaventure University. She has been the treasurer at Holy Trinity Preschool in Skaneateles since 2012, and works part-time at the Galbato Law Firm in Auburn in addition to other part-time accounting work. Amy served on the board of the Elementary PTC and worked on the State Street School playground project in 2015.

Annual Report

For stories about SEF grants and impact in the district, please download and review the annual reports below.

Financials

2019-20 Financial Statement

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, the Foundation had revenues of $99,485 and expenditures of $50,159. The largest sources of revenue are $35,202 from contributions, $45,714 from fundraising events and $18,319 from investment income.  The largest components of expenses are grants to other organizations in the amount of $11,093, salaries of $27,054 and fundraising expenses of $8,590.

Net Assets are defined as the Organization’s assets less its liabilities. For the year ended June 30, 2020 net assets were $270,738 consisting of $230,249 with donor restrictions, and $40,489 without donor restrictions.  Net Assets with donor restrictions consist of temporarily restricted and permanently restricted net assets.

The Foundation maintains a conservative fiscal policy, balancing long-term sustainability of the organization while providing meaningful grants, leveraged to achieve the greatest good for District students and donor dollars.

For a comprehensive look at SEF’s financial breakdown and expenditures, please download and review the 990 reports below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Skaneateles Education Foundation?

    The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in 2008 which raises funds through events and contributions to support the pursuit of excellence for every student in the Skaneateles Central School District. Its principal purpose and goal is to supplement though not supplant, state and local public funding. Its efforts are solely directed at enhancing the quality of education, by strengthening the curriculum and expanding the resources available to students and faculty in the Skaneateles Central School District.

  • Why do we need an education foundation?

    There exists a growing gap between what public funds provide and what the Skaneateles school system needs to remain at the forefront of excellence. During times when the school district receives less state funding, and monies needed to research and develop the best curricular programs are not available, our students will seamlessly continue to receive the quality education which each parent and member of this community expects. The Foundation directs its efforts and the grants it makes to help bridge that gap in the hope that each student is afforded equal opportunity to reach his or her academic potential.

  • Who runs the Foundation and decides how the money gets spent?

    The Foundation has a 19-member Board of Directors that governs the operations and business of the Foundation. Within the Board, there are specific committees that review all grant applications and make recommendations to the Board for approval of grant expenditures.

  • What are the types of things that the Foundation will not pay for?

    • Faculty/Staff salaries and benefits
    • Support of sports teams and equipment
    • General capital improvements
    • Building and grounds operations and maintenance
    • Ongoing transportation expenses
    • Routine purchases of equipment and supplies
    • Support of current curriculum, programs and projects
  • If I give to the Foundation, how will my money be used?

    Donations will be used to enhance the educational experience of students and teachers through creative initiatives and programs, new learning tools and methodologies. Although it is not necessary to achieve them all, grant proposals funded by the Foundation will receive favorable consideration when they achieve a high percentage of the following Foundation objectives:

    • Serve as an opportunity for enrichment that cannot be funded through the normal school budget
    • Demonstrate innovative approaches or methodologies
    • Are consistent with the Skaneateles Central Schools curriculum and NY State DOE standards
    • Serve as an effective pilot for possible future programs
    • Include a method of assessing the project’s effectiveness
    • Offer the possibility of continued impact for more than one year
    • Encourage and facilitate student and other educator feedback
    • Offer expanded opportunities for application in other curricula and use by other educators
    • Anticipate, encourage, or reflect the expanded use of technology
    • Encourage partnership with other funding sources
    • Impact as many students as possible
  • How does the Foundation differ from the PTC?

    Both organizations are complementary and dedicated to improving the learning experience of students in the Skaneateles School District, yet there are significant differences in how they achieve their goals and generate resources to accomplish their distinctive missions. The Education Foundation takes a broader approach to fundraising by soliciting support from all community residents, regardless of whether they have children currently attending school, as well as seeking support from the business community and   private foundations. In addition, the Foundation board is comprised of community members who may or may not have children attending the schools yet are passionate about the role education plays in the community and the world beyond. The programs that the Foundation supports through grants span all grades and academic disciplines, and include campus-wide curricular initiatives that benefit all students.

  • How can I get involved with the Foundation other than through a donation?

    The Foundation welcomes volunteers on many committees and advisory groups. If you are interested in serving on a fundraising committee, or have a specific area of interest or expertise to share with the Board, please contact SEF’s Executive Director.

  • Are there other education foundations like the Skaneateles Education Foundation?

    Nationally, there are 4800 education foundations, many of which have been making a difference in their local communities for two decades. In New York State, there are estimated to be more than 100, with most having started in recent years. Locally, there are foundations supporting Ithaca, Fairport, Westhill, Fayetteville-Manlius, ESM, North Syracuse and Syracuse City schools.

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  • Can I specify how my money will be used?

    The most powerful way you can support the Foundation is through an unrestricted gift. Donations can be earmarked to the following funds:

    • Fund for Greatest Priority
    • STEM Fund
    • Jean Graham Fund
    • Endowment Fund
  • Can I put the Skaneateles Education Foundation in my will?

    Yes, donors may include the Skaneateles Education Foundation as a designated beneficiary of a bequest. It is recommended that this be done with advice of counsel.

  • Does the school district have any say in how the money gets spent?

    The Foundation maintains an open and collaborative relationship with the Board of Education and the SCSD Administration. However, the Foundation will have final approval on all grants and funds expended.

  • If I give to the Foundation, can I deduct it on my income taxes?

    Yes, in accordance with IRS regulations for charitable gifts to a 501(c)(3) organization.

  • Can I designate my gift in tribute of someone?

    A donation to the Foundation in honor or in memory of someone special will be recognized on our website and in our annual report. Please designate your gift as such on the donor form or online payment.

  • Can I designate the Education Foundation in my United Way contribution?

    Giving to the Foundation through regular deductions from your paycheck to the United Way is a powerful and easy way to make a contribution. You can designate the Skaneateles Education Foundation when you fill out your United Way pledge card.

  • Who can apply for grants from the Foundation?

    Any faculty, administrator, or staff member of the Skaneateles Central Schools may apply for a grant. Applicants must submit a completed application, available on the website or through the Foundation office. The Foundation accepts Lightning Grant/Common applications on a continual basis. Application dates for larger grants are March 1st, July 1st, and November 1st.

  • What are the Foundation’s administrative expenses?

    The Foundation employs a part-time executive director and a very part-time hourly administrative assistant. The Foundation utilizes office space, internet and phone service in the middle school free of charge. Nominal expenses are incurred for marketing and office functions. The design of our logo and website has been generously donated by Mindshare LLC. It is the duty of the Foundation to responsibly spend all donations and to keep any incurred costs for administrative and fundraising activities at a minimum.

  • What is the history of SEF and how did it get started?

    The Skaneateles Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) educational support foundation, convened its first meeting in November 2008. The original impetus for such an organization resulted from the efforts of Irene Stafford (President of the Board of Education) and Philip D’Angelo (Superintendent of the Skaneateles Central School District) to create a support foundation established primarily to help students demonstrating extenuating circumstances and need. That organization had first been called the Skaneateles Extended Learning Fund (SELF), and it received seed funding as the result of a gift from the SCS Class of 1951 and other individual gifts.

    SELF has now become the Skaneateles Education Foundation with an expanded mission, new by-laws, and a Board of Directors comprised of twenty community members, including retired SCS faculty, SCS alumni, and two current SCS faculty members. The Superintendent of Schools serves as SCS Liaison to the Foundation Board. A seed grant from the Allyn Foundation has helped to cover initial administrative expenses.

    The Class of ’51 gift, and other contributions made to SELF, were entrusted to the Foundation and a formal fund-accounting system was established to assure strict adherence to the restrictions accompanying the original gifts. The Foundation Board approved new Bylaws and a new Mission Statement. A committee structure was put into place: Finance and Legal, Marketing and Public Relations, Development and Fundraising, Program and Grants, and Needs-based Grants. These committees prepared and implemented Program and Needs-based Grant Guidelines and Applications, as well as other organizational policies and procedures.

    In the summer of 2009, the Foundation conducted three events to speak with community leaders and get feedback on its mission and intentions. These “focus groups” provided valuable information and counsel to the Board as it moves forward to fulfill its mission.

    The Foundation is deeply indebted to all those persons who comprised the Board of SELF, the initial interim Foundation Board, and to those professionals who contributed good counsel, energy, and time to both organizations in the formative period.