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.