Special Gifts

Being able to follow your dreams, pursue your interests and achieve a challenging and successful career is an honor and privilege.  The Oakwood Schools appreciate those alumni and community members who make special gifts to the District.

Lange Kindergarten and Preschool.  Lange Kindergarten and Preschool opened its doors in 2000, a special initiative brought to the Oakwood Schools Education Foundation by Richard Lange.  Richard wanted to memorialize his parents, Julian and Marjorie Lange, who were lifelong advocates of education.  Today, Lange serves 121 students in all-day kindergarten.

Worth Engineering Lab.  In 2010, a generous gift in memory of Sue Worth from a private California foundation helped establish the Worth Engineering Lab at Oakwood High School.  In the few years since, Oakwood’s engineering program has grown exponentially, both in terms of classes offered and students served.  Thanks to the generosity of the Sue and Weldon Worth family, a new generation of engineers is getting its start right here in Oakwood.

District-wide Technology.  Cy Spurlino, OHS ’53, generously donated the funds necessary to establish the technology infrastructure of the School District.  His gift enabled the Schools to acquire the cabling, software and equipment necessary to create a district-wide computer network.

Gretchen’s Garden.  Cy Spurlino, OHS ’53, was looking for a meaningful way to honor his Aunt Gretchen Smalley, former principal of Harman Elementary School.  Thanks to Cy’s generosity, “Gretchen’s Garden” is a beautiful space in front of Harman that includes a delightful sculpture of children at play.

Unrestricted Annual Gifts.  Mr. Arthur Schnake, OHS ’38, was a talented scientist and inventor whose career focused on thermodynamics and system integration. Even late in his life, he still found time to study physics, and his keen interest in science permeated his thought and conversations.  Recognizing the value of his Oakwood science, education, Mr. Schnake made a generous gift of $10,000, and he pledged an additional $10,000 each year that lived.  Knowing that his passions might not fill the greatest need, Mr. Schnake further showed his generosity by not requiring the gift to be used for any particular purpose.

Class Gifts.  Oakwood alumni are generous in their support of the Foundation and our schools.  Entire classes typically make a gift, often in conjunction with a milestone reunion.  For instance:

  • The Class of ’65 gathered for its 40th reunion at Homecoming 2005 with almost half the class in attendance.  During the weekend, they discussed ways to celebrate their 50th reunion and decided a special plan was needed.  To give something substantial back to the Oakwood Schools, the Class of 1965 set a goal to raise $100,000 for the Oakwood Schools Foundation, to be presented at their 50th reunion in 2015.  The fund is growing each year and the class has challenged others to make significant contributions as well.
  • The Class of 1981 wanted to recognize its 25th reunion in a special and fitting way.  Knowing the difficulty all organizations face in keeping up with technology, they decided to present a class gift focused in that area.  More than $5,000 was raised for this important purpose.  Using an anonymous matching gift, The Foundation was able to purchase nine document camera readers (the overhead projector of old).  Superintendent Mary Jo Scalzo reports that teachers are “absolutely giddy to have this equipment in their classrooms.”