For more than four decades, The Oakwood Schools Foundation has received contributions to support the educational experience at Oakwood Schools. Comprised of 14 volunteer members, Foundation Trustees are a hard-working board who focus efforts on the organization’s core mission. Trustees of the Foundation include community members, alumni, and parents who volunteer their time to make a difference for our students and community. Each individual is involved in making decisions and seeing things through to advance the mission with the support of the Foundation’s two part-time staff members. Current Trustee membership includes Chair Linda Woods, Vice Chair Kevin Jones, and Emma Butler, Ashley Coyne, Ashley Hackett, Ed Gray, John Hadley, Josh Heid, Yusaku Kawai, Amy Martin, Jamie Mhaskar, Lisa Sanford, and Greg Lauterbach. Given the Foundation’s continued annual growth in funds raised and activities, they are seeking to add several new members in the coming year.

The Oakwood Schools Foundation is a volunteer fundraising organization and receives no tax or state funding. It is completely supported by private donations from alumni, friends, and community members. Supportive donors and volunteers have made the organization possible since its founding in 1981 by providing funding over and above the schools’ budget. It is not involved in any way in funding or decisions in district staffing or other operational support.

Trustees of the Foundation help guide and support annual initiatives and programs funded and administered through the Foundation. Thanks to the generous donor community, annual activities include over 20 scholarship awards for students, a twiceannual grant cycle for teachers and departments, and other mission-based programming such as Philanthropy 101, the Harlamert Entrepreneurship Competition, Junior Experience, and the Parker Love of Teaching and Lifelong Learning Award. Special fundraising and partnership efforts arise with donor interest. These include the William Hewitt Studio, a real-world broadcasting studio established in 2022, and the complete reconstruction of the Junior High and High School greenhouse, currently in the works, thanks to a remarkable group gift from the OHS Class of 1972 in honor of their milestone 50th reunion.

Another example of special initiatives operated by the Foundation in the fall of 2021, FLOURISH: A Campaign for Oakwood’s Performing & Visual Arts. The largest capital campaign and first of its kind in Oakwood history has successfully raised over $6.6 million to date. Thanks to the positive donor community response, construction on the new Rick & Jane Schwartz Performing Arts Wing began in December 2022. This Campaign is continuing fundraising momentum toward its $8.8 million total goal which includes two other phases of multi-use arts facilities enhancements. With continued support, all three phases will be fully integrated into the 2024-25 School Year.

Article Link: Oakwood Register