Mission

The Skaneateles Education Foundation is established to solicit and manage charitable contributions and bequests for the benefit of student education. 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. Through its partnership with the community, the Foundation endeavors to enrich the educational experience of every student.

Our Vision

We strive to be effective stewards of donor contributions, driving resources to our classrooms that provide exceptional opportunities for all our students in ways that inspire creativity, stimulate engaged learning, and create a climate of possibility.

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.

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 former faculty members. All have committed their own financial support to the Foundation and its mission.

Board Members

  • Thomas W. Seeley

    President, Fundraising & Marketing Committee Chair

    Tom Seeley has lived in Skaneateles since 1996 and has two children attending Skaneateles Central Schools. The Law Office of Thomas W. Seeley, PC is a full-service law firm with offices in Skaneateles. Prior to becoming an attorney, Tom was a ...

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    Tom Seeley has lived in Skaneateles since 1996 and has two children attending Skaneateles Central Schools. The Law Office of Thomas W. Seeley, PC is a full-service law firm with offices in Skaneateles. Prior to becoming an attorney, Tom was a newspaper reporter in the Hudson Valley and an editor of The Citizen in Auburn, New York. Tom has been active in the Skaneateles community for many years. He was the Cubmaster and a Den Leader for Skaneateles Cub Scout Pack 161 and has been active in youth baseball. Tom is also a past-president of the Skaneateles Sunrise Rotary Club and coordinates the club’s annual Winterfest celebration. Tom currently serves on the board of the Skaneateles Endowment Fund.

  • Cristy Winkelman '80

    Past-President; Development Committee Chair

    Cristy was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1980 graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools. She is currently working in customer service at HABA USA. Cristy has worked in retail for the past thirty plus years, beginning here in Skaneateles. ...

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    Cristy was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1980 graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools. She is currently working in customer service at HABA USA. Cristy has worked in retail for the past thirty plus years, beginning 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 is also on the board of the Dwight W. Winkelman Foundation. Her daughter will be a 2022 graduate of SCS.

  • Courtney Alexander '94

    Treasurer

    Courtney Alexander (Jones) is a graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools Class of 1994. Born and raised in Skaneateles, she is a lifelong resident. Courtney and her husband Jim have 4 children, two graduates ...

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    Courtney Alexander (Jones) is a graduate of Skaneateles Central Schools Class of 1994. Born and raised in Skaneateles, she is a lifelong resident. Courtney and her husband Jim have 4 children, two graduates and two sons currently enrolled at SCS. She is the Treasurer at Skaneateles Nursery School, and the Program Manager at New Dimensions Medical Services. Courtney has worked on fundraising with several organizations including the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Moms & Kids Childcare Cooperative. She has also enjoyed volunteering as a coach with Lakeshore Baseball.

  • Sandra Scott

    Secretary

    Sandy Scott and her husband Paul have lived in the Skaneateles area since 2011, and have two children attending Skaneateles Central Schools. Sandy is currently a Process Engineering Consultant with Salt City Technical, and also worked as a Product Development Engineer ...

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    Sandy Scott and her husband Paul have lived in the Skaneateles area since 2011, and have two children attending Skaneateles Central Schools. Sandy is currently a Process Engineering Consultant with Salt City Technical, and also worked as a Product Development Engineer at Kodak. For the past four years, she has volunteered as both an Odyssey of the Mind coach and judge. In addition, Sandy has been active in the Skaneateles PTC and also volunteers at St. Mary’s of the Lake church.

  • Debra Covell

    Debra Covell is librarian at Skaneateles High School Library, where she teaches information literacy, promotes reading and poetry, and assists all students, faculty members, and administrators with literature and technology. These past three years at the secondary level have given ...

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    Debra Covell is librarian at Skaneateles High School Library, where she teaches information literacy, promotes reading and poetry, and assists all students, faculty members, and administrators with literature and technology. These past three years at the secondary level have given Debra an opportunity to reconnect with students she taught at State Street Intermediate School, where she was the librarian for twelve years. Debra also taught in the East Syracuse Minoa District, as library media specialist, at Pine Grove Junior High (grades 7 - 9) for five years after attending Syracuse University’s School of Information for a Master’s Degree in Library Science. (Prior teaching experience includes sixth grade language arts in Ohio and first grade in Washington.) Debra has lived here since 1990 and all three of her children were graduated from Skaneateles schools.

  • Valerie Jerabeck

    Valerie Jerabeck is a former nuclear engineer, and former member of the Skaneateles Central School Board of Education. A 33-year resident of Skaneateles, Val is married and has two children who attended SCS from K through 12. Val held the position ...

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    Valerie Jerabeck is a former nuclear engineer, and former member of the Skaneateles Central School Board of Education. A 33-year resident of Skaneateles, Val is married and has two children who attended SCS from K through 12. Val held the position of President of each of the PTCs, Skaneateles Music Boosters, was an active member of Rotary, and numerous other volunteer organizations.  

  • Lynne Marie S. Jones

    Lynne Marie S. Jones, CFRE and her husband Michael came to Skaneateles in 1994 to be in an excellent school district and to be close to family. They have five children – Packy, Mitchell, Connor, Riley and Tynan - who all attended ...

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    Lynne Marie S. Jones, CFRE and her husband Michael came to Skaneateles in 1994 to be in an excellent school district and to be close to family. They have five children – Packy, Mitchell, Connor, Riley and Tynan - who all attended Skaneateles schools since nursery school. They have all participated and volunteered in a wide variety of activities, sports, and programs within the schools and community. For work, Lynne is the Senior Director for Gift Planning at Syracuse University. She is responsible for planned and major giving, donor relations and fund development with individual constituents and for providing insight, guidance and training for volunteers, advisors and staff in their efforts to generate high-level donations. She joined SU in 2012 following over twenty years as a professional fundraiser and organizational strategist with local and national organizations. She hopes her experience working with donors and their professional advisors, helping them to fulfill both their financial and philanthropic goals will help further the mission of the Skaneateles Education Foundation.

  • Sophie Keefer

    Finance & Legal Committee Chair

    Sophie Keefer lives in Skaneateles, NY, with her husband Christopher Day and two daughters. Before moving to Skaneateles in 2012, Sophie and her family lived in Glen Echo, MD. Sophie received a law degree from the Catholic University of America in 1997 ...

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    Sophie Keefer lives in Skaneateles, NY, with her husband Christopher Day and two daughters. Before moving to Skaneateles in 2012, Sophie and her family lived in Glen Echo, MD. Sophie received a law degree from the Catholic University of America in 1997 and practiced law for 13 years at the Washington, DC office of Willkie, Farr, & Gallagher, where she specialized in international data privacy and security issues. She has served on the board of Todd's Fund, a Skaneateles charity that serves the needs of children in Central New York, for the past three years. Her children attend Skaneateles schools.

  • Mary Kerwick '87

    Mary Kerwick (Morrissey) was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1987 graduate of SCS. She earned a Bachelors’ degree in Communications from SUNY Geneseo. Since moving back to Skaneateles 5 years ...

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    Mary Kerwick (Morrissey) was born and raised in Skaneateles and is a 1987 graduate of SCS. She earned a Bachelors’ degree in Communications from SUNY Geneseo. Since moving back to Skaneateles 5 years ago, Mary served as Executive Director of Todd’s Fund, a local charity that provided financial relief to children in need. Mary is also a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. She is very active in her community as a member of the Skaneateles Parent Teacher Committee (PTC) and youth soccer coach. She enjoys time with family, friends, and traveling.

  • John Mashia

    John is an accomplished executive with over 10 years of senior leadership experience in the areas of operations, finance, and business development. Currently John is President & COO of IMS, Inc.; a fully integrated provider for print, electronic, and mail communication ...

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    John is an accomplished executive with over 10 years of senior leadership experience in the areas of operations, finance, and business development. Currently John is President & COO of IMS, Inc.; a fully integrated provider for print, electronic, and mail communication services headquartered in Liverpool, NY. Prior to his current role, John held numerous executive positions with IMS, Inc. as well as a Sales Management Position with NMS in McLean, Virginia. In 2012, he was honored as one of the “top 40, under 40” business people in Central New York and was recognized as one of the top young executives in America by World Wide “Who’s Who.” John earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. He also serves on the board of the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. John and his wife Michelle have lived in Skaneateles since 2008. Their two children, Elizabeth and Emma, attend Skaneateles Central Schools.

  • Aisha McConochy

    Aisha McConochy has taught 12th grade Composition and Literature & AP English at Skaneateles High School since 2012. She has a bachelor's degree in English and her MAT from Kent State University. She has taught in Japan, Ohio, California, and locally ...

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    Aisha McConochy has taught 12th grade Composition and Literature & AP English at Skaneateles High School since 2012. She has a bachelor's degree in English and her MAT from Kent State University. She has taught in Japan, Ohio, California, and locally at Baldwinsville HS. She has also been an Adjunct Instructor of English at Onondaga Community College. Aisha, her husband Steve and their three children have lived in Skaneateles since 2006, having purchased her grandparent’s home. She loves to travel, read, and spend as much time as possible outdoors (whether swimming, hiking, or skiing) with her family.  

  • Kristi Peterson

    Program & Grants Committee Chair

    Kristi and her husband Andy have lived in Skaneateles since 2000. They have three children, Kenny, Ellie and Grace, all attending Skaneateles Central Schools. Kristi holds a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction from SUNY Oswego. Kristi taught ...

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    Kristi and her husband Andy have lived in Skaneateles since 2000. They have three children, Kenny, Ellie and Grace, all attending Skaneateles Central Schools. Kristi holds a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction from SUNY Oswego. Kristi taught middle school and high school in Central New York and Pennsylvania for 10 years. After that, while choosing to stay at home full time, Kristi continued her commitment to education. She served as President of Skaneateles Nursery School, Vice President of Fundraising for the Skaneateles Elementary PTC, and President of the Elementary PTC. Kristi continues to volunteer for numerous school activities, most recently working on the State Street School playground project. She currently enjoys teaching in the four-year old program at Skaneateles Nursery School.

  • Molly Phillips

    Molly has lived in Skaneateles since 2011. She and her husband Todd have two children in Skaneateles Central Schools. Molly is a former Elementary Teacher at Westhill School District and Reading Specialist at Ballston Spa School District. She was the District ...

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    Molly has lived in Skaneateles since 2011. She and her husband Todd have two children in Skaneateles Central Schools. Molly is a former Elementary Teacher at Westhill School District and Reading Specialist at Ballston Spa School District. She was the District Language Arts Resource for Fayetteville Manlius Schools (K-5) and has served as a Language Arts Consultant for other local districts. She has been involved in the Elementary PTC and has volunteered in after-school programs for special needs students.

  • Dannie Taylor ‘68

    Dannie Taylor is a former elementary school teacher at State Street School. She and her four adult children are all alumni of Skaneateles Central Schools. Dannie and her husband, Jim have been involved in numerous community activities during their 40-year ...

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    Dannie Taylor is a former elementary school teacher at State Street School. She and her four adult children are all alumni of Skaneateles Central Schools. Dannie and her husband, Jim have been involved in numerous community activities during their 40-year marriage. They feel very fortunate to share this great community with their eight grandchildren.

District Liaisons

  • Ken Slentz

    Superintendent

    Ken Slentz is the Superintendent of Skaneateles Central Schools. He began his career as a teacher assistant working with special needs children at St. Catherine’s Center for Children in Albany. He has worked in a variety of positions ranging ...

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    Ken Slentz is the Superintendent of Skaneateles Central Schools. He began his career as a teacher assistant working with special needs children at St. Catherine’s Center for Children in Albany. He has worked in a variety of positions ranging from Middle School Teacher, Curriculum Director, K-12 Principal and eventually Superintendent of Schools in the Long Lake and West Canada Valley Central School Districts. Most recently he served as a Deputy Commissioner in the Office of P-12 Education for the State of New York. He earned a B.A. in political science from SUNY Geneseo, an MS in Education from SUNY Oswego, and administrative certification from SUNY Plattsburgh. He and his wife Katie, and their daughter Keller have made Skaneateles their home and enjoy learning about the unique history of the Finger Lakes region and the Skaneateles community.

  • Kerry Brogan ’86

    Board of Education

    Kerry attended Skaneateles Schools throughout her whole life and is a 1986 SCS graduate. She received her bachelor's degree in social work from Nazareth College and went on to obtain her masters degree in social work from Syracuse University. Kerry currently ...

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    Kerry attended Skaneateles Schools throughout her whole life and is a 1986 SCS graduate. She received her bachelor's degree in social work from Nazareth College and went on to obtain her masters degree in social work from Syracuse University. Kerry currently works for Jordan Elbridge School District as a school social worker. Kerry has been a youth soccer coach for many years, has volunteered on various school activities/committees and is a former member of SEF before becoming the BOE liaison. Kerry and her husband Tom have three daughters, Madelyn, Riley and Isabelle, who attend Skaneateles Schools.

Ex officio/Committee Volunteers

  • Connie Bohrer '82

    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.

Staff

  • Heather Carroll

    Executive Director

    Heather and her husband, Tim, have four daughters, Classes of ’20, ’22, ’24 and ‘27, all of whom attend Skaneateles Central Schools. When the girls were little, Heather served as president, treasurer and historian of Moms & Kids Childcare Cooperative. As they grew up, ...

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    Heather and her husband, Tim, have four daughters, Classes of ’20, ’22, ’24 and ‘27, all of whom attend Skaneateles Central Schools. When the girls were little, Heather served as president, treasurer and historian of Moms & Kids Childcare Cooperative. As they grew up, Heather moved up with them, serving as Elementary PTC Vice President for one year and President for two. Heather chaired the committee that raised money for and built a new playground in 2015 at the State Street Intermediate School. Heather served on the board of the Skaneateles Education Foundation as Chair of the Fundraising Committee for 3 years and was hired part-time in 2015 as the foundation’s Executive Director. Outside of work, Heather and Tim enjoy entertaining in their turn-of-the-century Mandana Barn. Renting the barn as a venue for weddings and donating the space for fundraisers has become a family business that keeps them busy from mid-May through mid-October.

  • 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.

Financials

2016-17 Financial Statement

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, the Foundation had revenues of $119,439 and expenditures of $80,885. The largest sources of revenue are $67,778 from contributions, $36,951 from fundraising events and $15,257 from investment income. The largest components of expenses are grants to other organizations in the amount of $29,059, salaries of $25,066 and fundraising expenses of $12,664.

Net Assets are defined as the Organization’s assets less its liabilities. For the year ended June 30, 2017 net assets were $233,469 with $158,606 in Permanently Restricted Funds, $17,351 in Temporarily Restricted Funds and $57,512 in Unrestricted Funds. Temporarily restricted funds have restrictions on their use placed by the donors. Permanently restricted funds are donor funds where the principal must be retained in perpetuity, but the income earned from those funds can be used by the organization.

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.

Annual Report

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