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.