WesBanco supports the launch of Fayette Education Foundation with generous lead gift and encourages other community support.
LEXINGTON – The Fayette Education Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt philanthropic charitable organization, has been formed to support local school district activities with a focus on equity and unmet educational needs. The Foundation operates independently of the Fayette County Public Schools yet cultivates innovations to benefit students and staff and to enhance the mission of the school district.
In early 2020, a group of diverse constituents had a vision for a new iteration of a public school foundation to serve the students of Fayette County. The Fayette Education Foundation was officially re-launched in November of 2020 after months of planning by a grassroots steering committee and is now led by a diverse, community board of directors which includes the superintendent as an ex-officio member. The goal is for the Foundation to serve as a link between the school district and the community by soliciting resources– time, talent and treasure – from individuals, businesses, and private foundations and then distributing those resources to promote educational excellence and innovative programs.
A generous $25,000 lead gift from WesBanco has set the stage for a community fundraising campaign.
“WesBanco values equitable education – education that provides every student an equal opportunity to succeed. The mission of the Fayette Education Foundation aligns well with WesBanco’s core values, and we are excited to support this organization through WesBanco’s Community Foundation” said Jeff Koonce, WesBanco Market President and board chair-elect of the foundation. “Our hope is that our donation serves as a catalyst to encourage other organizations and individuals to join us in investing in the future of our children and our community.”
“The need is urgent, and the time is now to redouble our shared responsibility and commitment to public education,” said Alan Stein, board chair of the foundation. “The pandemic and other recent events have exposed and exacerbated the barriers that face too many of our students and families. Fayette County has one of the most highly educated populations in the country, but we can and must do better for all our students. The Fayette Education Foundation will help our educators, students and families build upon and broaden that success.”
The Foundation will:
- Support activities not funded by tax revenue.
- Boost the school district’s commitment to equitable access to opportunities and resources for all students.
- Be a catalyst to fulfill unmet educational needs and remove barriers to opportunity.
- Strengthen and enrich learning through the support of innovative programs and initiatives.
- Provide opportunities for individuals, organizations and businesses to invest in the educational needs of Fayette County Public Schools.
- Serve as a charitable fiscal agent for individuals, organizations and corporations to support academic achievement in FCPS.
“For families to thrive and communities to succeed, there is no more fundamental foundation than a strong public education system,” Fayette County Public Schools Board Member Stephanie Spires said. “But educators can’t do it alone. Everyone has a responsibility and a role to play. This community needs an all-hands-on-deck approach to tackling the difficult issues that impede learning. We have a generous community and are confident that they will answer the call.”
Carrie Boling, a former educator and seasoned fundraising executive, has been named as the executive director.
“This is a grassroots effort from a diverse group of passionate community members. Really, the work that has been quietly going on behind the scenes for the last six months is magical. We’ve talked to over one hundred community stakeholders,” said Boling. “Our board members have poured hours upon hours to frame our priorities and advocate for those who need it most in the district – all via Zoom in the middle of a pandemic. Now that we have approved our first-ever strategic plan, the work really begins. We are about partnerships and collaboration. Our goal is to bring additional resources into this community for our students.”
Board members are listed below.
“We are focused on creating equity and making sure each child has the support needed to be prosperous in school,” said board member Azaria Howard, who is a senior at Frederick Douglass High School. “The Foundation will help provide the extra support and resources, which are so important. School is our community, and children in the schools are part of our community. Helping them is helping the community.”
Fayette Education Foundation board members
- Erich Castillo, founder and president, Cornerstone Wealth Management
- Penny Christian, president, 16th District PTA
- Ray Daniels, president, Equity Solutions Group
- Noelle Dick, owner/COO, CycleYou
- Barbara Edelman, partner, Dinsmore & Shohl
- Phil Greer, CEO Greer Companies and former educator
- Azaria Howard, Frederick Douglass High School student
- Dr. Rodney Jackson, dentist, Pediatric Dentistry of Hamburg
- Samantha Juarez, Bryan Station High School student
- Jeff Koonce, market president, WesBanco
- Daryl Love, associate vice president of career services,
student success and retention, Kentucky State University
- Kim Lyon, retired FCPS strategic partnership manager, community volunteer
- Alan Stein, vice president, LM Communications
- Kevin Stinnett, owner/publisher of The Lane Report; owner, Premier Financial Group
- Abby Vaughn, business development director, Unified Trust
- Mary Ann Vimont, associate professor, University of Kentucky College of Education
- Jane Warner, independent philanthropy professional, community volunteer
- Latarika Young, senior manager of quality and compliance, Lexmark
- Kate McAnelly, chief academic officer, FCPS
- Marlene Helm, acting superintendent, FCPS (ex officio)
More information about The Fayette Education Foundation is available on their brand new website at https://fayettefoundation.org/. If you are interested in investing in the Foundation, you can donate online at https://bgcf.givingfuel.com/tfef or send checks to: The Fayette Education Foundation, P.O. Box 910951, Lexington, KY 40591-0951. Contact Carrie Boling at 859-489-3805 to discuss donation and sponsorship opportunities.
The Foundation does not serve in an advisory capacity to the school district nor its board, therefore, has no influence over school district policies, programs or operations.
There previously was another Fayette Education Foundation, but that organization had been dormant for several years.
The Fayette Education Foundation supports educational excellence in Fayette County Public Schools by promoting equity for all students as an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It will provide opportunities for individuals, businesses and the community to invest in the educational needs of Fayette County Public Schools, support the school district’s commitment to equitable access to opportunities and resources for all students, and strive to fulfill unmet educational needs and remove barriers to opportunity.
- We believe that the cornerstone of a strong community is a quality public education system.
- We believe that community prosperity, both quality of life and economic growth, results from increased educational excellence.
- We believe that a vibrant and prosperous community is inextricably linked to the value its community members place on quality education.
- We believe that all community members have a stake in their public schools.
- We believe that all children deserve quality resources to reach their educational potential.
- We believe that investing in our children is investing in the future of our schools, community and society.
Link to strategic plan:
Available for interviews:
Jeff Koonce, market president at WesBanco and chair-elect – 859-684-2714
Carrie Boling, executive director – 859-489-3805
Alan Stein, board chair – 859-227-1803
Azaria Howard, senior at Frederick Douglass HS and student board member – 859-382-5085