For the first time in the 33 year history of the Foundation for Pottstown Education, an Annual Support Campaign is being formalized. The goal of this year’s campaign is to not only raise $75,000 but also to raise awareness of what the Foundation does for the students of the Pottstown School District.
Dr. Tracey Brown, President of the Foundation states “Supporting the Foundation’s Annual Support Campaign is making an investment in our children, their education, and their future. We are committed to providing the children of Pottstown with opportunities where they can explore, learn, and achieve. Money raised in this campaign will make a significant impact in the amount of and types of educational opportunities the Foundation can support this year.”
The Foundation’s Mission is to support, promote, sponsor and carry out educational, scientific or charitable activities and objectives within or related to the Pottstown School District. During the past several years the Foundation has funded requests that are submitted by the School District teachers and principals.
Recently more than 90 high school students received partial funding to take the yearly AP tests after state funding was cut. This past spring the Foundation funded half of the tuition fees for the Middle School Environmental Education Club to the Pocono Environmental Education Center after their funding was cut by a grantor. Additional funding was provided to elementary students to take a Rope Course developing leadership skills, purchase a robotic system and computer for the high school engineering program as well as paying for tuition fees for 30 juniors and senior in the Early College program who attend the Montgomery County Community College.
The Foundation also provided more than $28,000 in scholarships awarded annual not only to graduating seniors but to the elementary and middle school students who are recognized for outstanding achievement.
The Annual Support Campaign has been developed to ensure not only continuation of the projects already funded but in the hopes of creating more funding reaching all students in the school district. This campaign is part of the recent Strategic Plan that was developed with the assistance of more than 25 community leaders.
Joe Rusiewicz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Pottstown Education is working with the board and community leaders to develop the Executive Committee for the campaign.
Art Green, a former Chemistry teacher and UniServ Representative for the Pennsylvania State Education Association has been recruited to serve as the Campaign Chair. Green is well known for many community activities including: Visiting Nurses Association, Fellowship House Farm, as a Secretary of the Spina Bifida Association of the Delaware Valley and as a former President of the Pottstown Regional Public Library, Pottstown Borough Council serving for six years. He was also involved in the Capital Campaign to raise money to build a new structure at St. Aloysius Church. He completed a full 9-year term, the last 3 years as Chairman of the Board of the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, and currently serves on the Board of Pottstown Hospital.
Assisting Art with the campaign will be our five Division Chair. Serving as the Assistant Campaign Chair and head of the Chairman’s Round Table ($1,000 donations and above) is Howard Brown. He is a graduate of Pottstown High School and Villanova University. Howard is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Ballplayers United, Inc., (iBall United) a full service sports management agency. iBall United LLP is a global practice encompassing player development and management, manager & player consulting and sports marketing.
The Chair for the Foundation for Pottstown Education Board of Directors is Tracey L. Brown, Ph.D. She is an editor specializing in academic manuscripts. Previously, she was a Senior Lecturer of Psychology at Montgomery County Community College (Pottstown, PA), a consultant for the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service (Reading, PA) on the topic of community revitalization, and as a therapist at St. Gabriel’s Hall (Audubon, PA). Dr. Brown has her Doctorate of Philosophy in Leadership Studies with a specialization in Educational Leadership from Alvernia University (Reading, PA).
Heading up the Pottstown School Board of Education Division is Jim Bush. Jim is a retired administrator who was employed by the Pottstown School District for 38 years. His last position was as the District’s Business Administrator. Jim is a graduate of the Pottstown School District and earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ursinus College. In 2006, he was named the Outstanding Business Administrator of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.
The Business Division is being led by Deborah Lee. Deb is the Senior Vice President and Credit Department Manager at the Victory Bank in Limerick. She was born and raised in Pottstown where she attended St. Aloysius elementary school, graduated from St. Pius X High School and have remained a member of St. Aloysius Parish. She is deeply committed to the revitalization of Pottstown. Her community activities include being a member of the Board of Directors of the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation; serving on the Finance Committee of the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities and the Governance Committee of the YWCA Tri County Area.
The Community Division Chair is Aram Ecker. Aram is a native of Pottstown and graduate of the Pottstown School District. He is the owner/operator of A. Jackson Ecker Inc. Heating Plumbing and Cooling. During his high school years, Aram exemplified the concept of student athlete as he graduated in the top ten of his class and was a champion wrestler.
After graduation, he became one of the youngest people in Pottstown to achieve the status of “Master Plumber”. His vast community activities include leadership positions at the First United Methodist Church, one of the founders of the Pottstown Police Athletic Youth Wrestling Program, a member of AMBUCS receiving national honors as Superior Club President, service on the Pottstown Borough Water and Sewer Authority, winner of the Foundation for Pottstown Education Dancing with the Stars Fund Raising Event and Chair of the Pottstown School District Alumni Honor Roll.
The campaign is in the quiet phase, the initial phase raising funds internally from the Foundation Board of Directors, the School District and the School District Board of Education. The public phase of the campaign will begin in November with the Alumni, in December with Businesses and the final phase will be held with the public in January and February.