members officially presented a "big check" to the Las Virgenes Unified School District at Tuesday evening's board meeting.
Though the $200,000 in funds raised by the organization have already been donated to the district for the 2012-13 school year, Tuesday's event was ceremonial before the school board. Members of the T.H.E. posed for photos holding the check alongside Superintendent Dan Stepenosky and Board of Education President Cindy Iser.
According to Jessica Pinto Nedick, T.H.E.'s head of marketing and communications, the district is already seeing tangible results from the addition of the new funds.
- Every elementary school, except for , was able to bring back one teacher that would have been lost for the 2012-13 school year. That means eight of the 14 teachers lost this year were reinstated.
- Mariposa's need was in counseling, and they were able to bring back one counselor.
- The three middle schools had three additional sections (aka periods) added that allowed for class size reduction in at least one core curriculum class.
- The two high schools had four additional sections added.
Stepenosky said he is thrilled to put the substantial donation to good use. “This exceptional donation allows the district to maintain our K-3 average class size at 22 to 1, instead of facing the class size increases which had been discussed,” he said, adding: "Additionally, this donation makes it possible for each middle and high school to reduce class size in at least one core curriculum class."
Marc Hernandez, president of T.H.E. Foundation, said: “Saving teachers for the
2012-13 school year was not something we dreamed possible. We are humbled
and inspired by the generous outpouring from our communities that came together to help education.”
T.H.E. Foundation's fundraising started in earnest 10 months ago, according to Pinto Nedick.
"We believe this significant donation speaks volumes for the passion and commitment our parents and residents have for protecting the excellence in education that LVUSD is known for, and we believe our donations will only get larger with each passing year as the state continues to slash education spending and this community continues to come Together to Help Education," she said.