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July Newsletter

Board Announcement: Fund Recognizes Jim Mathias Board Member Emeritus and Welcomes Newest Member Mark Bell

In recognition of his dedicated years of service and the significant ways he helped sustain and grow the organization, the Fund for Educational Excellence is pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Mathias as its first board member emeritus. Jim first joined the Fund’s board in 1998. During his tenure, he served as board chair from 2009-2017 and vice chair from 2017-2022. We are incredibly grateful to Jim for his years of service and shared commitment to ensuring an equitable and excellent education for all City Schools students. “For the entirety of my tenure at the Fund Jim has been a steadfast partner, a reliable voice of reason, and an outstanding mentor. The Fund would not be what it is today without Jim’s commitment and leadership. We are so grateful he has agreed to stay close as the organization’s first emeritus board member.” said Roger Schulman, President and CEO of the Fund.

The Fund’s officers will also include: Chair Beth Felder, a community volunteer formerly of the Johns Hopkins University Office of Legislative Affairs; Vice Chairs Ilene Berman of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Russell Moore of Accenture; Treasurer, Cinda Hughes of T. Rowe Price; and Secretary Dr. Maxine Wood, retired from the Johns Hopkins University.

Additionally, the Fund is thrilled to welcome Mark Bell as our newest board member. Mark brings with him invaluable skills and perspective, and a passion for Baltimore, learning and helping our students reach their potential. Read more in the Daily Record and check out the full press release on the Fund’s site, here.


Highlighting Projects from the May Heart of the School Fund Grant Round

In May, the Heart of the Schools, the Fund for Educational Excellence’s year-round program supporting City Schools principals through grants and events, announced the distribution of over $100,000 in grants to 58 Baltimore City Public School principals for the final Heart of the School Fund deadline of the school year. The grants, ranging from $1,500 to $2,500, allowed schools to commemorate staff for their hard work and dedication to their students after a challenging school year. Projects include end of the year celebrations, teacher room makeovers, wellness days and team building retreats. Read the full announcement in the Daily Record and Citybiz.

The Heart of the School Fund grants are distributed six times throughout the year to Baltimore City Public School principals to support projects that enhance their students’ learning, their staff’s growth and their schools. Since 2016, the Heart of the Schools has provided grants for over 175 principal-identified projects that might not otherwise have been funded.

Take a look at some photos of those projects:

(a) Forest Park High School celebrated the end of the school year with a Dr. Strange staff movie night.
(b) Hamilton Elementary/Middle held an end-of-year awards banquet, with trophies, plaques and medals.

(c) The Historic Samuel Coleridge Taylor Elementary celebrated their staff each day of Teacher Appreciation Week with treats and surprises.
(d) The staff at Billie Holliday Elementary took an Inner Harbor pirate cruise.

These are just a few examples of the wonderful teacher-identified, principal-driven projects the Heart of the Schools was able to support. We thank our Heart of the Schools supporters for making this possible, and the wonderful principals and school staff members for their hard work throughout the pandemic.

Of Note:

Additional insights, updates and resources:

  • Registration for Baltimore City Public Schools’ 2022 College Application Summer Bootcamp is still open for rising seniors! Register, here.
  • The City Schools Navigator Center supports any City Schools graduate ages 18-24 with 1:1 postsecondary coaching. Connect with their team all summer long at summer school sites or online for a virtual appointment. More information, here.
  • In June, the Fund’s President & CEO, Roger Schulman, and Communications & Development Manager, Sydney Short, spoke with Austin Todd on Today’s 101.9’s ‘Spotlight on Maryland’ about the Fund’s programmatic efforts. Tune in to learn a bit about who we are and what we do, here.
  • Under Armour’s two I-95 billboards feature stats highlighting the “why” of the Fund’s Student Athlete Development work and investment to increase participation in high school athletics for Baltimore City Public Schools. Check it out, here.

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