SJE News

Parents’ Club shows major support with $100k match for St. John’s

TAMPA, FL (May 5, 2020)—Inspired by a recent $100,000 donation and the tremendous dedication of the faculty and staff during times of unprecedented challenge, the St. John’s Episcopal Parish Day School Parents’ Club has stepped forward and provided a dollar-for-dollar match to the School’s recent anonymous donation.

Head of School Hugh Jebson warmly embraced the Parents’ Club’s philanthropic leadership. “When our parents and our community are inspired to support St. John’s at this level, they clearly believe in our mission and vision.” Moreover, he said “This wonderful support would simply not have been possible were it not for all those families who have supported the Eagles Fund this year. In doing so, they have in no small way helped facilitate this further investment in the success of our students and teachers.”

The $100,000 match will benefit all three campuses with the purchase of 17 Clear Touch Interactive Displays, six LCD projectors, and three complete live stream setups to complement the recent addition of over 200 Apple iPad Wifi and Apple pencils from the anonymous donation. The new equipment was inspired by ‘Dare to Dream’, an initiative started earlier this year that saw St. John’s teachers challenged to build their dream classrooms.

Parents’ Club President Shelli Milazzo shared that “The Parents’ Club Board decided to invest a significant amount of the funds raised this year in the School’s technology initiative. We believe that this match will have a profound impact on the future of St. John’s and will greatly benefit every teacher and student.” Milazzo also noted the allocation was not part of a special campaign, but money from the Parents’ Clubs’ 2019-2020 efforts. “This has been an incredibly successful year thanks to the generosity of all St. John’s parents who contributed to our fundraising efforts. We are thrilled that we are able to support the school’s mission in such a meaningful way,” said Milazzo.

Uniform technology allows St. John’s teachers to provide more consistent delivery across classrooms. Updated Apple iPads and Apple Pencils enable teachers to create more engaging and interactive lessons for students with greater classroom mobility, cultivating a more student-centered experience regardless of proximity. The upgrade from SmartBoards to 75″ Clear Touch Interactive Displays provides more interactivity and collaboration among students and creates a more adaptable learning environment for both students and teachers, while new live stream setups provide the best possible video quality for students and provide the digital foundation for new Innovation opportunities, including an SJE broadcasting club, in which students will produce a weekly morning broadcast.

“Our faculty has shown outstanding dedication, preparation, and adaptability in the face of unprecedented challenges,” said Jebson. “I believe that when provided the tools, they get the job done. These upgrades will lead to enhanced academic delivery post-pandemic, addressing the challenges of today and preparing for tomorrow. This is a tremendous gesture from everyone who supported the Parents’ Club’s events.”

Whether community members purchased Celebratio tickets, sponsored events, or purchased Class Books, they were an essential part of the Parents’ Club’s amazing ability to give $100,000 to the School this year. St. John’s Parents’ Club was led this year by President Shelli Milazzo, President-Elect Nicole Hubbard, Past-President Cari Saldin, Secretary Forrest Thompson, Secretary-Elect Jenny Spencer, Treasurer Stacey Pittman, Communications Chair Mary Ellen Collins, Communications Chair-Elect Ivy Gustafson, Middle Chair Jen Stein, Lower Chair Renee Radi, Primary Chair Julie Harrington, Parliamentarian Ali Garrity, and Enrichment Chair Amy Corcell. Milazzo continued, “We are also incredibly grateful for our strong team of Homeroom Parents and committee chairs and members who were indispensable in our efforts this year.”

St. John’s benefits tremendously from the support of the entire parent community, whose direct philanthropic giving to the St. John’s Eagles Fund raised an additional $200,000 this academic year. “Total giving from parents at St. John’s is tremendously significant to our overall fundraising goal each year,” said St. John’s Director of Institutional Advancement Gail Kelley. “We are sincerely grateful for the long-term support we receive, especially from our Circle of Excellence donors, and we are humbled by the ongoing support of such a large number of donors at all giving levels who make up our wonderful community at St. John’s. This shows the strength of commitment our parents have to our school.”

The Parents’ Club donation highlights outstanding philanthropic leadership in advance of today’s national #GivingTuesdayNow campaign—a newly introduced worldwide day of giving and unity created as an emergency response to the unforeseen needs caused by COVID-19. #GivingTuesdayNow is an opportunity for global thanks, giving, helping, and healing.

We invite our entire St. John’s community to join together in support of this global giving event on a local level. Show your “eagle pride” by supporting the Eagles Fund, which will allow St. John’s to surpass its goal for the year and potential lly secure even more beneficial tech equipment like virtual reality headsets, electronic microscopes, mobile STEM carts, a 3D printer, and modular furniture to support individual and collaborative learning. “These are the tools our teachers need and want, and I am resolutely committed to partnering with others to get them in their hands,” Jebson said. Any year-end gifts to the Eagles Fund, which are earmarked for technology, will add to this significant investment in technology at St. John’s for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year. Won’t you join our anonymous donor and the Parents’ Club by making a tax-deductible donation today?

Support the Eagles Fund (note that your gift is for “technology” in the “additional info” box) and follow the campaign, using #SJEGIVES to let everyone know what being part of the St. John’s community means to you! We are #SJETogether.”

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