- Road Trip Class
Maryville City School Foundation
Updated: May 23, 2019
By Stephen Thomas
MTSU/Seigenthaler News Service
The Maryville City SchoolsFoundation has raised a record-breaking amount of money - $288,641 – this school year for educational programs and scholarships for the city system’s 5,381 students in seven schools.
“We have great support from our sponsors throughout the community” said Jeremy Waldroop, whose term as Foundation president ended with the school year. Waldroop said increases in attendance at Foundation events such the Starlite Gala made up a significant portion of the growth.
In addition, various groups of alumni at Maryville High School have increased their contributions. In the past four years, donations from MHS reunion groups totaled $26,000. The class of 1961 contributed enough to fund two $6,100 scholarships to 2019 graduates.
According to Waldroop, this year’s the live auction at the Starlite Gala last February far exceeded expectations.
Specific donations were received to benefit special education classes and the Math Alignment Program, which aims to improve math proficiency. Other grants were used to purchase a new curtain for a classroom stage and a Mac lab at Maryville High School.
“We help supplement the budget for the school system and if they want to try something new, we can help them,” said the Foundation’s Chief Financial Advisor Dallas Monroe.
The Foundation’s board of directors is comprised of 17 board members. The group includes native Maryvillians and transplants from across the country. Many have children in the Maryville City Schools.
“My intent was to stay until (my daughters) graduated high school and I’m still here,” said Barbra Jenkins, the Foundation’s executive director. Jenkins began her involvement in 2006 because she had prior non-profit experience and her daughters were attending school in the Maryville City School system after her family relocated from Dallas. Jenkins now works full time for the Foundation.
“We have proven ourselves, so people trust us,” Jenkins said.
In-coming Foundation President President Joy Carver said she refused to miss the opportunity to give back. She said working on Foundation programs makes her feel blessed to be a part of the effort.
“I didn't want to add anything to my plate, but I would never have passed up an opportunity to work on the Foundation. The cause is what people are giving to,” Carver said, noting the record year.
Carver said it’s also important for the Foundation to quickly turn donations around and pass the dollars on through grant requests. The Foundation reported that more than $220,000 has been awarded back to the school system.
Stephen Thomas is a Middle Tennessee State University journalism student. He isin Blount County as part of a feature writing class called the Road Trip Class.