Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation Scholars’ Circle to honor and celebrate members at private party on Feb. 2

By RSF Education Foundation

The Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation (RSFEF) continues to attract new families to the Scholars’ Circle*. The Scholars’ Circle represents the group of RSFEF supporters who make the most generous individual contributions to the Foundation. The Scholars’ Circle tradition began in 1997 when a small group of dedicated families came together to provide substantial funds to supplement the Rancho Santa Fe School District’s annual budget. Scholars’ Circle supporters play a significant role in enabling an enriched public education for children at the R. Roger Rowe School.

The multi-year pledge nature of Scholars’ Circle level giving ensures long-term stability in the Foundation’s grant to the district enabling budget forecasts in future years. With Scholars’ Circle pledges representing approximately 50 percent of all contributions to the RSFEF, this special group of philanthropists has a very meaningful positive impact on the RSFEF Five-Star Education program that provides every child with a first-class education through small class size, specialized teachers, literacy excellence, integrated science, and differentiated math.

Each year over 95 percent of the funds provided to the R. Roger Rowe School through the RSFEF and its Scholars’ Circle go toward teacher salaries. The highest priority in the Five-Star Education program is class size. Due, in large part, to the generosity of Scholars’ Circle members, R. Roger Rowe is able to maintain class sizes of around 18 children per class at a time when the majority of local public schools carry class sizes that exceed 30 children per class. In addition, Scholars’ Circle contributions go toward staffing specialized literacy, math, and science teachers. Through the work of all of the R. Roger Rowe School’s dedicated teachers, this year the school achieved its highest ever State of California administered Academic Performance Index score.

In addition to pure academics, contributions from the Scholars’ Circle provide children at the R. Roger Rowe School with enrichment programs that go beyond the classroom. Programs include a top-notch music and arts program complete with band, strings, dance, and drama, as well as the school’s new robotics program in which children challenge their minds through the study of robotics and compete with other robotics teams from around California.

There are currently 92 members of the Scholars’ Circle (representing approximately 20 percent of the 430 families with children enrolled in the school as well as community partners Barry Estates, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, Qualcomm Charitable Foundation, and Wells Fargo Bank – The Private Bank). This year the Scholars’ Circle has welcomed 12 new members who have made pledge commitments totaling $465,000 over a multi-year time period.

The current Scholars’ Circle Class of 2012/13, recognized and acknowledged with great appreciation, includes the following members:

Scott & Tiffany Alewel Bruce & Brenda Kleege

Charles & Teri Bair Evan Malter and Nina Kottler

Lena Evans & Dan Floit Eoin & Kristin O’Shea

Michael & Elizabeth Fried Jolene & Owen Perry

Brenda & Kevin Hand Bjarte & Melissa Rene

William & Jill Keitel Charles and Jan Wehlage

As this list of new contributors demonstrates, the Scholars’ Circle message continues to resonate with members of the local community who care deeply about the R. Roger Rowe School and have the financial ability to become Scholars’ Circle members. “For many parents in our community, the decision to join the Scholars’ Circle is a matter of priority as opposed to financial ability,” says Glenn Oratz, chair of the RSFEF. “I would suggest that there is likely no greater priority to each one of us than the quality of our children’s education,” Oratz continues, “and the Scholars’ Circle is the key to the long-term health of the RSFEF. These enlightened, committed and like minded contributors support the RSFEF in an extraordinary way and enable R. Roger Rowe to truly deliver a Five-Star Education.”

Stacy Shahri, Scholars’ Circle co-chair adds, “It is through the generosity of the philanthropic leaders who join Scholars’ Circle that R. Roger Rowe is able to raise the bar on education for the benefit of our children. The superb academic and enrichment programs made possible through their generosity will continue to give our children the opportunity to grow into tomorrow’s leaders.”

Given the significant economic challenges that continue to negatively affect public school funding in the State of California, Scholars’ Circle contributions are becoming more critical every year. The RSFEF strongly encourages every member of the Rancho Santa Fe community interested in supporting public education at the R. Roger Rowe School to join the Scholars’ Circle at this time and be recognized as philanthropic leaders in our community. The Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation will host a special evening in recognition of Scholar’s Circle level donors at the enchanting home of Darryl and Carolyn Flaming on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 6-9 p.m.

The Lords and Ladies of the Scholars’ Circle will partake in a medieval-themed evening filled with music, food, wine, and ale. The Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation’s community partner, Wells Fargo -The Private Bank, generously underwrites this event.

For more information on how to join the Scholars’ Circle, please contact Allison Oppeltz in the RSFEF office at (858) 756-1141, extension 208, or visit us on the web at All contributions to the RSFEF are 100 percent tax deductible.

We have an outstanding school in our community that is widely regarded as one of the best public schools in the nation. The school’s position in that group is due, in large part, to the private funding contributed by generous families in our community. As the RSFEF tag line indicates, the difference is you!

*Scholars’ Circle members contribute a minimum of $35,000 in a single contribution or multi-year pledge (three-five-year time period) to the RSFEF. Scholars’ Circle members are recognized by level – Cum Laude ($35,000+), Magna Cum Laude ($50,000+), Summa Cum Laude ($100,000+).