By Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation
Record numbers of Rancho Santa Fe families have pledged their support to the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation (RSFEF) through its Scholars’ Circle*. The 2013-14 school year has been a banner year for the Scholars’ Circle, welcoming 22 new member families and raising multi-year pledge commitments totaling over $1 million! A reception honoring and celebrating all current Scholars’ Circle members will be held on Feb. 22 at a private Rancho Santa Fe home.
Scholars’ Circle supporters play a critical role in enabling enriched public education for all children at the R. Roger Rowe School. The multi-year pledge nature of Scholars’ Circle level giving brings long-term stability to the RESEF’s annual grant to the District enabling forward-looking budget forecasting. With Scholars’ Circle pledges now representing over 50 percent of all contributions to the RSFEF, this special group of philanthropists has a strong positive impact on the RSFEF’s Five-Star Education Program that seeks to provide every child with a first-class education through small class size, specialized teachers, literacy excellence, integrated science, and differentiated math.
Of seminal importance to the Five-Star Education Program is class size. Each year over 96 percent of the funds provided to the R. Roger Rowe School through the RSFEF and its Scholars’ Circle go toward teacher salaries. Due, in large part, to the generosity of Scholars’ Circle members, R. Roger Rowe is able to maintain class sizes of under 20 children per class at a time when the majority of local public schools carry class sizes that exceed 30 children per class. Scholars’ Circle contributions also support staffing initiatives such as specialized teachers such as, literacy support, math, and science teachers.
Contributions from the Scholars’ Circle also provide children at the R. Roger Rowe School with enrichment programs that go beyond the classroom. Students benefit from top-notch music and arts programs that include band, strings, choir, dance and drama. The school’s award-winning robotics program, through which students can grow their passion for science and compete with other robotics teams from around California, is another excellent program largely supported by RSFEF contributions. The RSFEF also introduced a new speaker series this year reinforcing the science and math concepts taught in the classrooms.
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. This year the Scholars’ Circle grew to 97 member families (approximately 20 percent of the 442 families with children attending the school are members of the Scholars’ Circle plus community partners Wells Fargo Bank, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, and Qualcomm).
The current Scholars’ Circle Class of 2013/14, proudly acknowledged with great appreciation, includes the following partial list of members (listed alphabetically):
Adam & Richelle Aarons Fred & Genta Luddy
Dan & Jenkie Arnold Mark & Marina Minasian
Tom & Whitney Barton Tom & Robin Schreiber
Ken & Julie Buechler (Class of 2005/06) Tyler & Liz Seltzer (Class of 2010/11)
Jeffrey & Mariana Crevoiserat Ali & Amanda Shapouri
Craig & Meredith Garner Robert & Vanessa Strickland
Robyn Hudgens Jeff & Annette Symon
The Kaminsky Families 4 anonymous donor families
As this list of contributors demonstrates, the Scholars’ Circle message continues to resonate with members of the local community who care deeply about the R. Roger Rowe School. “For many parents in our community, the decision to join the Scholars’ Circle is a matter of priority as opposed to financial ability,” says Lynn Frank, 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,” Frank 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.”
Vince Liptak, Scholars’ Circle co-chair, adds, “It is through the generosity of the philanthropic leaders who join the 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.”
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 the highest class is due, in large part, to the private funding contributed by generous families in our community.
Given the significant economic challenges that continue to negatively affect public school funding in the State of California, Scholars’ Circle support becomes 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.
For more information on how to join the Scholars’ Circle, please contact Allison Oppeltz in the RSFEF office at (858) 756-1141, extension 208. All contributions to the RSFEF are 100 percent tax deductible.
*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+).