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BCISD forms education foundation

A photo of the inaugural Burnet Consolidated Independent School District Education Foundation Board of Directors includes (front row, from left) BCISD Superintendent Aaron Peña, Vice President of Finance and Governance Carcy Clinton, Executive Committee Director at Large Vicinta Stafford, President Damon Beierle, Vice President of Programs Caitlin Byrd, Vice President of Marketing and Events Kaylee Gaines, Vice President of Development Deidra Robertson; (back, left) directors Lori Ringstaff, Katy Duke, Jordan Shipley, Lance Gunn, Wade Langley, Trace Catlin, Sharon Schwartz, Kendra Davis, Keith McBurnett, Max Cardenas, Jodi Tatom, and Afton Floyd. Courtesy photo

Burnet Consolidated Independent School District now has a foundation dedicated to providing funding for educational programs and activities not in the district’s normal budget. Local leaders created the BCISD Education Foundation in January and plan to raise money throughout 2024 to award grants and funding by 2025.

“The BCISD Education Foundation was founded by alumni, parents, and community leaders who came together with the goal of investing in the students, staff, and schools of BCISD to support and maximize learning opportunities,” wrote outgoing BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett in a media release. “In addition, the foundation hopes to enhance the connection between BCISD and the community, as we celebrate our students and teachers, and recognize their academic achievement and teaching excellence.”

The foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that will raise money to fund grants for BCISD teachers and staff. McBurnett is one of 20 board members for the foundation who will direct fundraising and determine how grants are distributed on an annual basis.

Board President Damon Beierle told the foundation intends to provide funding for a range of projects, programs, materials, and continuing educational opportunities for staff that would bolster the school district’s ability to provide for its students.

The BCISD Education Foundation’s mission differs from that of the Hill Country Community Foundation, which focuses on awarding scholarships to students. The new foundation will offer support for programs to help staff better educate students and possibly provide scholarships for staff who wish to return to school for advanced degrees.

“We are very excited that community members have organized to help attract private funds to directly benefit our teachers, staff, and ultimately our students,” Beierle said in a media release. “The BCISD Education Foundation will complement (the Hill Country Community Foundation’s) mission by focusing on innovative teaching grants in classrooms across the district, staff scholarships to further their learning, and putting a spotlight on teaching excellence and academic achievement, helping add educational enhancing opportunities to every campus.”