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Education foundation names first board

POSTED January 3, 2012 10:31 p.m.

The Turlock Unified School District now has a powerful fundraising ally in the form of the recently established Turlock Education Foundation, which was officially introduced to the TUSD Board of Trustees at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Along with the introduction, TEF Foundation President Barney Gordon, a community member and chair of the TUSD Budget Advisory Committee, unveiled the first two objectives of the newly formed executive board and board of directors. The first objective is to maintain a transparent, ethical and sustainable organization. The second objective is for the foundation to raise a lofty $1 million by 2017 to enhance TUSD student education.

The foundation’s proclaimed mission statement is “to enhance and enrich the educational experience by establishing and maintaining a pathway to secure vital resources and partnerships with individuals, families, organizations, and businesses.

The foundation was awarded nonprofit 501 C (3) status. The inaugural board of 17 directors has been established and it is made up of TUSD employees and community members. In addition, there will be three student advisors — one from Pitman, Turlock and Roselawn high schools. TUSD Superintendent Sonny Da Marto and Educational Services Assistant Superintendent Lacrisha Ferriera, who spearheaded the formation of the foundation, will also serve as advisors.

“I am so excited about this foundation and to see it has come to fruition after so many years. I appreciate everything you (TEF directors) are doing, have done and will do. I have very high expectations,” said Da Marto.

Despite being so closely linked with TUSD, Gordon said it is important that people understand the foundation is an entirely separate entity from the school district and one of the primary objectives of the foundation is to remain transparent and ethical while raising funds.

“We are a separate entity, but we will be working closely with TUSD to identify needs and programs to improve the educational experience for students,” said Gordon.

Gordon said that as of now the foundation is working on policies on how to address transparency and sustainability.

“As a foundation, we are committed to be as transparent as possible as evidenced by the first objective and the first tactic of our strategic plan. There may be times where some information regarding income and donor information may need to be kept private by request, but as long as I’m the president there will be 100 percent transparency and accountability with every dollar that goes out,” he said.

The foundation has established a website and donation information will be released. For more information on the Ed Foundation visit

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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