Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District leadership is working with the Heights Alumni Foundation to transition the existing alumni efforts into the “Heights Schools Foundation” (HSF) with an expanded mission and new leadership.
Julianna Johnston Senturia, class of ’87 graduate, has been named Executive Director of the Heights Schools Foundation.
“Public dollars cover the basics when levies are renewed, but it still leaves some funding gaps for enrichment, innovation, special capital projects, co-curricular activities–that’s where we come in,” explained Senturia.
The creation of the HSF is part of the district’s effort to grow its private fundraising efforts and create multiple channels for alumni and others to “give back” to the schools. Working through and with the alumni makes sense in a district with over 50,000 graduates as a part of the “Tiger Nation.”
With a refined mission to enhance and enrich the educational experiences of all CH-UH students, the new Foundation will leverage the energy around the facilities renovation through stronger communication, connecting with alumni and community members, and facilitating a culture of philanthropy across the district.
Over the last few years, generous alumni have contributed $175,000 in gifts toward the restoration of the clock tower.
“We hope to build on that kind of effort around the clock tower project to provide even more ways for private gifts to support the district’s work,” said Board of Trustees President Dr. Susan Carver, class of ‘78.
“Over the last two years we realized how much interest there is in supporting the schools,” added Dr. Talisa Dixon, CH-UH Superintendent. “The new Heights Schools Foundation will bring expertise in fund development so that we can keep our focus on creating a strong and effective learning community.”
The alumni foundation previously focused exclusively on needs at the high school, but HSF will broaden focus to include preK-12th grade. Creating this broader effort will help the district make stronger partnerships and develop additional ambassadors to share the news of our students and alumni. HSF will be listening to what the district needs and listening to what donors hope to support. Then the Foundation will make meaningful matches that enrich the educational experience in CH-UH city schools.
“We’ll work closely with the district leadership to understand where gaps exist and work together to fund solutions,” added Senturia. “Heights Schools Foundation is the next natural step in the evolution of partnering with our alumni.”
The Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation, established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2001, evolved from the creation of the Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Association. The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education founded the Alumni Association in 1995 to create awareness and interest in the achievements of Cleveland Heights High School students, alumni, and the community. In 2004, the Alumni Association merged with the Alumni Foundation.
“It means a lot to look back at where we were, but we are excited about the future possibilities through the Heights Schools Foundation,” said Carver.