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Foundation provides opportunities to students

The Farmington Educational Foundation awarded more than $22,000 in scholarships on May 17. Those students receiving scholarships include (front row, from left) Hannah Heberlie, Zoe Jennings, Abigail Winch, Elizabeth Sutherland, Megan Lin and Jessica Moffit. Second row, from left: Allison Pingel, Marriah Strange, Mike Breier, Charles Cook, Emily Heberlie and Callista Nickelson. Third row, from left: Adam Griffith, Corben Crites, Sophi Thurman, Haley Graven and Alex England. Not pictured is Ariel Thomas.

A foundation in the Farmington School District was established to help students - and that help is made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends.

The Farmington Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3).

Sally Sullivan-Shinn is the director of the foundation. She stepped into that role in 2014 following the retirement of Dr. David Cramp.

“Our purpose, as outlined by our bylaws, is to enhance the educational function of the Farmington School District by providing additional funding to finance special and unique projects that would not otherwise be funded and to provide scholarships and other incentives to students within the Farmington School District,” she said.

Sullivan-Shinn said a more simplified version of the purpose is “to provide students in the Farmington R-7 School District with opportunities to enrich and enhance their educational experiences.”

A 12-member board serves to oversee the function of the foundation.

“Our primary purpose is to raise money and to give scholarships, donations to the school district for…special and unique educational projects,” she said. “Most recently, we’ve been trying to creatively come up with opportunities to fundraise so we can reach more students.”

One such fundraiser is a golf tournament scheduled for Aug. 11 at Crown Pointe Golf Club.

The director sees how the foundation plays an important role in the lives of the district’s students.

“I am proud to say that I spent 39 years of my life in the Farmington R-7 School District,” she said. “Not only am I a graduate of Farmington High School, but I also had the privilege of teaching in the district for the majority of my teaching career. As an educator, I can attest to the positive impact this foundation has on the educational opportunities of our students.”

The foundation provides funding for Parents As Teachers and the Air Force JROTC as well as a variety of technology programs such as Project Lead The Way Gateway (6-8) and “Tynker” a middle-grades coding program through PLTW along with Launch (K-5) among other projects.

The foundation awards five scholarships annually to graduating seniors. In addition, there are more than 20 memorial scholarships administered and awarded through the foundation.

Sullivan-Shinn said there are a number of ways gifts can be made to the foundation. Those include memorial gifts - such as those listed as "memorials may be made to"; memorial scholarships (a one-time or ongoing scholarship set up in memory of an individual); or through planned estate giving (a charitable organization named as the beneficiary of bequests in a will, life insurance, retirement plans, and/or financial service products).

“We’d really like to let people know there are all types of avenues” to help the foundation, Sullivan-Shinn said. “The possibilities are endless as far as that goes.”

For more information on the foundation or the golf tournament, contact Sullivan-Shinn at sallyshinn@sbcglobal.net. Donations to the foundation are tax deductible.

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Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or srobinson@farmingtonpressonline.com

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