About the BPS Foundation
The Bennington Public Schools Foundation is Bennington Public Schools’ fundraising partner. We generate resources, build relationships and make strategic program investments to inspire our teachers and support student achievement.
The Mission of the BENNINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION is to generate and distribute resources to or on behalf of the Bennington Public School District to enrich teaching, inspire learning, maximize opportunities and promote excellence in education for all students.
The Foundation will achieve its mission by directing resources as follows:
- Assist students in achieving their educational goals through a variety of scholarship opportunities
- Support staff for innovative efforts through classroom grants
- Recognize excellence of caring adults within our school system
- Support programs for the betterment of our school district
- Build community awareness for the Bennington Public Schools Foundation
History of the Foundation
The Bennington Public Schools Foundation was formally founded as a non-profit corporation on December 29, 1992. The Foundation was initiated under the leadership of the Bennington Public School District’s Board of Education in 1992, members included: Wayne Andersen, Mark Backhuus, Jim Bonge, Sue Cohrs, Darrell Kading, Marcia Taylor and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Townsend. The Foundation’s initial Board of Directors included Jim Bonge, Mary Ferdig, Darrell Logemann, Rod Laible and Superintendent Douglas Townsend.
The founders of the Foundation recognized that the principal support of the school district must come from tax appropriations, but that gifts from community members are essential to the future success of the district’s commitment to quality education.
The Foundation’s first program was to provide scholarships to graduating seniors. In 1998 one $300 scholarship was awarded and today the Foundation awards over $30,000 in scholarships annually.
In 2001, the Foundation held its first annual awards banquet recognizing the scholarship recipients as well as a volunteer of the year and an educator of the year. The Foundation has carried on this tradition each April, with an awards ceremony, recognizing scholarship recipients, retiring teachers, Educator of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Support Staff of the Year award recipients.
A generous donation was received from the Ernest Katzner Estate, in 2004, which secured the future of the Bennington Public School Foundation. In the fall of 2005, the Foundation supported the start-up costs of operating a before and after school care program. This program has been a huge success and has grown significantly over the years with the growth of the school district.
The Foundation has several programs that support our teachers and students. One of these programs, the Classroom Grants program, was implemented in 2008. Classroom Grants fund innovative ideas and projects at the classroom level. The Foundation awards over $20,000 annually in classroom grants to teachers in the school district.
The Foundation has grown significantly over the past two decades and continues to partner with the school district to make our children and their futures a key priority in our community.