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Anonymous alum's gift and more contributions will pay for academic programs and other priorities.



PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE BOZEK - Beaverton High School Principal Anne Erwin speaks to attendees at an April 30 fundraising event where it was announced that an alumnus had anonymously pledged $3 million to the school's BHS Success Fund.An anonymous donor who credits Beaverton High School for laying the foundation for his own success is paying it forward with a $3 million donation to the school’s Success Fund.

The announcement at a fundraising event on Thursday, April 30, attended by alumni and parents of current students, was greeted with “Whoo-hoos” that quickly turned into a standing ovation and shouts of “BHS! BHS! BHS!”

The donation was so large and unexpected that the Success Fund already has eclipsed the three-year, $2 million target organizers established with the fund in December. The money will pay for a variety of program and facility improvements aimed at making Beaverton High School a place where more students can thrive.

“This person would prefer to remain anonymous because he said it’s about the kids. It’s about the school. It’s not about him,” said Joth Ricci, vice president of the Success Fund. “He just really wanted it to be for Beaverton.”

The fund's advisory council is now dreaming bigger on behalf of students and has boosted its target to $10 million over the next five years.

The fundraising already had gotten off to a strong start when a different anonymous alum contributed $100,000 outright and pledged up to $200,000 more to match additional donations.

With additional donations, including at least another $50,000 pledged at the “Max the Match” fundraiser at the Stockpot Broiler, commitments have already topped $3.7 million, according to Scott Reames, a member of the advisory council and president of the Beaverton Booster Club. (By a week later, total pledges had reached $4 million, Reames reported May 7.)

After the event, Principal Anne Erwin said the generous gifts offer “inspiration” and “aspiration” to the school community that it can do things that were previously out of reach.

“Now we have the ability to think that way,” she said. “This continues the excitement of things that are happening at Beaverton.”

Superintendent Jeff Rose, who attended the event, said the fundraising model that Beaverton High School proved can be effective is an approach that other district schools could adopt.

Over the long haul, the fund will pay for a variety of academic programs, student financial support, classroom technology and facilities improvements.

But Erwin said students won’t have to wait long to see the first benefits. Projects already in the pipeline for summer and the 2015-16 school year include:

— Revitalizing the school’s library and media center

— Updating the college and career center

— Purchasing technology for the school’s new digital photography program

— Supporting development of new curriculum for students interested in careers in engineering and the trades

— Seeding $15,000 for small grants that teachers will use to offer educational field trips and other innovative learning opportunities

About the Beaverton High School Success Fund

Besides Principal Anne Erwin, the fund is guided by advisory council members (and Beaverton parents) Michelle Botarro, Lane Christophersen, Doug Johanson, Scott Reames, Joth Ricci and Megan Talalemotu.

The fund’s five-year plan includes a variety of improvements to increase student achievement, enhance student engagement and provide lasting improvements to the campus.

Here are some examples of projects the Success Fund is expected to enable:

Academic Programs

— College visitations for every student in grades 9 and 10

— Travel funds for band, choir, and drama

— BHS Robotics Team support

Student Financial Support

— Advanced Placement fee scholarships

— Academic and athletic fee support for families

Technology

— Classroom technology

— Individual student technology resources, including technology for checkout

Facility Improvements

— Student Center remodel

— Gym and gym lobby refurbishment

— Reader board replacement on Farmington Road

— Library improvements and update for modern learning


By Eric Apalategui
Beaverton Reporter
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