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Highland Park Education Foundation
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Mad for Plaid Check Presentation L to R: Scott Trulock, Bill Ogle, Doug Woodward, Alan Rose, Jae Ellis, Michael Denton, Blythe Koch, Cindy Kerr, Ellen Lee, Lauren Holloway, Pete Flowers, Claire Baker, Bryce Benson, Maryjane Bonfield, Brooke Messer, Whitney Zapffe, Dr. Mike Rockwood, Laura McCallan, Nick Peters.

Highland Park Education Foundation gifts historic $1.7 million to HPISD for teacher and staff salaries thanks to generosity of Park Cities community

Foundation partnership with HPISD is making teacher salaries top priority

DALLAS – The Highland Park Education Foundation (HPEF) presented a check for $1.7 million at the HPISD school board meeting on Tuesday evening this week. This grant marks the largest amount that HPEF has ever gifted to HPISD solely for districtwide teacher and staff salaries. Last summer, HPEF committed these funds that would comprise 1% of a total 5% increase to district teachers and staff during the 2022-23 school year. It’s the community of HP alumni, parents, grandparents, and community members who made that funding possible.

More than 2,400 donors contributed to HPEF’s annual Mad for Plaid fundraising campaign, which exists to address the district’s most immediate, critical needs each school year. For the past three years, that need has been identified by the HPISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent as raising the bar for teacher pay.

“Three years ago, we were gifting $1.2 million, then $1.5, and now to have the community support us in this increasingly significant way is truly remarkable,” says Michael Denton, HPEF board president. “We are truly moving the needle to achieve competitive teacher pay, and our donors need to know that their gifts are making that happen.”

Teacher and staff salaries continue to rise at public schools in the DFW area, and it is critical that HPISD remain competitive with surrounding districts with respect to teacher compensation. With the passage of the Golden Penny Election in November 2021, as well as continued support from HPEF and the campus PTA/PTOs, the district has been able to achieve a cumulative 13% increase in just three years for all staff districtwide.

During its June 20 meeting, the HPISD Board of Trustees approved a new compensation package for district staff that will increase salaries by another 5% for the 2023-2024 school year.

“These gifted funds are a critical part of our budget and represent the single largest gift received by the district,” said Bryce Benson, HPISD Trustee and liaison to the HPEF board. “The funding from HPEF, in particular, goes to our greatest need, which impacts every student, every teacher, and every school.”

The Foundation’s 2023-2024 gift for teacher and staff salaries will be another $1.7 million next June, with the Mad for Plaid campaign set to launch in late October.

“We are grateful to have such a strong partnership with the Education Foundation that is committed to helping us when and where we need it most,” HPISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Rockwood said. “HPEF’s gifts to the district are a reflection of the community’s generosity and value system that is rooted in a thriving school district.”

To learn more about the Highland Park Education Foundation, please visit hpef.org.

ABOUT THE HIGHLAND PARK EDUCATION FOUNDATION

The Highland Park Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 founded in 1984 to assist in preserving and enriching the quality of education throughout the Highland Park Independent School District. Founded under the visionary leadership of George Connell, Judy Gibbs, Jack Hammack, Darrell Lafitte, Charles Seay, Don Williams, and the late Walter Spradley, the Foundation manages two fundraising programs- Mad for Plaid and the Tartan Endowment- in an effort to provide increasing financial support to HPISD for its critical needs. HPEF houses the HPHS Alumni Association with all of its activities, including Golden Scots and the Distinguished Alumni Awards, along with many other programs such as student scholarships, the Moody Innovation Institute, the Veterans Plaque, memorials, and archiving.

Highland Park Education Foundation
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Michael Denton, Jr., Lauren Holloway, Sean Rogers, Tav Rogers, Jean Streepey

Just before spring break, the Highland Park Education Foundation (HPEF) celebrated successfully raising $1.7M through its annual Mad for Plaid campaign, an amount requested by Highland Park ISD going into the 2021-22 school year, which helped fund 1% of a 5% raise for staff salaries districtwide. To celebrate this milestone and thank Mad for Plaid’s major donors who made this possible, the Foundation hosted an evening of gratitude on Tuesday, March 7th, which was generously held at the home of Tav and Sean Rogers, with Westwood Private Bank as the title sponsor.

During the event, guests mixed and mingled while enjoying drinks and passed appetizers catered by FLAVR. Those in attendance included Lynn and Bob Abbott, Jon Altschuler, Ray Balestri, Cynthia Beecherl, Katrina and Houston Bolin, Barbara and Ben Cervin, Rochelle and Stuart Cullum, Cindy and Guy Kerr, Lisa and Bill Ogle, Michaela Dyer and Rebecca Beasley of La Fiesta de las Seis BanderasHPISD Superintendent Tom Trigg, and HPEF’s Board President, Michael Denton, Jr.

HPEF Executive Director Lauren Holloway provided opening remarks and thanked everyone for their generosity, and then introduced the guest speaker for the evening, HPISD teacher Jean Streepey. Streepey shared how Mad for Plaid has directly benefited her as both a teacher and a parent, and why she and her husband continue to donate year after year. Said Streepey, “As a teacher, the Foundation has always been there for me…It is incredible to think that every teacher in our district has been positively impacted by your generosity. As your neighbor, I want to take a moment to thank you on a personal level for creating and sustaining our community.” She continued, “You can’t ask for a better community, and schools are the centerpiece.”

The Foundation would like to thank this year’s Mad for Plaid Co-Chairs Claire and Andy Baker, Chris Palmer and Terry Steger, Catherine and Mike Sweet, and Shannon and Clinton Warren. It would also like to thank members of the Mad for Plaid Leadership Society, whose gifts range from $10,000 to $50,000+. 

Anonymous (2)
Kamela and Kenneth Aboussie
Lori and Jon Altschuler
Carol and Taylor Armstrong
Robin and Bernay Box
Stacy and Tyler Burke
MacKenzie and Benjamin Carpenter
Clements Foundation
Janis and Roy Coffee, Jr.
Leslie and Bill Cornog
Carrie and Dallas Cothrum
Sylvie and Gary Crum
Deadman Family
The Dreyfuss Family
Judy and Jim Gibbs
Grove Family
The Gwinn Foundation
The Hankins Foundation
Simon and Louise Henderson Foundation
Joanna and David Iliff
King Architectural Metals, Eddie King
La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas
Luther King Capital Management
Katy and Kyle Miller
Origin Bank
Holly and Phillip Philbin
Kay and Greg Potter
Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones
Tavenner and Sean Rogers
Gail and Dan Settle
Catherine and Tom Sharpe
Jean and Jason Signor
Slant Partners
Tartaglino Richards Family Foundation
The Trammell Foundation
The Trinity Foundation, Elisa and Stephen Summers
Melissa and Robert Turner
The Bill & Katie Weaver Charitable Trust
Westwood Private Bank
Kathy and John Yeaman

 

To learn more about the Highland Park Education Foundation, please visit hpef.org. 

 

ABOUT THE HIGHLAND PARK EDUCATION FOUNDATION

 

The Highland Park Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 founded in 1984 to assist in preserving and enriching the quality of education throughout the Highland Park Independent School District. Founded under the visionary leadership of George Connell, Judy Gibbs, Jack Hammack, Darrell Lafitte, Charles Seay, Don Williams, and the late Walter Spradley, the Foundation manages two fundraising programs- Mad for Plaid and the Tartan Endowment- in an effort to provide increasing financial support to HPISD for its critical needs. HPEF houses the HPHS Alumni Association with all of its activities, including Golden Scots and the Distinguished Alumni Awards, along with many other programs such as student scholarships, the Moody Innovation Institute, the Veterans Plaque, memorials, and archiving.