Upper Arlington Education Foundation Executive Director Joanie Dugger has announced she will leave the organization in March. During her 16 years with UA+Ed, the organization has greatly expanded its number of donors and assets, enabling it to provide more grants and achieve its mission of enhancing what matters most.
“We have such an incredible team,” said Dugger, citing the work of colleagues Alice Finley, program and project specialist, and Megan Potts, donor records specialist. “When I look back I am most proud of helping educators secure extra funding allowing them to provide really extraordinary educational opportunities for our students.”
Two great examples of the foundation’s work are in progress at Upper Arlington High School. Led by Finley and Research & Design Lab Instructional Leader Laura Moore, a group of students is putting the final touches on the inaugural UA Idea Day, a day-long symposium for students and teachers aimed at inspiring them about the ways they can use their skills to forge change.
“This entire experience offers a truly incredible opportunity for both students and teachers,” said Moore. “Not only has UA Idea Day provided a number of unique, real-world learning challenges for the students who are planning the event, but their efforts have produced a opportunity for their peers unlike any other we have ever had. This day simply wouldn't have happened without Alice and the Upper Arlington Education Foundation or the Upper Arlington High School PTO.”
Superintendent Paul Imhoff says other school districts have already expressed an interest in replicating the UA Idea Day format. “This project is truly in keeping with our history of being a lighthouse district.”
Another example of UA+Ed projects is the new UAHS FIRST Robotics Team. A student approached Finley and Dugger with the idea, and the foundation was able to provide a grant to help launch the 25-student team, which has since received backing from NASA. The students will spend six weeks designing and building a robot to perform challenging tasks in competitions at the local and national level.
Dugger said she is also proud that the foundation’s Golden Bear Bash has grown to be an anticipated community event that is equal parts fundraiser and friendraiser.
“We love that the Bash is known as such a fun evening and that it brings together people from across our community in support of our students and our schools.”
Imhoff noted that, in her years with the UA+Ed, Dugger has had a significant impact on the student experience in our district.
“The Education Foundation has done so much for our students and staff, and for so long Joanie has been behind the scenes helping teachers, donors and trustees to connect,” Imhoff said. “Simply put, we are a better school district because all of our UA+Ed staff members work together to help us dream big and try new things.”
The Upper Arlington Education Foundation is currently accepting applications for the executive director position. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.