Foundation for Success
Scripps Ranch is known for quality in education, and a dedicated group of parents and community members works hard to ensure the tradition of excellence continues. The Scripps Ranch High School Foundation was created in 1993 to help support the new high school and now continues to supplement school resources and strengthen critical programs. We spoke with Foundation President Jacqueline Reza and other board members about the organization’s history and purpose, as well as what we can look forward to this year – including the triumphant return of the community favorite Taste of the Ranch.
Q&A with with Scripps Ranch High School Foundation
What is the history and motivation behind the Scripps Ranch High School Foundation?
Lynn Todd, Parliamentarian: Ever since Scripps Ranch was developed as a community starting in 1970, community members have been actively engaged in making sure our community has quality schools. Having seen the benefits of having a parent-driven organization involved in bolstering the educational environment at the other schools present in Scripps Ranch, the foundation was formed in 1993 (when SRHS first opened). Since its inception, the foundation has diligently tried to improve the total educational experience of all students who attend the school.
How has the foundation evolved over the years?
Jacqueline Reza, President: The foundation began as a way to supplement and support shortfalls and help bolster programs that were considered discretionary. Over time, it has evolved into an anticipated portion of the financial planning for each school year. The participation of parents both financially and as volunteers is crucial, but unfortunately, both have declined significantly since the last recession.
What is the overall mission of the foundation?
Jacqueline: Our mission is to enhance the overall educational experience of each student by raising, managing, and disbursing funds to be used by our teachers and staff.
How do you go about following that mission?
Jacqueline: We solicit funding requests from teaching and administrative staff, those that know best what the school needs to improve the educational experience of SRHS students. We analyze these funding requests, soliciting additional information as needed, and then determine which funding requests to fulfill. In analyzing requests, the foundation always considers the number of students that will benefit from the funding and the academic relevance of the item requested.
We also work very hard to inform parents of the foundation’s mission and benefits to their child and the overall Scripps Ranch High experience. Our hope is that this knowledge will translate into additional funding and volunteers.
Our mission is to enhance the overall educational experience of each student by raising, managing, and disbursing funds to be used by our teachers and staff.”
– Jaqueline Reza, President
Why is it important for schools to have foundations?
Lynn: Unfortunately, due to the level of school funding provided by the state, the school district is unable to adequately fund the educational needs of our students. Moreover, certain additional educational funds, such as Title 1 funds which are earmarked to fund additional support and education that certain students need, do not follow the student if they opt to attend a school other than their neighborhood school. So, when such a student attends a high school that does not receive Title 1 funds (like SRHS) and needs this additional education and support, the school is obligated to provide it but does not receive additional funding from the school district to pay for it. Parent support organizations like the foundation and the other organizations found at each of the Scripps Ranch public schools play a critical role in providing the financial resources needed to help create a positive and productive learning environment.
How did you get involved with the foundation?
Jacqueline: I have been a volunteer and supporter of all the schools my kids have attended since kindergarten. Approximately seven years ago, we moved here from Orange County and I was elected president at Marshall Middle School, which kind of naturally transitioned me into my current role.
What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your role with the foundation?
Jacqueline: I am very proud of being part of the foundation as we do make a difference in our students’ education. That in itself is reward enough. The most challenging aspect is engaging new volunteers at the high school level. Often parents that volunteered when their kids were younger return to the workforce and have less time to participate.
What is most exciting about being a part of the foundation?
Jacqueline: Knowing that we have been able to give kids a better school experience.
Can you tell us a bit about some of the other key players in the foundation?
Jacqueline: There are approximately 15 positions that keep the foundation running. We are fortunate that these parents volunteer for several years, since the current volunteer base is difficult to grow. It is crucial to have consistency in order to comply with our bylaws and to also be able to mentor a new volunteer in one of those positions.
Foundation Board Members
President | Jacqueline Reza
Funding Requests | Cynthia Laudenslager
Recording Secretary | Annette Radogna
Treasurer | Tracy Jewell
Financial Secretary | Lennie Fernandez
Designated/Corp Matching | Tamara Hurley
Corresponding Secretary | Debbie Feldman
Pledge Drive | Ann Marie Gallagher
Auditor | Connie Milton
eBlast Coordinator | Jill Herbold
Hospitality | Robert Hasson
Parliamentarian | Lynn Todd
SRHS Principal | Ann Menna
School Supply Drive | Gael Courtney
Website | Colleen Chavez
Taste of the Ranch | Jillian Frisbee and Linda Hoover
Can you highlight any upcoming significant dates?
Jillian Frisbee and Linda Hoover, Taste of the Ranch Co-Chairs: The foundation is proudly bringing back one of its biggest fundraisers, the Taste of The Ranch (TOTR), in spring of 2017. As one of the high school’s most important fundraisers, it provides the students with many necessary supplies such as updated technology, enhanced academics, and new books. In addition, these funds continue to support the athletic teams and many extracurricular clubs at the school.
The TOTR was originally created in 2007 as the first dinner/auction fundraiser to support SRHS and began a favorite annual community tradition. It provides local restaurants and craft breweries the opportunity to showcase their fabulous foods and beverages for participants as they peruse silent auction items. It’s also a fun place to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in a while or meet new ones. Last year the TOTR lacked volunteers to make the event happen and unfortunately it had to be cancelled, and was missed by many.
Planning an event of this magnitude needs a small village of dedicated people to help with all of the fine details in order for this event to be successful. New to SRHS this year, we have both agreed to co-chair this event and are excited about bringing back the TOTR. We’re looking for volunteers to join our team in putting this favorite event back on the annual calendar. If you like planning fun events, have a talent for assembling auction baskets, enjoy working as a team and love to raise money for your children’s education, please send an email to Jillian and Linda at TOTR2017@gmail.com.
Does the foundation hold any fundraisers throughout the year? Please elaborate.
Lynn: The foundation tries to keep it simple and not bombard parents with donation solicitations. We mainly count on the pledge drive (a membership drive at the beginning of the school year) and our favorite foundation event, the Taste of the Ranch, as this one event helps not only the foundation but other groups as well. We also hold a supply drive, where parents can drive up the newly renamed Falcon Way and drop off supplies in front of the school. This event helps enable the school to stretch its budget a little further.
The booster clubs for the music and sports programs, separate from the foundation which takes a more school-wide approach, also hold their own fundraisers, and the parents donate very generously to those.
How can the community help to contribute to the work that the foundation does?
Jacqueline Reza: Volunteer, donate, be part of the foundation. We have a fantastic school and supporting it will help the community in many ways, such as by helping to raise well-educated, productive members of society and to increase property values due to the ongoing high caliber of Scripps Ranch schools. I remember when my family moved to San Diego we picked Scripps Ranch because of the elevated high school test scores.
If someone wants to help the cause, how can they be a part of the foundation?
Jacqueline: A person’s involvement can be large or small. We gladly welcome any help and support that we can get. If you don’t have time to volunteer, we are happy to take a donation to support SRHS. If you have the time and want to make a more personal contribution, you can find our contact on the SRHS Foundation website and you can join one of our monthly foundation meetings.
What are your long-term and short-term goals for the foundation?
Jacqueline: Short-term – raise enough funds to provide the teachers and students with the resources they currently need. Long-term – have an endowment that would sustain these needs.
What are you looking forward to the most in regards to this upcoming year?
Jacqueline: This is a very exciting and sad year for me – my oldest son graduated from SRHS last year and my youngest is a senior at SRHS. My tenure is coming to end, so I will treasure every event and function as I know that this will be my last year at SRHS.
Name: Jacqueline Reza
Background: Born and raised in Switzerland
Family: Husband – Jorge Reza; sons – Marco Reza (18), Jason Reza (16)
Hobbies & Interests: Working out, horses
Name: Scripps Ranch High School Foundation
President: Jacqueline Reza