Northampton Press

Friday, October 19, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINFrom left, Bill Conner, president of Konkrete Kids Foundation Board; Joseph Kovalchik, NASD superintendent of schools; Aaron Schisler, foundation board vice president; and Tim Tepes, foundation board member, are present at the Dec. 18 NASD Board of Education meeting. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINFrom left, Bill Conner, president of Konkrete Kids Foundation Board; Joseph Kovalchik, NASD superintendent of schools; Aaron Schisler, foundation board vice president; and Tim Tepes, foundation board member, are present at the Dec. 18 NASD Board of Education meeting.

K-Kids foundation donates to district, creates new award

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in School

Northampton Area Konkrete Kids Educational Foundation has donated $133,000 to Northampton Area School District.

Bill Conner, president of Konkrete Kids Foundation Board, also said in his report at the Dec. 18 Northampton Area School District Board of Education meeting that the foundation donated $25,000 this year and $33,000 last year to the district.

Conner announced the foundation has launched a new program: the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Criteria includes the following: a person who has achieved outstanding success in his or her chosen field or profession, a person who has performed substantial community service or other volunteer work, a person who has made a positive impact on others and a person who has received special recognition or awards.

The honoree(s) will have a plaque placed on a newly established Distinguished Alumni Wall of Honor at Northampton Area High School. The recipient(s) will be honored April 13, 2018, at Woodstone Country Club and Lodge, Danielsville.

“We want our students to see what our alumni have accomplished,” Conner said as the rationale for the award.

Eligible honorees must have graduated 15 years or more from NAHS and be, or have been, district residents. Posthumous nominations will be accepted. Recipients have been selected for 2018. Recommendations for 2019 nominees are sought.

The foundation holds fundraisers, including an annual golf tournament. The next one is again at Woodstone Country Club and Lodge. The June 2017 tourney, attended by 94 golfers, raised more than $17,000, according to the foundation’s website.

Another fundraising event is the spring oldies dance, with the band Desire performing, April 7, 2018, at Northampton Banquet & Event Center. Tickets will go on sale next month.

The 2017 oldies dance sold out with 380 attending and $5,822 raised.

“Those tickets go really fast. There’s such interest in this dance that we’ve scheduled a second one,” Conner said.

The fall oldies dance is Oct. 27, 2018. Tickets will go on sale July 2018.

The paver project is a fundraising project whereby brick pavers are placed at the entranceway to Al Erdosy Stadium. The pavers are inscribed to commemorate NASD graduates, staff teachers and administrators.

Conner attended the Dec. 18 school board meeting with Aaron Schisler, foundation board vice president, and Tim Tepes, foundation board member.

“We fund programs that are innovative or beyond the core curriculum,” Conner told school directors and administration officials at the meeting. Conner, a retired NASD assistant superintendent for curriculum, said one of the foundation’s goals is to “support teachers.”

According to its website, the foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt community organization established in 2010 “to develop, support and finance innovative programs that enhance the quality of education for Northampton Area School District students. The foundation provides the district and teachers with funds that are used to extend learning opportunities and co-curricular experiences for the benefit of the entire school community.”

Conner said the foundation also supports dual-enrollment for 11th- and 12th-grade students taking college-credit courses at Northampton Community College.

“We will help fund their tuition,” Conner said.

About $200, approximately half of the tuition cost, per student was provided last year, according to Conner.

The foundation funds various requests submitted by district faculty and administrators “that enhance the quality of education in the classroom,” according to the foundation website. Past gifts to NASD elementary, middle and high schools have included:

Authors’ workshops with students and parents

An artist-in-residence at the high school

Bullying prevention programs

Camp Innovation, a summer STEM program

Supporting the TV studios at elementary, middle and high schools

The Kids Koffee Program at the high school to support life skills

Voting foundation board members, in addition to Conner, Schisler and Tepes, include Paulette Fritz, treasurer; Kristen Pittman, secretary; Darrell Crook; Beth Schisler; Claudia Shulman; and Dave Shulman.

Nonvoting foundation board members include Joseph Kovalchik, NASD superintendent of schools; Dr. Kathleen E. Ott, NASD director of data, grants and special programs; Ross Makary, NASD School Board representative (succeeding Roy Maranki); and Michelle Costanzo, teacher liaison.

The foundation is a volunteer organization.

“We’re always looking for volunteers,” Conner said.