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Successful Schools Foundation Luncheon

The Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation's annual luncheon on March 28, 2013, entitled Small Hands to Big Plans, raised over $70,000 this year, between individual donations, employer matching, and corporate sponsorships.

The Foundation reported that there were 68 sponsors who contributed to the success of the event, plus 175 community guests raised just over $24,000 on the day of the luncheon. Also, 38 members have now joined the "365 Club" --an academic boosters club started in 2010 where supporters contribute one dollar a day to quality education in our Snoqualmie Valley schools.

On behalf of the district, our sincerest thanks to the many supporters and sponsors who gave generously to our schools this year! We appreciate the efforts of our Schools Foundation for coordinating the inspirational event, and to the numerous student volunteers and school staff for sharing their stories of quality learning made possible with support from the Foundation.

At the luncheon, attendees learned about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education initiatives in our community and across the state. To start the program, Superintendent Joel Aune announced that the Snoqualmie Tribe had approved a grant to the district in the amount of $25,000 for STEM education --support that will go toward teacher professional development for new STEM courses being offered at Mount Si High School's Freshman Campus next fall. Thank you again Snoqualmie Tribe!

Guests learned about compelling research on STEM advancement in our state from keynote speaker Dr. Nitin Baliga, Professor and Director of Integrative Biology at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) -- an internationally renowned, non-profit research institute headquartered in Seattle and dedicated to the study and application of systems biology.

"Knowing concepts and being able to solve today's problems are two very different skills. Enabling students to think and preparing them to live and work in today's world are imperative," said Dr. Baliga. "Providing teachers and students with interdisciplinary STEM experiences is a strong step in the right direction for our local and global community."

The Foundation presented a student-directed video on classroom grants that showcased the positive impact and hands-on innovative learning opportunities throughout the district this year, that have been made possible by previous Foundation donations.

Snoqualmie Valley's 2013 Educators of the Year were also celebrated and honored for their passion for education and inspiration to Snoqualmie Valley students.

Pictured left to right: Schools Foundation board members Lorraine Thurston and Carmen Villanueva, pose with the 2013 Educators of the Year: Thomas Burford, 8th grade history teacher at Snoqualmie Middle School; Marianne Bradburn, 3rd grade teacher at Opstad Elementary School; and Joseph Galagan, counselor at Mount Si High School; and SVSD Superintendent Joel Aune.

Kindergarten choir students from Cascade View Elementary School entertained guests during 2013 Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation luncheon at TCP Snoqualmie Ridge.

Student leader Kelby Kilburn, pictured here with Mount Si Principal John Belcher, helped emcee the luncheon and shared how the Foundation's ongoing investment in our school system personally enhanced his educational experience over the years.

Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation 2012-13 Board members

The Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation ( is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation whose mission is to encourage excellence and assure opportunities in education for every student, in every classroom, every day in the Snoqualmie Valley School District.