Spring Branch Education Foundation is committed to supporting our students and educators. We partner with Spring Branch ISD and community to fund programs that enhance education and prepare our students for the future.
In 1993, foresighted community members came together to help Spring Branch Independent School District serve its students. The area was growing, students were pouring into the district, and the budget was stretched thin. An education foundation would provide a vehicle for donors to make tax-deductible gifts to fund programs not covered by the district’s budget. And with that forethought, the Spring Branch Education Foundation became a reality.
The Foundation’s first board meeting, on January 12, was attended by Dr. Harold D. Guthrie, SBISD superintendent; Donnie Wright and Carol Lowery. Texas Secretary of State John Hannah Jr. signed and filed the Articles of Incorporation on January 20.
Its original mission was to foster change in the Spring Branch Independent School District, leading to significant, measurable improvements in student academic performance as well as student effectiveness in the workplace and in society generally.
At the February 1993 meeting, plans developed quickly. Pamela Akins served as acting chair until Jim Stewart III was named the first official chair. [He still serves as Chairman Emeritus, and in the spirit of the district’s legacy, his son, Robert, has joined the board.] The group voted to expand the board and to make the Dillard’s/Houston Chronicle Teacher Appreciation Fashion/Style Show an SBEF fundraiser. The event would later become the Crystal Awards Gala.
In April, the Foundation assumed responsibility for Running for the Arts. Chairs Joanie Haley and Mary Brooks laid the ground work for an event that would become a community festival.
The board also got busy with the important work of soliciting donations and providing seed money for significant district initiatives.
The first large donation came from Union Texas Petroleum. The company committed $150,000 to support “Investment in Excellence,” a district-wide leadership development course for staff, teachers and students.
Over the past two decades, SBEF has provided seed money for the district’s technology program, the Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum and the SpringBoard Mentoring and Good Neighbor programs, among others. It funds district and campus grants, as well as scholarships for SBISD students. And it has created the Fund for the Future Endowment which funds programs for our students in perpetuity.
SBEF is nationally recognized for managing funds to enhance student learning. In 2016, Caruthers Institute ranked SBEF 42nd in the nation among 188 K-12 education foundations and in the top 10 of its division of foundations with $1 million to $1,999,999 in revenues. Caruthers Institute, which conducts the study, considers SBEF a wise investment – and so do our donors.
In addition to sponsoring four signature fund-raising events, SBEF volunteers and staff work with donors to fund donor-designated grants and make long-term estate plans.
The Foundation has awarded more than $13 million to SBISD since its inception.