Unlike other community organizations, Tantasqua Education Foundation (Ted.) is focused exclusively on EDUCATION.
Its sole task is to raise money to fund innovative teacher-sponsored projects and programs. The long term goal is to grow an endowment in order to continue the enhancement and enrichment of our children’s education.
We are a community-sponsored, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial resources to support projects and programs that encourage students to develop their talents, become lifelong learners, and pursue excellence. Such projects go beyond the scope of those funded by the operating budget of the school districts.
The Ted. Helix
Ted.’s logo mark, which includes a helix comprised of four spheres, represents the continuous cycle of paying forward, the heart of our philosophy. The spheres represent Ted., teachers, students and the community. With the support of the community, Ted. provides resources to teachers. With these added resources, teachers provide expanded educational offerings to students. With this well-rounded educational experience, the students infuse the community with skills, talent and enthusiasm.
How it all Started
John Stebbins and Colleen Bonja, both former members of the Burgess School Committee, met at Jim Glickman’s house in the summer of 2006 to explore founding an educational foundation. As a member of the Tantasqua Regional School Committee, Jim had found many worthwhile educational initiatives were unfunded or being starved of scarce resources. Colleen, an attorney, had the background to help charter a new non-profit, and John, who became the organization’s first president, had a wide circle of acquaintances who were interested in aiding local public education.
They enlisted the assistance of Chris Tieri and Melissa Earls, and with the support of Superintendent Dan Durgin, they began the process of seeking support of local businesses and interested residents from the five-town area. After consulting with other successful state education foundations and taking steps for incorporation, on April 3rd, 2007 a Chris Tieri-inspired rollout was presented by Melissa to a group of fifty people at the site of what is now Kaizen’s. By early summer, Southbridge Savings became the first business donor, soon to be followed by Country Bank, and the organization that is known as Ted. was off the ground and preparing for its first major fund raising event, a brunch at Old Sturbridge Village.
Since that time, and building each year since, Ted. has raised over $250,000 and offered nearly 60 grants to elementary schools in Brimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Wales, Sturbridge, and the Junior and Senior High Schools.
President: Jeff Zahr
Vice President: Heather MacFarlane
Treasurer: Nina Cartwright
Secretary: Kim Ferreira
Gifts & Liaisons Chair: