Northside Education Foundation Igniting Innovation Education Foundation Igniting Innovation ... NEF was named the top ... Martin Elementary teacher Amanda Raba Gentis who is now pursuing

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  • 2012 Annual Report*

    Northside Education FoundationIgniting Innovation

    Thank You For Being the Spark, Lighting the Flame

    *Fiscal Year June 2011 to May 2012

  • Cassandra Miranda

    Bonnie Ellison

    Former San Antonio resident Cassandra Miranda returned to the city and started with Northside Independent School District (NISD) on Jan. 7, 2013, to succeed long-time NISD Partnerships Director and Northside Executive Foundation (NEF) Executive Director Bonnie Ellison who is retiring.

    Ellison leaves after a 40-year career at Northside. She was the first Communications Director and helped establish the Partnerships Department and the NEF in 1995 following a Strategic Planning initiative. During her tenure, she was elected President of the National School Public Relations Association, provided professional help to NASAs First Teacher-in-Space Program and consulted on implementation of the Indian Claims Act for the school district in Barrow, Alaska.

    Coincidentally, Ellisons successor, Cassandra Miranda, has been the Communications and Internet Services Supervisor at the NASA Johnson Space Center since 2007. With an MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Communications degree from UTSA, Miranda also has corporate and non-profit leadership experience with UPS and the American Heart Association. She has successfully led award-winning teams and supported many positive community relations programs and business development campaigns.

    About becoming Executive Director of NEF, recently named Best-in-Texas (see page 2), Miranda said, I am extremely humbled to have this opportunity.

    NEF is able to flow 95 percent of its funds directly to benefit students and teachers since staff support is donated by the District under the auspices of supervising volunteers, as allowed by law. Thereby, NEF has no employees, but can use the services of the NISD Partnerships Department as the Districts premier partnership.

    Longtime Executive Director Retires Cassandra Miranda to Succeed Bonnie Ellison


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    Wade Cleary, President-Elect Managing Principal, Cleary Zimmermann Engineering

    Merry K. Raba, PresidentManager, Corporate Employee Services, Raba Kistner, Inc.

    NEF Named No. 1 in Texas by Reputed Research Firm

    NEF was named the top public school foundation in Texas and No. 12 in the nation by Dewey and Associates, a Florida-based management consulting firm. The study analyzes the effectiveness of the foundation at generating and sustaining financial resources to serve the students of the school district.

    The study (the first since 2005) added the role of volunteers in the organization, earning a high score for the foundation, which celebrates 300 involved Friends of the Foundation who pay no dues but volunteer countless hours of time, energy and expertise.

    Although Northside ISD is 31st in the nation in size (number of students), NEF ranked No. 6 in the nation for investment income, No. 11 for volunteer involvement, No. 14 in amount awarded in grants-per-student and No. 14 in assets-per-student.


    Attending the ISTE Convention in San Diego with NEFs sponsorship was an incredible opportunity to grow professionally. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with my colleagues.

    - Larinda Rios, CIT, Los Reyes ES

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    2011 Encore grants went to the NISD Solar Car Competition and Middle School Academic Bowl ($1,500 NEF grant) to enable more teams to participate, and to Fast Freddy Third Grade Math Competition ($6,000 NEF grant), credited with increasing performance on state tests.

    Change in By-laws Expands NEF BoardIf the 27-member all-volunteer NEF Board has proved to be an asset and effective since its inception in 1995, consensus that more might be better resulted in a June, 2012 by-laws change which expanded the Board of Directors to 30 members. Added to the Board as a result are NEF Directors Monty Howard, Marmon Mok Architects; Robb Decker, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green, & Trevino, P.C.; and former Martin Elementary teacher Amanda Raba Gentis who is now pursuing an advanced degree at San Antonio Texas A&M University and is the owner of ARG Photographs.

    Elected to thee-year terms, one-third of the Board stands for re-election annually. And this year, all 10 expressed an interest in remaining for another term. Likewise, officers elected to one-year terms opted to serve for another term. Merry K. Raba, Corporate Employee Services Manager for Raba Kistner, Inc., is the 2013 NEF Board President.

    Other Board members and officers are listed below. Sandra Bonnett, Principal, May Elementary School, was appointed by Supt. Brian T. Woods, Ed.D., to succeed Levinia Lara, Hoffmann Elementary Principal, who was promoted to Executive Director of Elementary Administration.

    The NEF Education Advisory Committee includes the NISD Superintendent and an elected representative of the NISD Board of Trustees, Bennie Cole, a former NEF President. Also appointed by the Superintendent are Anthony Jarrett, Principal, Marshall High School; Wendy Reyes, Principal, Jones Middle School; and Brenda Farias, Principal, Langley Elementary. They succeed Harold Maldonado, Stevens High School Principal; Glenda Munson, Stevenson Middle School Principal; and Kathleen Gorsche, Los Reyes Elementary Principal.

    My current endeavor of getting through medical school has been no easy task. Your charitable scholarship, though, has helped me become less fearful of the future.

    - Amy Shekarchi, Texas Techs School of Medicine

  • How to become an NEF Board member:a. Contribute to Board diversity due to ethnicity, sex, race, profession, high school and college attended.

    b. Develop contacts with an extensive network of people interested in preserving quality of public education in NISD.

    c. Donate time, energy, expertise and sometimes funds: No fees required to join.

    d. Volunteer to committees as a Friend of the Foundation prior to serving on the Board.

    e. Board members are not required to live in NISD or have children in NISD.

    What is expected of NEF Board members:a. Dont miss more than three meetings in a row.

    b. Serve three-year term.

    c. Attend six meetings annually.

    d. Serve on a minimum of two committees at all times during service.

    e. Grow Endowment 10 percent annually: to $3.56 million in 2013.


    30-member Board of Directors emeritus excluded (effective 12/20/12)

    Executive Committee Merry K. Raba President Wade Cleary President-Elect Larry Ratcliff Past-President Jeff Bourgeois Secretary Vaughn Bomberger Treasurer John Casstevens VP-Administration Cathy Naiser VP-Development Dave Gannon VP-Programs Kathy Hill VP-Communications

    Directors and Terms Ed Rawlinson Director Emeritus John M. Folks, Ed.D. Director Emeritus

    Renews (end of) Dec. 2015 Matthew Foxhall Divisional Vice President, AXA Advisors, LLC Monty Howard Marmon Mok Architects Robb Decker Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Trevino, P.C. Kathy Hill KHill PR Letha Harrelson Business Development Manager, SSFCU Sandra Bonnett Principal, May Elementary Arthur Reyna Art Reyna & Assoc., Leon Valley City Council John Casstevens Joeris General Contractors Ltd. Vaughn Bomberger Garza Bomberger Architects Amanda Raba Gentis Owner, ARG Photographs

    Northside Education Foundation 2012

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    Education Advisory Committee Brian T. Woods, Ed.D. Superintendent Bennie Cole NISD Trustee, Retired Military, Civil Service**Anthony Jarrett Principal, Marshall High School*Wendy Reyes Principal, Jones Middle School*Brenda Farias Principal, Langley Elementary**appointed annually by Superintendent **elected by NISD Board of Trustees

    Renews (end of) Dec. 2013 Brad Ward Advanced Recruiting Specialists Wade Cleary Cleary Zimmermann Engineers Rene M. Garcia Zachry Construction Corporation Tomas Larralde Executive Director Hispanic Contractors Association de San Antonio Larry Ratcliff Jefferson Bank Jeff Bourgeois Christus Santa Rosa Hospitals Frank Humada, Jr. Wortham Insurance Risk Management Billy Laque Laque Insurance Agency, Horace Mann Priscilla Ann Sanchez-Hurt CEO, Moonstruck Foundation, Inc. & Farmer Ins. Agent Rick McLaughlin Mathnasium

    Renews (end of) Dec. 2014 Richard Acosta Sr. VP M.R. Beal Investment Banking Cathy Naiser Keller Williams Realty Merry K. Raba Raba Kistner, Inc. Evelyn Thomas Community Leader Ken Thomas Civil Engineering Consultants, Inc. (CEC) Dave Gannon Airgas, Sr. VP (retired) Ray Lopez AT&T (retired) S.A. City Council District. 6 Dr. Edmundo Garcia Heritage Medical Clinic George Block Haven for Hope (retired President & CEO) VACANT

    Partnership with NISD Conserves ResourcesWith a ratio of only five percent of income going to overhead, NEF is the envy of other local non-profits. And, according to NEF President Merry K. Raba, Who cannot be supportive of quality public schools?

    Staff support, office, computer space and supplies for NEF come from NISDs Partner-ships budget, and, as outgoing Executive Director and NISD Partnerships Director Bonnie Ellison says, It has become worth adding to your resume that youve helped the Foundation.

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    Jay Pastwa, Sams Club-DeZavala Manager, surprised an NEF Prize Patrol team Sept. 20, 2012, arriving to present a $500 check from the Walmart-based firm. NEFs Apple Eddie (l) and Apple Eddie, Jr. (r) joined NEF Board member Brad Ward (l) and NEF President-elect Wade Cleary before heading out to award innovation grants to staff.

    Record numbers of NISD staff members applied for and received financial support for innovative projects in 2012, and the NEF Prize Patrol added a third mascot, Apple Eddie, Jr., to its Prize Patrol fami