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A Passion for Supporting Education

The Centerville Education Foundation assists teachers, students and alumni by enhancing education opportunities.

Centerville City Schools are consistently ranked among the best in the state. The pride that accompanies strong schools is apparent in both the enthusiasm and hard work of the Centerville Education Foundation (CEF). The volunteer board is dedicated to enhancing education opportunities for the Centerville community. 

CEF was formed in 1983 when a need to help teachers fund special projects was recognized by founding board members. The board established a grant system to cover worthwhile projects where teachers submit proposals annually for evaluation. Grants were approved for 20 projects this school year. 

Missy Fairs at Weller Elementary submitted one of the projects that was approved for a grant. A visually impaired student created not only a need in her classroom but also an interest among other students to learn more about braille. Funds help pay for braille learning materials. Other projects are equally as exciting for students and teachers.

The list of tasks and goals under the CEF umbrella has grown to include administering scholarships, holding an annual Hall of Fame dinner, publishing an alumni directory, acting as a resource for class reunions and sponsoring booths at the Americana Festival. 

David Garel is president of the board of trustees. He was recruited to the CEF board 15 years ago. Raising three sons in the Centerville school district showed him the scope of experiences available to students. 

“When I think about how passionate I am, I want to ask our community - ‘Did your kids get a great education in the Centerville school system?’ If so, please help us continue that momentum,” says David.

Rajeev Goel is a Centerville graduate and a member of the CEF board of trustees. He has been volunteering for eight years lending his expertise to developing and running the website. The efficiencies and additional exposure have helped tremendously.

The website (CentervilleEducation.org) provides information on approved teacher grants, available scholarships and events. Donations can be designated through the website to support specific projects or as a gift to be distributed where funds are needed most. “We’re looking for the community to step in more through business and individual giving,” David says.  

David and Rajeev see great possibilities with CEF and what more community involvement would bring. David explains, “If you're in the community and you have a passion for education, the Centerville Education Foundation is the place to reach out to.” Volunteers are needed to help with events, fundraising and to fill board positions. Even just an hour or two a month could help. 

“I think of the foundation as an alumni association, a PTO at the district level and a scholarship foundation all rolled into one, so we have a lot of responsibilities,” says Rajeev. 

The Hall of Fame banquet dinner is held each year in May. Four to six alumni, educators, students and citizens who have had a profound impact on Centerville schools are honored. CEF organizes the event along with coordinating nominations and RSVPs through the website.

Andrew Holmes was a Hall of Fame inductee as an Outstanding Student in 2013. He credits a great graduating class for his success. “I loved my experience at Centerville from K-12. We were embraced by the administration in founding The Herd and coming up with the phrase ‘Elk Pride Never Dies’,” shares Andrew.

True passion for community and education exists within the Centerville Education Foundation. Reach out to CEF about volunteering and financial gifts including possible employer matching at CentervilleEducation.org. 

“When I think about how passionate I am, I want to ask our community - ‘Did your kids get a great education in the Centerville school system?’ If so, please help us continue that momentum,” says David.

“I think of the foundation as an alumni association, a PTO at the district level and a scholarship foundation all rolled into one, so we have a lot of responsibilities,” says Rajeev.

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