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How it all Began

The Southside School Foundation was organized for the purpose of providing financial support for and promoting and assisting in the development and conduct of fund raising and other activities intended to benefit Southside School and its student body, alumni, staff and programs on October 18, 1993.  Members of the original Board of Directors included Kathy Coffee, Kathy Demler, Andey Owens, Kim Pulliam, Dana Walts, Molly Cardamone and principal John E. Spielman.

         In August of 2010, recently retired principal Sharon Marks shared that there had not been any Foundation activity or meeting since 2007.  Newly named principal Steven E. Dragon along with parents Stephanie Kempton, John Sparling, Dave Winiecki, Natasha Menke, Cassie Vasallo, Todd Goodman and Mike Ippolito resurrected the Southside School Foundation.

         The Southside School Foundation revised its mission statement to read as follows:  Founded in 1993 the Southside School Foundation was created to provide funding for learning, cultural, and enrichment opportunities to all students in every grade level including dance and theater programs through a combination of fundraising activities and grant writing efforts.

         For the next eight years the major fundraising activities included an annual gala event for adults only, a Players Theatre Spring event featuring Southside students performing a musical, and the car line and U.S. 41 sign sponsorships.  These activities/events funded the salaries for the dance teachers (two teachers shared the assignment) while the school district provided the funding for the music, visual art and drama teachers.  Southside provided ALL the Arts for ALL the Kids!  At Southside, the Arts were now an essential element of a complete elementary education.

         At the September 27, 2017, meeting of the Southside School Foundation, the board unanimously agreed to change the name of the Foundation to the Southside School Foundation for the Arts providing clarity to its vision and mission.  Foundation board members included:  DeAnna Creaturo – President, Brian Hersh – Vice President, Allison Haskins – Secretary, Marina Parkin – Treasurer, Scott Dotson – FBI, Daria Ferreira, Kevin Vale, Jennifer McBlaine, and Steven Dragon – Principal.

Almost a month later, when the Southside School Foundation for the Arts met on October 25, 2017, the mission statement was revised to read as follows:  The Southside School Foundation for the Arts ensures cultural and enrichment learning opportunities to all Southside students at every grade level.  Learning through and about ALL the Arts in an elementary setting is an essential part of a complete education.