Making a difference in Calallen education
Steven Floyd, loyal Calallen supporter and current board member, read articles in the Caller Times about local education foundations and wondered why Calallen ISD didn’t have one. In 2008, he contacted Dr. Almendarez and the next thing you know the Calallen Education Foundation (CEF) started.
The original Articles of Incorporation were signed in October 2008 and the initial funding came in February 2009 via donations made in memory of Ricardo Almendarez, the father of Calallen ISD Superintendent, Dr. Artie Almendarez. Those donations provided the necessary funds to file the required paperwork and payments with the IRS.
In May 2010 the first major donation to the CEF came from another founding member and current board member, Johnnie Bickham.
A Calallen Education Foundation logo contest was conducted amongst the Calallen ISD students and two winners were presented with cash awards in November of 2010.
The initial fundraising years of the CEF were slow, until a group of energetic parents joined the board in 2010. That additional support was a turning point and the CEF really began to make progress. The first Casino Night Fundraiser was held in October of 2011 and it was huge success with a net income of just under $22,000. The most exciting part of that year was presenting the very first grant checks to various winners in December 2011. A total of $43,998 was awarded during the first grant patrol. The reactions of the teachers as the CEF Board of Directors presented the checks were priceless.
In 2014 CEF Board of Directors contracted with Foundation Innovation LLC to guide the team in revamping and improving the results their efforts. That made a dramatic impact on how the CEF operates, attracts donors and adds members to the Board. Foundation Innovation LLC recommended an Executive Director be staffed to create ongoing support to the Board of Directors. In 2015 an Executive Director was put into place.
Since that time, the community of Calallen has really stepped up to support the fundraising efforts of the Calallen Education Foundation and ultimately the grants awarded to innovative teachers across the district. By the end of the 2018/2019 school year, the CEF had awarded 151 grants totaling $341,713.30.