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October  24, 2016 – State of the District

The Calallen Education Foundation hosted the Calallen ISD State of the District Luncheon on Monday, October 24, 2016 in the new FEMA Dome located behind the Calallen High School.  Over 300 guests had the opportunity to look at displays and centerpieces showcasing how grant funds have helped innovative educators within the district inspire students in the classroom.    A presentation was delivered by Dr. Artie Almendarez, District Superintendent, titled, “Our Education: Local, State and Global”, which highlighted current issues and concerns, data in regards to education, students, funding and achievement.  Musical entertainment was provided by the Calallen High School Mixed Choir and the Calallen High School Band.

According to David Low, Assistant Principal of Calallen East Elementary, “The State of the District Luncheon had something for everyone in the room.  As an administrator, seeing all of the displays was impressive.  I was excited to learn and to see how much the Calallen Education Foundation helped teachers get the things they needed for the classroom.”

One of our local Calallen business owners said it was a surprise to realize the current condition of education in the state of Texas.  “Dr. Almendarez’ presentation had a lot of great data and provided interesting insight to our future employees.”

The program ended with an opportunity for the attendees to take self-guided tours of the new FEMA Dome and All Purpose facilities on the Calallen ISD property.  The event proved to be a wonderful way to bring together community partners, educators and students totally dedicated to the future of our global society.

April 20, 2016 – Honor Roll Distinction

Members of the Calallen Education Foundation visited Judge Joe Benavides in his courtroom on Wednesday, April 20 to honor him as the Foundation’s first ever “Honor Roll” Donor Partner.  Robin Ritchey-Roy, Executive Director, informed the Judge the Donor Partner Program was new to the Calallen Education Foundation this year and he was, in fact, the first to support Calallen education in this way.  Dr. Artie Almendarez, District Superintendent, said, “Judge Benavides has been a huge supporter of Calallen ISD over the years by visiting with the students and parents and helping them understand the laws.  Calallen is very fortunate to have a partnership with Judge Benavides.” 

The Calallen Education Foundation launched the Donor Partner Program for the 2015-16 school year by asking community members to make a financial commitment to Calallen education and donate funds to the non-profit.  The donations are used to provide educator grants for innovative projects, programs and initiatives that provide excellence in education and superior student learning.  Judge Benavides’ financial contribution to the Calallen Education Foundation and others is an example of how he is demonstrating his dedication to education within Nueces County.

​​April 8, 2016 - Grant Patrol

​The Calallen Education Foundation, with the generous donations and support of our community, was able to award $29,000 in grants on Friday, April 8, funding 18 different grant applications which represented all schools in the district.  Grant Patrol was a wonderful celebration of the districts’ dedicated, inspiring educators and a real highlight of the year!  

The Grant Patrol consisted of members of the Calallen Education Foundation Board of Directors, a Corpus Christi Caller Times Reporter, Calallen TV News and Wildcatter staff.  The group rode in a CISD school bus from campus to campus making as much noise as possible to briefly disrupt learning and focus on the accomplishments of the grant winners. This year the grant winners were awarded large checks that will be displayed in their class room or school hallway.  Be sure to congratulate these very deserving winners! 

these very deserving winners! 

February 26, 2016 - 5th Annual Casino Night

The Calallen Education Foundation supports student programs, projects and initiatives that do not receive tax-based funding.  The non-profit organization provides grants and financial backing to innovative and inspiring educators striving for excellence in instruction and superior student learning within the Calallen Independent School District.  

The Calallen Education Foundation will be hosting their 5th Annual Casino Night Fundraiser at the Gulf Coast Race Track on Saturday, March 5 from 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm.  Proceeds from the event will be used to fulfill grant applications that have been submitted by teachers and teaching teams from around the district.  According to Robin Orchard, VP of Programs for the Foundation, “We had 25 grant applications submitted this year, 10 more than last year!  That tells us the need is there and the Calallen Education Foundation fills a very important role within the district.” 

Robin Ritchey-Roy, Executive Director of the Foundation said the fundraising goal for this event is over $25,000.  “If we reach that goal it will be a huge success.  Our Board Members have been working hard preparing for a great evening on March 5 and hopefully our guests will come out, enjoy a delicious dinner, support the live and silent auctions and play lot of games at the casino tables!  It will be a wonderful time.”  

As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization we cannot reach our goals without strong community partnerships.  A special thank you to our sponsors and donors for investing in Calallen education!  

To donate or learn more please visit Calallen Education Foundation.  

November 5, 2015 – State of the District Luncheon

The Calallen Education Foundation (CEF) hosted a Calallen State of the District Luncheon on Monday, October 26 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm in the Calallen High School Library.  Dr. Artie Almendarez, Superintendent, Calallen ISD, presented Transforming the Vision: 2020 to the nearly 250 guests in attendance.  The presentation was very insightful and informative.

Guests also had the opportunity to look at displays demonstrating how Calallen Education Foundation grant funds have helped innovative educators within the district inspire students in the classroom.  The Flying High drone project was demonstrated by a student pilot in the library. 

According to Robin Ritchey-Roy, Executive Director, “The event was a great success.  It could not have been possible without the amazing support of the CISD staff and students.  It was such a proud moment for all of us to be surrounded by so many community partners, educators and students totally dedicated to the future of our global society.”

The State of the District Luncheon was a kick off to the fund raising year for the Calallen Education Foundation.  Donor level sponsorship opportunites were introduced for the first time;  Summa Cum Laude for $5,000 donors, Magna Cum Laude for $2,500 donors, Cum Laude for $1,000 donors and Honor Roll for $500 donors.  The CEF has set a goal of $50,000 to be raised for education grants which will be awarded for innovative projects, programs and initiatives within the Calallen ISD that cannot be funded with tax payer dollars.  To make a donation, please go to, and click on Make a Donation.

September 9, 2015 - New President and Vice President

The Calallen Education Foundation (CEF) is pleased to announce our new President, Shelby DeReese, and Vice President, Mia Taylor.  These ladies have been extremely committed to the Calallen Education Foundation and are members of the original founding team.  We are thrilled they have accepted these new leadership roles and expect continued great things from each of them.

Shelby DeReese has been serving as Vice President the Calallen Education Foundation since its inception in 2008.  She has worked tirelessly on the Casino Night fundraisers, an annual fundraising event for the CEF.  Ms. DeReese has also enjoyed serving on the programs committee and especially presenting grant funds to deserving educators in the Calallen ISD. "It is so fun to see the teachers faces when they win.  They work with passion and love for their students each day.  When they realize that the grant application they wrote will bring their dream alive in the classroom, it makes everything worth it.  As a CEF board member we have a sense of pride when we see the items earned from grant funds working!  Calallen ISD is an amazing district with even more amazing teachers, students and administrators. Awarding grant money for innovative ways to teach and keep kids at the cutting edge of education, is what it is all about!"   This year Shelby is excited to lead the initiative for an additional CEF fundraiser being held on May 21, 2016 at the VFW in Annaville which features a dance with the band, Borderline.

Mia Taylor has also been serving the Calallen Education Foundation since its inception.  “Few of us have seen each step of the Foundation’s growth and we have all welcomed any input and participation in the past seven years.  It took a couple of years for us to gather a large enough group of dedicated parents and Calallen supporters to start a fundraiser like Casino Night.  Our first annual Casino Night was such a big success, we were able to attract more members and supporters.”  Mia was first drawn to CEF because she learned what the true mission was for this Foundation.  “The mission and goals of CEF are very simple.  CEF is here to support Calallen teachers in teaching our children using innovative and even necessary tools that our students can use to help them learn on an everyday basis.  As a parent, this is very important to me, of course.  As a community member, I want to see every child benefit from the education he or she receives from Calallen ISD.” 

Ms. Taylor said that seeing teachers’ appreciation and true excitement when they receive grants over the years is a reward for all CEF members working hard to raise funds.  “We realize that what we are doing is truly helping our children by encouraging their teachers to have an even stronger investment in their time and hearts for the success of our children’s futures.  I have always been proud to say that I am a part of CEF.  Each year has led us gradually to where we are today.  I definitely feel that the future that awaits us will exponentially see us climb to be one of the outstanding Foundations.  This will be due to our dedicated parents, caring community leaders, and outstanding teachers.”

To learn how you can financially support or get involved with the Calallen Education Foundation, contact Robin Ritchey-Roy, Executive Director

2015 Educator Grants Awarded

May 20, 2015 the Calallen Education Foundation Board Members visited schools within the CISD and awarded over $19,000 inEducator Grants to innovative, inspiring and very deserving teachers.   11 different educator or educator teams received this outstanding recognition.  The titles of these award winning initiatives included: 

Scientist of the Week; When Readers Struggle: “Books are What Work!” ; Celebrating Accomplishments throughout US History; Figurative Language using iBook Creator; Enhance Learning, Ignite Imagination, and Develop Spatial Intelligence with a 3D Printer; Another Dimension; Critical Care Jerry; Fitness Equipment; Project Fabrication; Do the Math:  Number Core; and Flying High

The Calallen Education Foundation encourages all CISD educators to look for innovative opportunities to improve student learning and complete a grant application!  Grant eligibility, criteria, and applications can be found on the CISD Intranet site.

New Executive Director

The Calallen Education Foundation is pleased to announce its’ new executive director, Robin Ritchey-Roy.  Robin comes to us with a wealth of experience in business leadership, management and operations.  She has a Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University, a Master’s degree from Webster University and teaching certification.  She has worked at the middle school, college and corporate levels.  Robin has also served as a Medical Service Corps Officer in the U.S. Army and is a Desert Storm veteran.  Please join us in welcoming Robin to Calallen ISD and expect great things from her at the Calallen Education Foundation.


Robin Ritchey-Roy
Executive Director of the Calallen Education Foundation

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