$1 million check for Island schools

After wrapping up its spring fundraising efforts, the Mercer Island Schools Foundation presented the Mercer Island School Board with a check for $1 million at its board meeting June 26 at City Council chambers.

The million dollars was a culmination from the Schools Foundation's Bridge the Gap campaign, fundraising that began with the Breakfast of Champions in April and included donations from spring events held at all five Mercer Island schools.

“I cannot say thank you enough for the support this community has shown to our students and staff through the Bridge the Gap campaign,” said Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano. “This is a remarkable show of support for our schools.”

Mercer Island Schools Foundation executive director Penny Yantis said the money will fund teaching positions across the district and will go toward maintaining class sizes. While MISF fell just short of its $1.2 million spring goal, Yantis said that shouldn't create any places where people feel impact and that the money raised should be more than enough to keep teachers where they belong.

Yantis was thankful to the community support, noting that collaborative efforts from the PTA, the school district and organizations like the Schools Foundation aren't always very common.

"It's a unique collaboration that doesn't happen in other communities," said Yantis. "The PTA does a lot of messaging throughout the community through the spring, and it's a really strong community collaboration that makes this happen. That's where it takes a village."


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