Education foundation hires director |

Education foundation hires director

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunLaura Abbey Brown is the new executive director of the Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation.

Laura Abbey Brown is a woman on a mission, and as the first executive director of the Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation she has a lot to get accomplished.

The foundation has seen a lot of growth in the past year ” like hitting its endowment goal of $1.5 million and strategic planning ” which indicated it was time for a director to take the helm, said Michelle Larson, president of Excellence in Education.

“Through those circumstances, we looked at the foundation and decided that it is big enough now to need a director that will elevate our public visibility and lead us in reaching our goals,” Larson said.”The board was unanimous in agreeing that she was the right person for the job.”

The Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation, which formed in 1989, is a nonprofit organization that serves to fund Tahoe Truckee Unified School District programs that are being impacted by budget shortfalls within the district.

Brown said she would like to be more proactive with that mission in the future.

“The goal of the foundation has always been to help fund the icing on the cake,” Brown said. “We have been very reactive in the past about answering grant requests, but now that we have reached our endowment goal we would like to be more proactive in finding programs that we would like to fund.”

Brown has been involved with Excellence in Education since 2002, most recently as an administrator. She was previously a marketing manager at Northstar-at-Tahoe. She said that she wants to put her marketing background to use for the foundation by increasing their visibility in the community and by building more capital.

“In the coming months we will be working with the [Tahoe Truckee] community foundation and the school district to hold public forums and identify the needs and wants of the community,” Brown said.

In recent years, grants funded by community donations and fund-raisers have been given to schools to purchase such items as books, calculators, and physical education equipment, Brown said. Grants were also used to fund supplemental academic programs.

At next month’s board meeting, which will be held on Oct. 11 at noon at the Truckee Sanitary District, the board will discuss it will pay out the interest accrued on the foundation’s $1.5 million endowment. Depending on market values, that could amount to thousands of additional dollars every year in grant money. The board will also start planning the annual Skiing for Schools program, through which local ski resorts contribute a portion of their revenues to the foundation.

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