GLPIEF is pleased to announce the success to date and future plans for the A+ Campaign for the Greater Latrobe School District. GLPIEF was formed in 2012 to provide philanthropic opportunities for individuals, organizations and businesses to strategically support Greater Latrobe School District and its students. Goals of the A+ Campaign include integrating cutting edge technology in all classrooms throughout Greater Latrobe School District; assisting with the new athletic and wellness complex at the Junior/Senior High School campus; and renovating the Junior High entrance and main building corridor to improve security, enhance the learning environment and to provide a flexible space for the Junior High art collection. This space is modeled after the existing unique art collections at the senior high and elementary schools, the Center for Student Creativity and courtyard at the Senior High School.
The A+ Campaign began with three transformational gifts from Greater Latrobe alumni living near and far from Latrobe. Ray Mt. Joy, class of 1963 and his wife, Pam, live in The Woodlands, TX but have been long time supporters of the Greater Latrobe community. Mt. Joy shares that, “Growing up in Latrobe in the 1950s and 60s was a happy time and I am proud to be from Latrobe because I feel a part of a community that cared about me as a student.” Mt. Joy feels strongly that the Greater Latrobe School District needs to advance all three A’s: Academics, Arts and Athletics, to continue to be a leader in providing top quality educational programs and facilities and because the school district is the fabric that ties the community together.
Mt. Joy made the first pacesetter gift to the A+ Campaign and shared his story of giving back to his alma mater with long-time friend and classmate, Diane Graham Sobota. Sobota, class of 1963, and her family have also supported the campaign. The Sobota family made a gift in memory of Diane Sobota’s father, Clarence Graham, a well-known and beloved community leader and former school board director. Graham was on the School Board when the Greater Latrobe Senior High School was being built and was instrumental in seeing that the building was a quality-built learning institution. Graham helped to ensure that the auditorium stage was an excellent performance space and today, 50 years later, Greater Latrobe students still have opportunities to perform on one of the best stages in Westmoreland County.
The third pacesetter gift is from the Rossi family. Michael Rossi, class of 1983, is the Vice-President of a local company, Westmoreland Mechanical Testing & Research. He and his family believe a strong school district is critical to attracting and keeping a trained workforce in this area. Rossi states, “I understand that supporting the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation might be new for people in the community and alumni, but the Foundation is here for everyone in the community to get involved and the Foundation will be here for years to come.”
“These first three pacesetter gifts were the catalyst for additional charitable giving that has resulted in over $4,100,000 in contributions for the GLSD’s Academics, Arts & Athletics,” said Maryann White, GLPIEF President. White said. “The A+ Campaign has brought great value to our educational system and this is really just the beginning.” GLPIEF has set a goal of raising $5 million to fulfill the pledge to the A+ Campaign goals and to support additional needs such as the Greater Latrobe Safety & Security Fund, increasing opportunities in electives and core curricular areas by expanding dual enrolled and advanced placement courses and offering additional internships. To support these needs, GLPIEF will seek further engagement of its school community. Over the next few years, the Foundation will request the support of Greater Latrobe’s alumni, parents, grandparents, and local businesses and foundations in its vision.
Superintendent Judith Swigart states that “not every student knows what he or she wants to pursue beyond high school and Greater Latrobe School District needs to offer more exposure to various interests at the elementary level as well as internships in a variety of workforce fields. Parents entrust us with their most precious gift, their child, and we must always be advancing and changing to meet the needs of our students and prepare them to be life-long learners.”
This is an exciting time for Greater Latrobe School District due to the success of the A+ Campaign so far. GLPIEF has provided $426,000 in funding for additional student laptops for the three elementary buildings, two 3-D printers for the Junior and Senior High School, and new interactive whiteboards for every classroom in the Senior High School. To date, all classrooms, kindergarten to grade 9, have been equipped with interactive whiteboards and student response systems. Campaign support has also enabled the renovation of the Junior High School. Students will return to a transformed space next school year. The renovation will create a single secure entrance for the Junior High, new creative learning environments and an improved connecting corridor to the Senior High. GLPIEF has pledged $1 million to this renovation and another $1 million to assist with the Athletic/Wellness Complex which will be complete by the end of the school year.
GLPIEF is creating the first ever alumni directory for Greater Latrobe School District and is working with Harris Connect to publish a directory in the spring of 2015. GLPIEF will also be establishing an alumni association to reconnect with past students and their families.