With 15 board members, four assistants and a new executive director, the TPHS Foundation is working to fill in gaps in the school’s budget.
Established in 1993, the TPHS Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money through donations and fundraising events with the goal of supporting students’ and staff’s educational needs.
Donations can be made to athletic teams, academic clubs, other campus groups, the Teacher Classroom Grant Program or the TP Education Fund, the funds from which go directly into classrooms to support students.
The distribution of funds, which is decided at the beginning of the fiscal year, is split among five categories: Student Connectedness, Pathway Programs, Classroom Support, Challenge Day and Campus Beautification.
Student Connectedness includes AVID, including its college trip; and Peer Assistant Listeners, while Pathway Programs provides funding for classes in the Career and Technical Education pathways.
Donations to Classroom Support provide learning materials and classroom supplies for teachers, and Challenge Day is a program that helps students feel welcome, safe and connected at TPHS. Lastly, Campus Beautification includes ways of renovating the school, like putting up new signs and benches.
During monthly meetings, new Executive Director, Nick Burchfield, who recently replaced Nicole Baril, works with the Foundation board members and Principal Rob Coppo to discuss where to spend money and which of the five categories to prioritize for the year.
They also approve teachers’ requests for items ranging from tripods for Visual Arts, chromebook carts for the English department and muffin tins for Culinary Arts.
In their last meeting, about $70,000 in small grants based on a list of items teachers requested were approved.
Each year in the fall, items funded by the Teacher Classroom Grant Program and requested by individual teachers, are ordered, wrapped and presented in the lecture hall.
The Foundation relies on donors and business partners like Chipotle and Torrey Pines Bank, but also raises money through renting out the school parking lot during the summer to the Del Mar Fair for remote parking.
It has thus far raised $275,000, 84 percent of the goal for the year, and has lots of events planned that need volunteers, such as Challenge Day, Grad Nite, Spring Fling and graduation check-in.
The Foundation board, made up of parents and community members, is currently accepting applications that can be found on the TPHS Foundation website.