As I complete my 6th year on the board, I am grateful for the opportunity and challenge that SLHS has presented to me. I am also grateful to all those who participated in Fanning the Flame, SLHS’s Capital Campaign. In the early process, we surveyed and met with families and individuals to determine if in fact money could be raised and for what purpose. The study concluded we could raise between $100,000 and $300,000. To date, we have raised over $200,000 with about $60,000 in remaining pledges.
The campaign identified three areas of need:
If you are a parent or current student, you have probably seen work being done around the school. We put in over $10,000 to fix the roof and almost $70,000 to fix the west side of the building to prevent water from coming into the classrooms. We also have put much needed maintenance into the boiler that keeps the school warm, upgraded the lighting in the gym and had some extra money to cover other minor repairs.
With the help of funds derived from the campaign, we paid down the debt, restructured our loan obligations and now feel comfortable with the debt the school carries.This debt goes back many years, so it was important that we addressed it head on.We are grateful to our friends at Lutheran Church Extension Fund, who have worked with us on this restructuring.
We want to focus our remaining time on scholarship. Scholarship accounts for approximately 15% of the schools operating budget. Our plan is to create an irrevocable trust in which only a portion of the revenue earned on the principle will go directly to scholarship and no other school expense. The principle will grow over time. A separate Board will be set up to oversee this trust.
I want to give a special thanks to the Menashe family who hosted several events resulting in thousands raised and pledged. To Irene and Dave Gehring whose love for SLHS hosted two receptions. To Pastor Peter Mueller of Hope Lutheran and Bob Christian whose guidance prior to the campaign was invaluable. Last but not least to those of you who have contributed to this campaign. Our community at Seattle Lutheran High School, past and present is in many ways the nucleus of West Seattle. I hope someday to see my grand-kids participating in SLHS events.
We will keep the campaign alive with your help. For more information about the campaign, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the school website.
John T. Lisko, proud parent of two SLHS graduates