The Somerset Elementary School Foundation, a 501c3 organization, was founded in 1994. The Board consists of nominated parents and community leaders, along with the principal, PTA co-presidents, and a teacher representative.
The Board raises funds from parents and the community for a variety of projects. Early projects included construction of the old school’s deck and playing field; the underwriting of the arts initiative; the creation and enhancement of the original computer lab; the development of the service learning curriculum; and the purchase of classroom books.
Between 2003 and 2005 the school was re-built and the grounds were newly landscaped. During the modernization effort, the Board raised approximately $250,000 to pay for capital upgrades not included in the county’s construction budget.
More recently, the Foundation has focused on three areas: Academic achievement, capital improvements and classroom technology, and community outreach.
The Board of Directors will support the work of the Somerset Foundation and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance. Specific Director responsibilities include:
- Leadership, governance and oversight
- Reviewing outcomes and metrics created by the Foundation for evaluating its impact, and regularly measuring its performance and effectiveness using those metrics; reviewing agenda and supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings
- Approving the Foundation’s annual budget, audit reports, and material business decisions; being informed of, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities
- Assisting the Nominating Chair and Board President in identifying, marketing and recruiting for other directors, with a focus on diversity.
- Serving on committees or task forces and taking on special assignments
- Serving in a leadership role in the second and third years of service.
- Representing the Foundation to stakeholders; acting as an ambassador for the organization
Somerset Foundation Board of Directors will consider the Foundation a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts that reflect that priority. The Foundation expects to have 100 percent of directors make an annual contribution that is commensurate with their capacity and will actively participate in fundraising efforts including event participation, serving as a surrogate for fundraising meetings and introductions to their sphere of influence.
A director is elected by a majority vote of the Board of Directors then in office for a three (3) year term (or until the end of the respective term of his or her predecessor if he or she shall have been elected to succeed a person who had completed his or her three-year term.)
Any director may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Board of Directors then in office.
A director of the board at the Foundation is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about the Somerset Elementary School, surrounding community and nearby MCPS Title I schools. Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:
- A commitment to and understanding of the nature of the Foundation’s work, preferably based on experience
- Savvy diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals
- Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a passion for creating critical outcomes for community safety.
- Service on the Board of Directors is without remuneration.