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Principal Matters: Education Foundation Makes Public Appeal to Support Principals’ Discretionary Fund

HCEF Spring FundHendersonville, NC. June 7th, 2023 – In the age of big-dollar donors, it may not seem that $23,000 could make a dent in supporting students in need at Henderson County Public Schools. But just ask any one of the 23 principals who receive a share of that money at the beginning of the school year, and they will readily say, “It matters.”

Known as the Henderson County Education Foundation’s Spring Fund, it provides a springboard of support to principals to cover those student needs that are nowhere on the radar of anticipated needs. The Foundation raises money to support the fund through businesses and individual donors.

Whether it’s a child who is wearing the same clothes to school each day, or a student who can’t afford field trip fees or medication, HCPS principals are on the front lines to ascertain and respond to those needs with a helping hand of financial support.

The Henderson County Education Foundation (HCEF) provides the Spring Fund to each school as a way to support principals in their desire to meet these special needs.

But this year, Executive Director Peggy Marshall said she is concerned that the allocation is in jeopardy, as the support has been slower to come in than it has been in previous years.

“We know that we have a very generous community and one that time and again supports HCPS students in several ways,” she said. “We just want to make sure that the community and our local businesses know about this fund and why it matters so much to our principals.”

“We have bought groceries for a family that had to suddenly leave an abusive home, and had no real income at that time; that just happened a couple of weeks ago,” said Matthew Haney, Principal at Fletcher Elementary School.

“All school administrators have these kinds of events happen in our schools too often,” he said

“It is a huge help knowing that the Education Foundation is providing these extra funds, so we can be of help or relief for our school’s families.”

At Upward Elementary, Principal Michael Gates has used his Spring Fund allocation to pay for field trips for students who don’t have the ability to pay. He has purchased clothing for students, or apparel that is appropriate for inclement weather. He has also used the funds to provide students in crisis with an alternative activity that allows them to stay in the classroom.

The Spring Fund has been so valuable to Hillandale Elementary’s Principal, Katie Bradley, that she has been able to eliminate her school supply list so that families are not burdened by having to buy more student supplies.

“It takes about $2,500 yearly to supply what our kids need so that $1,000 really helps with that,” she said.

To support the Spring Fund, please visit HCEFNC.org or contact Executive Director Peggy Marshall at 828.606.9092 Business and individual support is needed to meet the $23,000 goal.