An Education Organization Who Cares
Auburn Education Foundation is a non-profit organization in Auburn, NY, aiming to enhance and enrich learning environments for students throughout the community. We work with Auburn Enlarged City School District to provide awards, grants, scholarships, and more.
As an education foundation, we believe that enrichment programs are critical for children’s intellectual development. We award Educator Grants and manage the Alumni Hall of Distinction.
Elevating Education Experiences
Who We Are
By integrating new technologies, exploring creative new teaching methods, and supporting innovative curricular projects, we could provide programs that the school district’s budget could not otherwise support.
Board of Directors
Miguelina Cuevas-Post (Mickie), President
Name: Miguelina Cuevas-Post (Mickie), President
Occupation: Retired administrator (Auburn Enlarged City School District)
Reason for joining AEF: Very simply: I’m committed to the success of teaching and the learning experiences of our students and believe that AEF is a strong advocate and supporter of the same. My philosophy and beliefs align with those of AEF. Furthermore, as a principal, I saw the benefit derived from teachers who were the beneficiaries of AEF grants. Scholarships given to students directly impact our AHS students’ ability to pursue higher education. The board members are among the most committed individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
Bill Tenity, Vice President
Name: Bill Tenity, Vice President
Occupation: Retired teacher (Auburn Enlarged City School District)
Reason for joining AEF: I joined this organization because of my interest in and my desire to help the teachers of the Auburn district provide special activities and instruction that enhance the classroom experiences for their students. As a retired educator, who still has contact with our schools through substitute teaching, I have seen first-hand what the Foundation has provided in the past. I jumped at the chance to be a part of what this group can do for kids.
Name: Bonny Blair
Occupation: Retired teacher (Southern Cayuga School District)
Reason for joining AEF: An educator at heart, I am passionate about making a difference for children and our future by working with the Auburn Education Foundation.
Janie Hutchinson, Immediate Past President
Name: Janie Hutchinson, Immediate Past President
Occupation: Retired teacher (Auburn Enlarged City School District)
Reason for joining AEF: As a retired educator, I recognize that all children deserve the best possible educational experiences. As a primary grades teacher (1st, 2nd), I am passionate about literacy and the role it plays as the main building block in education. AEF supports the efforts of Auburn schools to provide innovative programs for all students and the organization is a means for me to continue to be involved in and supportive of public education.
Marianne O’Connor, Treasurer
Name: Marianne O’Connor, Treasurer
Occupation: Retired Business Administrator (Auburn Enlarged City School District)
Reason for joining AEF: I was instrumental in forming AEF while serving as school business administrator for the Auburn School District.
Denise Pellegrino, Secretary
Name: Denise Pellegrino, Secretary
Occupation: Retired from Bank of America as Regional Operations Manager
Reason for joining AEF: The Mission Statement for AEF aligns with my interest in all communities providing quality public education.
Name: Kathie Collier
Occupation: Retired teacher (Auburn Enlarged City School District)
Reason for joining AEF: With 37+ years in education, I joined AEF to give back to my community and make a difference in our students’ experiences. We give many educators opportunities to realize their creative and innovative dreams for their students, and the trickle-down effect is incredible. Who benefits? We all do.
Name: Andrew Tehan
Occupation: President, RG Wright Agency
Reason for Joining AEF: To assist in enriching the educational experience for students in the Auburn School District.
Name: Carmela Barbagallo
Occupation: Director of Wholesale Sale, Buttonwood Grove Winery
Reason for joining AEF: I am passionate about learning and expanding opportunities for access to education. My Master’s Thesis work focused on college access. Working with AEF allows me to stay engaged in the education community after working in a university setting for many years. I also now have a son in the school district.
Occupation:Senior Sales Executive at Palladium Times
Reason for joining AEF:My goal is to have the children of Auburn have all the resources they need to achieve their goals.
Name: Kelley Gridley
Occupation: Commercial Loan Officer, Tompkins Trust Company
Reason for joining AEF: To help the many talented students in the Auburn School District realize their full potential.
Name: Kathy Rhodes
Occupation: Retired Assistant Director of Special Education for the Auburn Enlarged City School District and past School Board Member for the Auburn School District.
Reason for joining AEF: Education has been my career for over 35 years. The mission of AEF is to provide experiences that enhance children’s learning, and I am excited to be a part of this mission.
Name: Jessica Wrench
Occupation: Education and Resource Coordinator, Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce
Reason for joining AEF: I am excited to be supporting teachers and bringing new and innovative opportunities to Auburn students.
Name: Patti Festa
Occupation: Retired District Treasurer for the Auburn Enlarged City School District
Reason for joining AEF: I joined AEF knowing the challenges for teachers working with such limited funds from the district budget. I hope my inside knowledge of the district will be of help to the board.
Name: Terry Mahoney
Occupation: Retired Special Education Teacher for the Auburn Enlarged City School District.
Reason for joining AEF: I joined the board of AEF to help enrich the educational experience of students and teachers of AECSD. Enhances learning opportunities benefit all involved. I also want to help recognize the accomplishments of our alumni who work tirelessly to improve our world. Our students are our future!
Ex-Officio Board Members
- Jeffrey Pirozzolo, Superintendent of Schools
- Lisa Green, District Business Manager
- Ian Phillips, School Board Representative
- Paul DelPiano
- Jennifer Forcey
Funding is awarded to projects that cannot be supported through the regular district budget and fall within at least one of the following six areas: Academics, Arts, Life Skills, Character Education, Physical Education & Wellness, and Technology.
We offer two grant cycles per academic year:
FALL APPLICATION: Due by Friday, October 15, 2021
SPRING APPLICATION: Due by Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Snow Shoes for Herman Ave Kindergarten Students
Twenty-five pairs of snowshoes were purchased for Herman Ave Elementary School to be used in gym classes. These snowshoes provide opportunities for outdoor exercise and additional learning opportunities for students. Outdoor activities are needed during these times when children are spending much time inside and will serve as a chance for children to recharge and refocus. These snowshoes can be used in other grade levels as the snowshoes fit a range of boot sizes.
AJHS Cloud Based Video Editing
Understanding the Weather – Using Models
Fatal Vision Opioid Program
Yoga and Mindfulness Reboot
$25,000 Grant to the Auburn Enlarged City School District - Personalized Learning Teacher Fellowship
Matilda the Musical, AJHS
The students involved in the production learn how to work together in a fast-paced, high-stakes situation where things need to be completed correctly in a designated, set time. The stage crew learns how to set each scene change so that the correct set pieces/drops/props/costumes are ready for the next scene. Each actor on stage is responsible for learning not only how to be an individual performer by memorizing their lines and their staging, but also how to support each other in the scene. They also learn how to improve upon their character by delving into the sub-context of what the character says and their physical mannerisms throughout the performance. Students learn to work cooperatively by relying on one another for strength in a large group, as well as small ensemble performance numbers. They are also learning to be confident public speakers and gain presentational skills in not only using their vocal articulation appropriately, but also skills in stage presence and physical mannerisms that translate to a variety of situations.
Drone Building Project, AJHS
Heat Transfer T-shirt Press and Supplies, AJHS
Student Mindfulness Using Yoga, Auburn High School
Research has shown that the implementation of yoga practices improve student resilience to stress, as well as show improvement in student concentration, self-awareness, behavioral and emotional maturity, and self-confidence (Hagen & Nayar, 2014). The goal of this project is to implement short weekly or bi-weekly yoga practices with the materials provided by the grant and in doing so, increase student achievement not only in AIS class, but with the hope that these positive behaviors will carry over into the rest of their school day.
Modeling Linear Motion, Auburn High School
The kits are designed to meet the needs of multiple learning styles through their clear representations of motion and tactile components. Students will be able to collect data samples easily as the materials come with built-in sensors that export the data to a spreadsheet program. This will make data analysis by students easier allowing the instructor more time to assess students’ understanding of the material. This project meets the district goals of using strategies that engage students by encouraging them to use higher order thinking skills, collaboration, and creativity. The project will also meet the New York State Science Learning Standards that require students to focus on modeling of scientific concepts.
I Spy Sensory Boxes & Sorting Bins, Owasco Elementary School
Library Podcast Studio, Auburn High School
Students will learn how to work collaboratively together to develop a space that they will maintain. Students will improve their public speaking skills and their ability to convey information in a well-thought/well-informed and responsible way.
Egg Timer Review Game, AJHS
Reading to Rise Above the Ordinary, AJHS
Author visit: Marcie Colleen, Genesee Elementary School
Casey Park Courtyard Renovation
March Book Series by John Lewis, AJHS
This grant will fund the purchase of a classroom set of March, a three-book series, which is engaging and historically accurate. After reading the books, students will create a 10-page graphic novel that details another incident in American history related to social justice.
Book Vending Machine Project, Seward Elementary School
Social Justice Speaker and Books, AJHS
A classroom set of “Refugees” by Alan Gratz will be purchased for student use. Students will then hear from a speaker, a refugee from Sudan who has recently been elected to the Syracuse Common Council. Students will actively engage in classroom discussions during the speaker’s visit. This project will help students develop a social-emotional understanding of the refugee crisis on a more personal level.
Escape Room, AJHS
Engineering Brightness, AHS
Operation Healthy Heart/Healthy Mind, AHS
Visiting Author Maker Faire, All Elementary Schools
Authors Miranda and Baptiste Paul, along with Cameroon farmer Tantoh Nforba, the subject of the Paul’s book, I Am Farmer, visited each elementary school and shared how Tantoh solved water problems and developed community gardens in his country. Auburn Education Foundation funded an evening event where parents, students, and community members could learn about the experiences of the authors, illustrator, and Farmer Tantoh. The event also featured a Maker Faire in which students in grades 3-6 shared environmentally focused projects. Students, individually or in groups, identified an environmental problem and developed a solution to this problem using the design process taught in the Innovation Lab located in each elementary building. The seed money for these Labs was also funded by Auburn Education Foundation. Chosen projects were displayed at the evening event, and the students discussed their projects with attendees.
Sound Recording Technologies, Auburn Jr. High
First Person View Drone Project, Auburn Jr. High
Essential Modular Circuits, Auburn High School
“Expanding Your Horizons” Girls STEM Conference, Auburn Jr. High
Asian Elephant Live Free Coloring Book, Herman Avenue Elementary School – 5th and 6th Grade
Advancing Literacy Skills with Karaoke, Genesee Elementary School
Breakout Boxes, Seward Elementary School
Breakout kits are immersive learning games. Students work in small groups and are given a series of clues that they have to solve in order to “break in” to a locked box. The activity requires the use of skills such as cooperation, critical thinking, communication, and problem solving. Students are engaged, enthusiastic, and motivated while working to solve the puzzle. These boxes can be designed to be used with any curriculum at any grade level.
MakerSpace-Combining Coding, Fashion and Micro-computers, Auburn Jr. High
Through learning, understanding, and applying knowledge, students will apply concepts of STEAM to create electronic functioning textiles. Students will collaborate in teams to design and electronically coded functional textile that is operable by the wearer or user of the textile. Students will be able to explain and present the process to the community.
“The Most Beautiful Roof in The World”, Seward Elementary School
The students of Mr. Losani and Mr. Vail’s fifth grade classroom at Seward received an Auburn Education Foundation grant for the purchase of a classroom set of the book, “The Most Beautiful Roof in the World.” The book is a vivid encounter of a famous conservationist, Meg Lowman, and her escapades into the canopy of the rainforests of Central and South America. Students will conduct several projects while completing a unit on the rainforest using this book as a guide.
Math Board Game Library, All elementary schools
A series of math games will be housed in the library of each elementary school. Teachers will be able to sign out the games for use in small group instruction. The games enhance the existing curriculum and engage students in fun and relevant learning activities.
Breakout!, Auburn Jr. High
Eight complete kits will be housed in the Auburn Junior High School Library for school-wide use. The kits are an innovative way for students to demonstrate their learning. Students do not sit in seats, read from a book, look at a screen or listen to a teacher. Instead, students talk to one another about information from the book and think about how this information applies to the clue they are reading.
Breakout the Learning: Thinking Outside the Box, AHS
Five breakout kits that encourage student engagement and learning through collaborative problem solving will be housed in the high school library for teacher use. These boxes allow students to use inquiry, technology, and collaboration to work through the clues and solve problems to demonstrate their understanding of a topic. These boxes are cross-curricular and can be used in any subject area.
iPod's for Reluctant Readers, Auburn Jr. High
NGSS Phenomena-based 7th Grade Audubon Trip, Auburn Jr. High
All 7th grade students will take a trip to the Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah, NY. This grant pays for the cost of admission. The new state and national science standards (NGSS) focus on phenomena-based learning. Students will use this opportunity to investigate the phenomena of invasive species and their impact on biodiversity. Students will be able to experience first-hand how local ecosystems are impacted. All activities are designed to increase student understanding and awareness of this phenomenon.
Challenging Students to Break-Out, Auburn High School
Chemistry students will actually construct six breakout boxes that will then be used by chemistry classes at the high school. The boxes are based around a series of puzzles that students have to solve in order to solve the problem. They are tailored for the subject so that students have to use content knowledge to determine the answer. To encourage the group’s success, each breakout box will contain a key to a larger chest that can only be opened once every group has completed all aspects of the activity.
Fitness to the Beat of a Different Drum, Auburn Jr. High
This grant will focus on how music and rhythm can be related to fitness. The drums needed for this project were purchased by Auburn Education Foundation in a previous grant cycle. Several state and national Physical Education conferences have featured the incorporation of drumming into a fitness program to improve fitness, rhythm, and behavior. The music and physical education teachers will work together to implement POUND and Drums Alive, two types of drumming-for-fitness programs.
Sustainability Workshops – All 5th Grade Students, All elementary schools
2017-18 Special Project, Genesee Elementary School
Playground & Interactive Play Space, Preschool program at Auburn High School
High school students collaborated with engineers, architects, and builders. These students had the opportunity to take on leadership roles, mentor other students, and work with one another.
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Auburn A to Z, Genesee Elementary
Marie Jesinski, Anne Mlod, Cinda Gilmore
All district fourth graders in the Auburn School District participate in the Passport to History program. Because finding primary source material written at a fourth grade level to introduce the historical sites to students has been a challenge, the students in Mrs. Gilmore’s and Ms. Jasinski’s fourth grades, working with Mrs. Mlod, will write, illustrate and publish an alphabet book of Auburn. The book will be shared with all schools and used to provide background knowledge of Auburn’s cultural and historic sites. This project is part of a larger unit with the essential question, “How does caring about the place we live, appreciating historical and cultural environments, and appreciating the past and present help us to be better citizens?”
In March, author Alexandra Sly will be visiting the five Auburn Elementary Schools. Her books are about science topics and illustrated with photographs she has taken. She also offers InstaStem Video Conferences, which include an introduction to science photography and captions, photographic techniques, and a critique of student photography and captions. This funding, along with a $100 donation from each elementary school parent-teacher group, will cover the fees to have 7 students from each of the buildings and 7 students from a global partner school work intimately with Alexandra Sly. Each building will also have one entire grade level participate in writing science captions while receiving a personal critique from Alexandra. The funds will also pay to get student photography printed professionally.
STEM/NGSS: “Bone Tissue engineering: An Interactive Engineering Design Module”
This S.T.E.M. engineering design project focuses on creating engineered bone tissue to repair “actual” bone. Students will design a cranial mesh implant for a “patient” (Styrofoam mannequin head) suffering a traumatic skull injury. Students will be exposed to the overarching ideas that engineers apply science to real-world problems – in this case, a patient’s inability to heal completely on their own. Students will also gain an understanding of interrelated organ systems in the context of bone growth and healing as the design for blood flow and tissue function. Students will explore and test how their designs address potential solutions.
World Music Drumming and Dancing, Auburn Jr. High
This grant will fund World Music Drumming Curriculum and the instruments to accompany it.
This program will bring cultural awareness to middle school students. Ms. Edlind has ten years of experience working with this curriculum, its creator, and master teachers and drummers from around the world. Educators and administrators have reported better, more educationally integrated classes, improved attendance, and fewer discipline problems when students are involved with this program. Students learn to communicate better with fellow students and also how to lead, understand and demonstrate the techniques of cooperative teamwork. Students also will gain a better understanding and place greater value on the peoples and musical cultures of Africa and the Caribbean.
Yoga in the Classroom, Auburn Jr. High
Anti-bullying, health, and wellness and character education are common themes in American schools today, focusing on educating the whole child, mind, body, and spirit. Yoga, by nature, supports this learning. Research shows that yoga leads to academic achievement, positive behavior, and physical and mental well-being of students. This grant will allow for the purchase of mats, blocks and straps, flameless candles, room darkening shades, lavender-scented oil, and cleaner for the mats. The instructor will implement Meditation Mondays in her Health and Physical education classes a few times per semester and in an after school PBL session using the same philosophy. This proposal is part of our district initiative to enhance student social and emotional developmental health.
Sawing into the Future, Auburn High School Technology
This is to fund the purchase of a Hudson Portable Sawmill to be used in woodworking, construction, and civil engineering classes. Students will brainstorm and design projects with lumber that they will have cut and then bring their designs to fruition. Math and science teachers will be invited to work with these classes to integrate the curriculum (milling dimensioning, species of trees, and uses). The instructor also plans to have students partner with those who could help with the design and creation of structures and furniture. Students would also be able to make items needed for display, seating, and storage at the high school. Overall, students would be gaining actual experience in a field involving technology.
Seward’s Edible Outdoor Classroom, Seward Elementary School
The edible outdoor classroom is a student-designed edible forest garden and outdoor learning space located on the grounds of Seward Elementary School. Initiated in 2015 by Meredith Torrisi’s fifth grade class, the project encompasses the design and implementation of an outdoor learning space where students at all grade levels can connect lessons in science, math, ELA, health, and nutrition to hands-on experiences in nature. AEF awarded a grant for this project for Phase I startup. This present grant is for Phase II, which includes the building of an outdoor structure (pergola style) and establishing tree stump seating, raised beds, a pollinator garden, and compost bins.
Bottle and Can Recycling, All buildings
This project will place containers to collect recyclable materials in classrooms and common areas, initially at AHS followed by the other school buildings. By collaborating with a variety of student groups, faculty, administration, and maintenance, this student driven project will help to address the recycling issue and provide all individuals in our schools the opportunity to help create a greener and more sustainable school.
Lorraine Barry Memorial Art Award
This award was created in 2011 by Mrs. Barry’s family. Lorraine Barry was a wife and the mother of six children. Mrs. Barry was an accomplished artist. Her works include oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, and sketches. A sampling of her art has been published in a book titled The Art of Lorraine Barry.
Seneca Lake Ecology Research Trip, Auburn High School
Nearly 120 high school students explored and investigated lake ecology while aboard the Scandling research vessel on Seneca Lake. Students worked collaboratively, collecting biological, chemical, and physical data from the lake water and bottom sediments. The data was compiled and sent to Fingerlakes Institute to become part of the EPA project monitoring the health of the lake. Researcher Nadia Harvieux from the Institute of Hobart College assisted in leading student research.
National Archery Program, Auburn High School
The Physical Education Department updated and improved both the archery equipment and the curriculum. This included participation in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) which has been shown to improve school attendance and behavior. NASP is a cooperative effort between state conservation departments, school systems, and private organizations to engage students in outdoor activities. Archery is a non-discriminatory sport and can be taught through this program to almost any student of nearly any age or skill level.
Outdoor Classroom and Garden, Seward Elementary School
The courtyard at Seward Elementary School was turned into a regenerative edible garden. The garden classroom was opened to all students who attend Seward and was used to study science, nutrition, ecology, and environmental issues. The students were able to observe the life cycle of plants, the life cycle of the soil, and see how plants can have a symbiotic relationship with one another. Students prepared, planted, maintained, and cultivated the garden.
Matt McElligott Evening Program, All Elementary Schools
Matt McElligott, a popular children’s author and illustrator visited Auburn elementary schools the week of March 7, 2016. This grant added an evening program for students and their families during that week. The author did an interactive presentation on his newly released book — Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster. The goal of an author visit is to encourage students to read and write.
To Kill a Mockingbird Performance at Syracuse Stage, Auburn High School
Several English classes at Auburn High School read and discussed the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. They then attended the performance at Syracuse Stage. Seeing this particular play was an effective way to teach academic content, to increase student tolerance by providing exposure to a broader, more diverse world, and to improve the ability of students to recognize what others are thinking and/or feeling.
Filipino Culture Night, Genesee Elementary
Mrs. Mlod, Genesee School Librarian, was selected as a Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellow. She travelled to the Philippines in June. Students at Genesee learned about the Philippines prior to her departure. At the Filipino Culture night, students and their families tasted Filipino food, played Filipino games, and made Filipino crafts.
Creating, Collaborating and Problem Solving with Legos!, Genesee Elementary
Two base plates and a Lego Robotic/WeDo resource kit for students have been purchased for the students at Genesee Elementary School. These component parts supplement kits already available to the students and allow more students to learn Scratch, a free coding program from MIT that allows students to develop their own interactive stories, games, and animation. Working with these legos in this capacity help students to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively, all essential skills for the 21st century.
THE NICHOLAS J. DESOCIO MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
2017 Recipient: Ryan Chalupnicki
2016 Recipient: Maggie Lesch
The Nicholas J. DeSocio Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by his loving parents, Mr. James and Mrs. Cheryl DeSocio, and sister Christine, to preserve the memory of their beloved son and brother, Nicholas (1989-2010). Nick was a kind and generous spirit who enjoyed motorsports, golfing, and fishing, and working with his hands. He was deeply loved and will be missed by a wide circle of family and close friends.
Amount: $500 (minimum)
Number Awarded: one student
Due Date: May 1, 2022
Criteria: This scholarship will be awarded to an Auburn High School student who demonstrates a strong work ethic and the values Nicholas believed in.
– First preference will be given to a student who played on the Auburn High School golf team and who
– Intends to play on the golf team at Cayuga Community College.
– If no golf student meets these requirements, the award may be given to any student pursuing an AAS (Associate of Applied Sciences) Degree at Cayuga Community College and intends to work in any technical or skilled trade-related field.
THE DEAN LADUE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
2019 Recipients: Baylee Kennedy, Ashley Reilly
2018 Recipients: James Bennink, Hunter Dugar, Karleigh Harris, Kennedy Wilson
2017 Recipients: Owen Baker, Nicholas Gavras, Carmen Liberatore, Salence Nguyen
2016 Recipients: Meghan Dann, Austin Dugar, Ellisyn Lupo, Tyler Mason
The Dean and Margaret LaDue Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by his loving wife, Mrs. Margaret LaDue, in 2009 to preserve the memory of her beloved husband, Mr. Dean LaDue. Dean was a respected science teacher at Auburn High School.
Amount: $500 – $2,000
Number Awarded: up to four students
Due Date: May 1, 2022 — return to AHS Guidance Office
Criteria: This scholarship will be awarded to an Auburn High School senior(s) who have:
– Maintained an academic average of 85% or greater in MATH and SCIENCE, and
– Intends to pursue a career in TEACHING MATH or SCIENCE.
– If no candidate is found meeting the above criteria, this scholarship may be awarded to a student pursuing any career related to the subjects of Math, Science, or Nursing.
PO Box 592
Auburn, NY 13021