AEFI 2020 Annual Report

AEFI 2020 Annual Report

The Mission of Amesbury Educational Foundation, Inc. [AEFI] is to enhance and broaden community support for education in Amesbury Public Schools.  AEFI supports innovative, creative, challenging projects or programs that broaden and enrich educational opportunities for students and educators by supplementing public funding.

Like everyone in 2020, AEFI had to “pivot” from traditional events and funding due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID pandemic.  Facing the difficult reality that large events would be impossible, the Board of Directors cancelled Hall of Honor, Alumni Pub Crawl, and Autumn Evening of Giving – our three fund-raising events—and turned instead to finding ways to build community support for our teachers and students.  Rather than ask teachers to develop Innovative Grant applications, we asked the staff how we could provide financial support for items that would supplement the School Department’s budget. Instead of soliciting donations from our local small businesses, we looked for ways to support them.  Throughout the year, the Board remained focused on our Mission and looked for opportunities to support our schools, as well as to increase public awareness and support for AEFI. 

 Highlights include:

  • In February, Selection and Announcement of Hall of Honor 2020 inductees:

Former Educator:       Beverly Peeke, retired Barnard School teacher

Former Student:         Dr. Jackie Bastien, Class of 1985: Veterinarian, Amesbury Animal Hospital

Friend of Education:   Florence Kennedy, RN: Retired Nurse for APS

  • Installation of Computers at AHS in two labs to increase students’ designing program capacity; Funding over $68,000.00 donated by HOH recipient Joe Kardek
  • Funded AHS Grant for equipment for new elective: “An Allied Force: Leading the Way to Healthcare”
  • Purchase of equipment and supplies thanks to $25,000.00 donation by Bill Messner in honor of Barbara Leary’s Hall of Honor induction as Educator, 2019
  • Purchased banners and signs for AHS and AIHS Class of 2020 graduation events; sponsored “Top Ten Seniors” with gift cards to Ristorante Molise
  • Created “Show Graduating Seniors Some Love” photo campaign through our Facebook page, increasing our presence on social media, and awarding Chamber of Commerce gift cards to raffle winners
  • Funded a record number of students who needed support through Early College Fund
  • Sponsored AHS Class of 2024 tee shirts for incoming freshman Class Orientation
  • Awarded Dr. Stephen Gerber Stroke of Genius Award to AES paraprofessional Pia Froncki
  • Sponsored Gift Bags for new teachers, and Welcome Back gifts to teachers that included masks with an AEFI logo, hand sanitizer, and Amesbury lanyards
  • Held a successful Flatbread Fundraiser
  • Participated in Chamber Scarecrow contest, winning a fan favorite prize for” AEFI the Teacher”
  • Mailed 150 Annual Appeal letters to friends and donors in November
  • Purchased two holiday inflatables to display at the Holiday Reverse Parade in December, and then to raffle off through our Facebook
  • In lieu of Innovative Grants, AEFI’s most significant contribution in 2020 was to design and purchase computer bags for 800 Chrome books, and 182 Teacher laptops; and to purchase 330 Ipad cases. These will protect the equipment purchased by the District and will be distributed to K-12 students and staff.

We were saddened by the passing of HOH Former Teacher Leo Dupere.  Marie Messner, an original Founder of AEFI, passed away in December; her family has established a Memorial Fund through AEFI to honor her.  

We are also grateful for Mappy Gray’s years of service as Board Secretary.  Mappy was honored by the Chamber of Commerce as Volunteer of the Year.  

The Board of Directors anticipates re-organizing our 2021 Calendar as pandemic restrictions allow.  We are firmly committed to hosting Hall of Honor to induct our Class of 2020 recipients.  We will continue to discuss the best ways to provide both financial and morale support for APS staff and students. We will continue to look for ways to expand AEFI’s public awareness, and to determine fair practices to ask for financial donations.

We welcome three new members to the Board of Directors.  They are:

Ann Ward, retired APS teacher

Dr. Bill Messner, HOH Former Student, retired professor

Phil DiCologero, Executive Director of Amesbury Chamber of Commerce


Annual Meeting Election of Officers: [Anne Bryant, chair]

Proposed Slate, 2021:         President: Patty Hoyt

                                                 Vice President:  Joan Miler

                                                 Secretary:  Janine O’Donnell

                                                 Treasurer: Jeanne Hallisey