Fotheringham Retires from Education Foundation

Fotheringham Retires from Education Foundation
Posted on 07/04/2021
foundation retirement

PHOTO ID:  HPS Education Foundation recognizes Sandi Fotheringham (front, with plaque) for her years of dedication and service. (L-R) Guy Guarino, Stuart Mull, Arnita Dula, Mark Huckabee, Harriett Jeffords, Charles Young, Sandi Fotheringham, Jay Paschall, William Pleasant, Darrell Johnson, Shannon Pleasant, and JuanEs Ramirez.


Fotheringham Retires from HPS Education Foundation


     After more than nine years serving as the Executive Director of the HPS Education Foundation, Inc., Sandi Whisnant Fotheringham, has announced her retirement.

During a recently planned meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, past and current members of the Foundation’s Board surprised Fotheringham with an outgoing celebration, recognizing her for exemplary dedication and service since the initial meeting during October, 2012, in which Fotheringham led to develop the Foundation, eventually establishing the 501(c)3 non-profit status in May, 2013.

Fotheringham worked closely with the original officers of the Board of Directors—as she would oversee all operations of the Foundation, coordinating future fund-raising and marketing endeavors, while building an awareness of service to the HPS classrooms. Collectively, with the entire Board of Directors, they determined the mission, developed an action plan, elected officers and began to cultivate the charitable foundation of community, businesses, and parents -- in partnership with Hickory Public Schools.

Over the years, the HPS Education Foundation has awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to teachers in addition to relocation awards for the recruitment of teachers to Hickory Public Schools.

The HPS Education Foundation Creative Ideas & Innovation Grants have been awarded to teachers representing the district’s nine schools, funding classroom programs that include: a broadcast studio with equipment at Longview Elementary, the “Little Lion Cub Literacy Project” at Southwest Primary, “Meet the Composer” program at Northview Middle, “Crafting a Collaborative Work Environment” at Hickory High, a “Sensory Explosion” at Grandview Middle, and the Foundation provided a grant to HCAM for the “HPS Health Occupations Students of America” (HOSA) state leadership conference for students, among many other valuable grants that have helped to advance the education for all students enrolled with Hickory Public Schools.

“The grants are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize, and reward creative and innovative instructional programs and ideas that promote higher levels of student learning and academic success,” said Fotheringham. “It has been my honor to serve with our Board of Directors in examining the grant applications as we have worked together to provide cutting-edge education for all grade levels. The spirit of the Creative Ideas & Innovation Grant Program embodies the Education Foundation’s vision of ‘Ensuring Success of Every Child…Every Day’ in full support of the objectives, goals, and initiatives of Hickory Public Schools.

“I sincerely desire to thank all community members who have served on the HPS Education Foundation Board of Directors as well as all community individuals, businesses, and corporations that have generated outstanding support with their financial gifts and volunteer service,” said Fotheringham.

As a former educator for NC Public Schools, teaching high school in Burke County Schools and Hickory Public Schools, Fotheringham initially retired from teaching in May, 2000. Soon thereafter, she taught at Lenoir-Rhyne University in the education department (teaching method classes, supervised student teachers and taught lateral entry teachers); and subsequently, she served as the Field Supervisor for the New Schools Project (funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and federal grants), supporting Catawba, Iredell and Surry Counties.  Fotheringham clearly knows, first-hand, the significance of supporting teachers and their students.

In addition to leading the HPS Education Foundation as Executive Director, Fotheringham led the HPS Volunteer Program, HPS PTA Council, Project Potential Scholarship Program, and Leadership 2000 And Beyond.  Fotheringham also initiated the original concept for the HPS Book Bus, designed the bus and secured the funding.  Her combined career represents 49 years of service to education.

Fotheringham, a native of Hickory and a product of Hickory Public Schools, is also the mother to son, Josh Fotheringham, who resides in Chicago, Illinois, where he serves as the Senior Production Artist for MERGE Advertising.

“We are certainly filled with mixed emotions---saddened with the news of Sandi’s retirement, but also happy for her,” said Harriett Jeffords, President of the HPS Education Foundation. “Sandi has been a constant for us for nearly a decade, and her leadership has been strong and unwavering. On behalf of the entire Board, we are deeply thankful for her service, dedicated spirit, and drive to place the teachers and students as our top priority. A new Executive Director of the HPS Education Foundation will be announced later this month,” said Jeffords.

Past and current members of the Board of Directors, HPS Education Foundation, joined Fotheringham for the surprise celebration, including Harriett Jeffords, Stuart Mull, Darrell Johnson, JuanEs Ramirez, Jay Paschall, Charles Young, Arnita Dula, Guy Guarino, William Pleasant (and guest, Shannon Pleasant), and Mark Huckabee.

The Foundation Board awarded Fotheringham with a plaque and gift bag in appreciation and recognition of her excellent service to the children and teachers of Hickory Public Schools.


(Post by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)


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