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A Long History Focusing What Matters Most

 

The Upper Arlington School District is proud of its 100-year tradition of providing the children in our community with the highest quality education.

Visionary leaders throughout the history of Upper Arlington Schools have diligently worked to ensure future opportunities for students.  This dedication to students has not gone unnoticed, as evident from the foreword to the 1925 Upper Arlington High School Annual:

 

Little more than a decade ago our village and school was a dream, a hope in the minds of our forward-looking citizens.  Today both are glorious realities, the consummation of that past hope and dream.  Those who planned so well and executed so nobly did so that we the babes and then unborn generation—the school boys and girls of today—might not lack the stuff wherewith to prove ourselves.  With this heritage, fraught with the most coveted opportunities, as ours, we do not intend to fail those who have had the faith and vision to make these opportunities possible."

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Remembering Dr. Homer F. Mincy
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Dr. Homer Mincy was the Superintendent of Upper Arlington Schools from 1972 until his retirement in 1993. In 1985, Dr. Mincy and his administration realized the need for our school district to seek alternative funding sources. In order to support the students through swiftly changing economic, social and technological conditions, Dr. Mincy along with Upper Arlington community leaders, created the Upper Arlington Education Foundation. The UA+Ed was permanently structured to provide support to our district then, now, and in the future. Upon his retirement, the Homer F. Mincy Endowment Fund was established to support professional development of school district staff.

Dr. Homer Mincy passed away on October 28, 2020. The Upper Arlington Education Foundation is honored to have been founded by Dr. Mincy and is proud to continue his vision to support the Upper Arlington Schools.

Louesa Callahan Foster
Executive Director 1987 - 1991
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In Honor of Louesa Callahan Foster

Upper Arlington Education Foundation’s First Executive Director, 1991 - 2006

Encaustic painting, Artist’s name - Karen Rumora, 2023

The UA+Ed’s mission of impact and growth is beautifully represented in this painting through a tree which continues to grow bigger and stronger through the years. The artist gives glimpses of Louesa’s passion and ties to our district by incorporating items from her time in the Upper Arlington Schools and her fifteen years as director of UA+Ed and UAAA.

 

Louesa Callahan Foster became the first Executive Director of the Upper Arlington Education Foundation (UA+Ed) and Alumni Association (UAAA) in 1987. 

 

After graduating from Upper Arlington High School in 1961, Louesa attended The Ohio State University. She then returned to Upper Arlington schools as a Kindergarten teacher at Windermere Elementary School.  She married her husband Richard (Dick) Foster in 1967 just after he finished his tour of duty in the Navy. They lived in East Lansing, Michigan where Dick received an MBA from Michigan State and Louesa taught. They moved to San Mateo, California, a place they had always wanted to live. Louesa taught school on the Peninsula while Dick worked in San Francisco.  After four years in California, they returned to Upper Arlington to start a family.  They raised two children, Ted ‘94 and Kiley (Foster Mattsson) '91.  During this time, Louesa was a consistent volunteer in the schools and with the Alumni Association.

 

In June of 1991, Louesa was hired to replace Marcia Kepley, the Executive Secretary who had held that position from 1987 to 1991.  The first office space for UA+Ed was designated by Superintendent, Dr. Homer Mincy and was located within Central Office, 1950 N. Mallway Drive. In addition, the district authorized the purchase of computer equipment and office furniture. In August, after less than a month on the job, Louesa requested that her title be changed to Executive Director of the Upper Arlington Education Fund She stated that when dealing with the public, it had more “clout” to be a Director rather than a Secretary. The Board agreed and approved the change. Louesa remained the Executive Director until 2006. Sadly, that fall she suffered a stroke. She was granted a medical leave of absence but was never able to return to her position.  The board then named Louesa Director Emeritus. 

 

For fifteen years, Louesa focused on making a meaningful impact on students. Grant requests were funded in the areas of language arts, science and math, visual and performing arts, athletics, professional development for district staff, technology needs and more. In addition to serving current students, Louesa looked to the future and prepared the foundation to benefit students into perpetuity by building the endowment significantly. The number of Endowment Funds grew from four to thirty-one.  Net Assets grew from approximately $225,000 to just over $1 million. 

 

Some of this growth came through a fundraising campaign, Make UA Education Rock Solid. Louesa and her nine-member board of trustees set a goal of growing the endowment assets to $750,000 in commemoration of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Upper Arlington Schools. Families were able to purchase named bricks that were installed outside the high school’s entrance. In addition, UA+Ed served as a pass-through for a large Stadium Renovation Campaign from 2003 - 2006, stewarding almost $1.5 million. 

 

The UAAA became active under Louesa’s tenure. Their board met regularly to plan events that would keep graduates connected and engaged. These alumni stayed informed thanks to the quarterly newsletter, Traditions. Alumni fundraising supported the mission of the UA+Ed and enabled more grants to be given in the schools.

 

The Upper Arlington Education Foundation and Alumni Association is full of gratitude for Louesa’s gifts of time, talent and treasurers. 


 

Thank you to Michael Griffith 1953, Louesa’s loving brother, who commissioned the work for the Upper Arlington Education Foundation and Alumni Association. It is a reminder of the history of Louesa and the many board members and community members who she brought together to benefit students.

Joanie Igel Dugger
Executive Director 1991 - 2018

As the Upper Arlington Education Foundation and Alumni Association continued to grow during Louesa's leadership, it became clear that the staff also needed to grow. The board voted unanimously to approve the hiring of Joanie Igel Dugger on February 13, 2002. (Motion made by Pat Stewart and seconded by Greg Comfort). Joanie, a 1980 graduate of UAHS and her husband Glen (UAHS Class of '77) were active in the community with their three children, Sarah Jane, Ted and Abby. Joanie was Assistant Director until 2006 when she was named Interim Executive Director. She continued as Executive Director until March 31, 2018.

 

During Joanie’s leadership and with the help of UA+Ed's board of trustees, the Golden Bear Bash was created. The first Bash, held on September 2, 2007 (the Sunday of Labor Day weekend) at Arlington Banquets featured music by the band - Conspiracy. Tickets were $50 per person with sponsor tables of 8 available for $1,000. This annual FUNdraiser quickly became one of the most anticipated annual events in the community. The Bash has changed locations several times, but has continued to bring the community together each Sunday of Labor Day weekend to have fun and raise funding to provide meaningful opportunities for students in our schools.  

When Joanie stepped down as the Executive Director in 2018, the foundation had grown assets of $2.5 million and was providing over $80,000 in funding through grants, scholarships and awards.

Today

In 2024, Upper Arlington High School seniors are preparing for their 100th graduation ceremony.  These graduates have benefited from an outstanding Golden Bear education including many opportunities beyond the school district's budget, thanks to funding from the Upper Arlington Education Foundation.

Tomorrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We do not know exactly what the needs of our students will be, but we do know that our administrators and staff members are responsible for preparing our students for:

 

Jobs that don’t yet exist, using technology that hasn’t been invented,

to solve problems that we don’t know are problems yet.

 

Learn more. Contact Alice Finley today.

alice@uaeducationfoundation.com

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