The mission of the Buncombe County Schools Foundation is to establish partnerships with local individuals, businesses, corporations,and other foundations for the purpose of supporting education in the Buncombe County School System.
The History of the Foundation
The proposal for a Foundation to benefit the Buncombe County Schools was introduced on July 11, 1984. After an educator passed away, fellow teachers and employees of the central office wished to honor her with a donation toward a scholarship fund. However, there was no avenue to do so. Shortly thereafter, through school system and community efforts, the Buncombe County Schools Foundation was formed with Gordon Greenwood serving as the first president of the Board of Directors. Efforts to bring about community and employee financial support, as well as in-kind donations began. In those early days, the funds passing through the Foundation did not exceed $7000 to $10,000 per year and most of the accounting was handled through the administrators of the Buncombe County Schools central offices.
During the summer of 1987, the Foundation was granted tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service and one of the board members agreed to be an interim director. She reorganized the files and performed administrative duties of the Foundation. Soon the Board of Directors decided that the Buncombe County Schools Foundation would not survive without a full-time director and proposed to the Buncombe County Board of Education that they fund a director until the Foundation could afford to pay someone out of its operating funds. The Board of Education unanimously voted to adopt the move and Ken Richards was hired as the first full-time Director of the Foundation and served from 1987-1990.
Through a series of directors, funding continued to improve. However, it was under the direction of Barbara Gardner from 1995-2001 when scholarships, business partnerships, and general support for the Foundation grew to over $855,000 in total assets for the period ending June 30, 2001. During this time office space, utilities, telephones, copier, faxes, etc., have been generously provided by Buncombe County Schools.
The Foundation currently has a part-time Executive Director, Lisa Adkins, paid through Buncombe County Schools with operating funds from the Foundation. In addition, the Foundation employes Lynn Blankenship (administrative assistant) and Nadine Gnall (bookkeeper) to handle the ever-increasing demands of its busy office.
Today, the Foundation serves the six school districts' 25,000 plus students as well as approximately 4,000 employees of the Buncombe County School System.
If you would like more information about BCSF or you are interested in making a donation or volunteering your services, please contact Lisa Adkins, Executive Director.