New education nonprofit to debut Thursday |

New education nonprofit to debut Thursday

SUMMIT COUNTY – It’s no coincidence that the president of the newly formed Summit Education Foundation has chosen to publicly launch the organization in the Summit Middle School cafeteria – the same spot where school district officials earlier this spring asked teachers, parents and other community members which programs to cut in the face of waning revenues. That community budget-cutting meeting sparked Breckenridge resident Chris Renner’s plan to raise private funds for local schools.

At a public meeting Thursday night, Renner will outline the vision for the Summit Education Foundation and discuss how private dollars might fill gaps in public education funding. Renner hopes to raise $1.2 million from community members, businesses and other sources, a sum that works out to about $400 per Summit student. The organization has committed to distributing funds evenly across the district on a per-pupil basis.

“The response has been pretty exciting and overwhelming,” Renner said of his outreach efforts during the past several weeks. “I’ve heard people saying, ‘We’ve recognized this need for years, and we’re so glad somebody has taken the first step and created an organization.'”

The nonprofit’s board of directors will have representation from each of the district’s eight schools and from the board of education. As of Tuesday, only two or three seats remained to be filled, Renner said. The organization’s leaders in recent weeks have held about a dozen neighborhood meetings in homes and schools, spreading the word about Summit Education Foundation’s ambitions.

“Over 500 people have either joined our e-mail list or connected to us through Facebook,” Renner said. “We have the opportunity to truly pursue excellence. We now have a powerful organization that can combine all these individuals into one strong voice.”

At Thursday’s meeting, attendees will be able to learn more about the organization and sign up to participate in its committees and activities.

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or

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