A Brief History of the Pettisville School Foundation
Receipt of the $111,000 Meister gift to the board of education in 1982 planted the seed of thought that others might like to donate to the Pettisville Local School and that an organization to encourage such contributions might be worthwhile.
After researching the concept, Stephen Switzer, Pettisville School Superintendent, assembled a group of interested individuals to consider forming an educational foundation. Individuals included Gary Frazier, Steve Graffice, Myrl Sauder, Rod Nofziger, Valetta Werder, Jan Stamm, Golda Boyer, and Mr. Switzer.
In November, 1986, a press conference was held in the high school library announcing the formation of the “Pettisville School Foundation” and receipt of a $1,000 gift from Henry Keller, the first gift to the PSF, and a $10,000 gift from Valetta Werder, fifth grade teacher at Pettisville, to endow the “Richard Werder Memorial Scholarship” in memory of her husband.
The foundation organization included a board of trustees, with two trustees appointed by the board of education and seven elected by the membership. Founding trustees include Chris Rychener, President; Luana Esterline, Vice President, Valetta Werder, Secretary-Treasurer; Golda Boyer, Gary Frazier, Steve Graffice, Rod Nofziger, Myrl Sauder, and Ruth Wyse.
Superintendent Switzer was appointed executive director. PHS grads attorney Jan Stamm and accountant Dave Rupp agreed to assist in legal and accounting areas. At the time of its founding, the PSF was one of the first local school foundations in the state. Since that time, the PSF has provided assistance in the creation of numerous area school foundations.