PSF History

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.

Organization

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.

Charter Memberships

The foundation board determined that the best way to involve the community in the PSF was to operate on a membership basis. It was decided to create two-year memberships, at a rate of $10 per individual and $25 per business. The charter membership drive netted 566 individual members and 66 corporate members, for a total charter membership of 629. The total raised by the first drive was $10,100. (Membership fees increased to $25 per individual and $50 per business)


Projects

The PSF has supported the school and community in various ways including a Scholarship Program and an Initiative Grant Program. As of 2021, PSF now offers eight different scholarships and has disbursed over $100,000 to over 120 PHS graduates.

Articles of Incorporation approved by Ohio 11/4/1986 - IRS determination Tax Deductible: 501 (c ) (3) - 10/20/1988

Capital Drive I 1993-95

The PSF conducted a school-community partnership probably unmatched in Ohio educational history.

  • PSF raised nearly two million dollars to construct a 30,000 square foot addition to the Pettisville Local School.

  • The project was privately funded. No tax dollars were used.

  • This saved the taxpayers of the district more than $4,100,000, when compared with a traditional publicly financed bond issue.



The building addition included:

  • 4,000 square foot K-12 media center

  • Mezzanine level with study area, computer lab and classroom

  • Student commons and offices

  • Gymnasium seating 1,200/ Fitness /weight room / Site Development


Toledo Blade article

With spoons instead of shovels, and with private fund instead of public money, one of the smallest school districts in the state has launched a big construction project. Students in the Pettisville Local School District lined up to take turns turning spoonfuls of dirt during a groundbreaking ceremony for a 1.8 million dollar addition to the school.

...No school officials, local dignitaries, or other adults spoke during the ceremony. Only students. And only the 491 students broke ground with their white plastic spoons...

The ceremony format was selected because the project is for the students and they will be the chief beneficiaries.

Toledo Blade, September 30, 1993 by Janet Romaker.

  • All funds came from pledges and donations; approximately $15,000 came from fund-raisers.

  • The initial capital drive goal of $1,800,000 dollars was met exactly one year from procurement of initial pledges and 8 1/2 months after the public announcement of the Capital Drive. Over $1,840,000 was donated or pledged by 521 donors. The project was completely paid off in September of 1997.

  • The facility was dedicated March 12, 1995.

Capital Drive II 2009-12

The second capital drive constructed a $1,000,000+ Atrium joining the new 2011 Pettisville School with the 1994 PSF addition to the original school.

Atrium highlights include:

  • A replication of the 1929 school entrance.

  • The “PETTISVILLE SCHOOL” masthead and “1929” are originals from the 1929 building. This masthead is replicated throughout the new building.

  • Solid walnut is from the tree that stood in the playground at the end of the basketball court.

  • The rosettes on the walkway are from the front of the 1929 building.

  • A Walkway joins the second floor with the north wing study hall/computer labs.

  • The Atrium has a college student union look. The furniture was funded by the Meister Fund.

  • The Atrium features three video screens.

  • All class pictures are displayed in “The Gallery,” the hall east of the JH gym.


Atrium is 2,055 Square Feet - West Vestibule is 83 Square Feet - Second Floor Walkway is 704 Square Feet

Heritage Park :

  • Heritage Park is west of the Atrium.

  • The chandelier and sconces were created by blacksmith Mike Bendele.

  • The chandelier features lighting globes from the 1929 building.

  • Pedestals at the entrance display the names of the 272 donors to the Atrium.

  • A clock is mounted on the south base and the school bell, which was displayed in the front lawn for many years, is mounted on the other base.

  • One bench in Heritage Park was purchased by 2010-11 fourth graders in memory of classmate Abigail Yoder.


Next 30 Campaign

In 2016 and 2017, the “Next 30” campaign celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the foundation. The focus was to increase the $130,000 endowment of the foundation.

1) The Foundation commissioned two ceramic murals for display in the Atrium created by Mark and Joyce Nafziger. The first mural includes various school scenes from across the years. The second mural, to be unveiled in 2018, will feature school buildings that have housed students in the Pettisville and Tedrow areas through the years.

2) The second component is a membership and fund raising drive. The goal was to double the $130,000 endowment fund and re-create the 1986 charter member plaque, in which 671 individuals and companies originally joined the PSF.

Anniversary Ceremony

As part of the anniversary celebration on November 14, 2017, all individuals who had served as trustees to the PSF were recognized and presented a token of appreciation. 26 of the 32 living trustees were able to attend.

Mrs. Golda Boyer, Mrs. Valetta Werder, and Miss Ruth Wyse, all founding trustees, have passed away.

Twenty-year awards went to Carma Rupp of Penrod and George (20 years) for serving as accountant and Dan Sauder (20), Neil Rupp (26), and Dave Grieser (28) as trustees.

Thirty-year awards went to Dave Rupp (31), accountant; Jan Stamm (31), legal counsel, and Steve Switzer (31), executive director.

Download PDFs of Pettisville School Foundation's documents: