History

The Highline Schools Foundation was founded in 1999 by a group of parents and community members with the foresight to ensure that the quality education that their children were receiving would be sustained. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only nonprofit organization serving all students in Highline Public Schools. We strive to bridge the gap between what the State of Washington provides our District and what our public schools need to provide our students with a well-rounded quality education.

This letter, from 2001, was published in the Foundation’s first Annual Report from the 2001 Board President, Ann Crossler and it gives us some great insights to the Foundation’s beginnings.

2001 was a very successful and exciting first year for the Highline Schools Fund for Excellence* beginning with receiving our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the IRS in January.  Through the hard work of the ad hoc committee and interim board, the Fund voted in its first board of trustees in March.

Started by a small group of concerned business and community leaders the Fund for Excellence raises money through endowments and charitable donations to help support the Highline Schools.  The Fund looks to go above and beyond the traditional state and federal funding and to try to “level the playing field” throughout the district.

There are many community members responsible for making the Fund for Excellence a reality, and its first year such a success.  I would like to thank Carol Gregory from Ron Simms’ office for researching other school district foundations, Dave Hawthorne for helping complete the IRS applications, and Doug Moreland for volunteering his legal expertise.  I would also like to thank the ad hoc committee – Dick Dahlgard, Rita Creighton, Nancy Damon, Carol Gregory, Ann Harris, Tom Slattery, Joe McGeehan, Doug Moreland, Kerry Wallingford, Jeannie Thorsen and Terrie Marietta – for developing the business plan, goals and mission statement for the Fund.

Looking ahead, our Board of Trustees recently established program priorities for the coming year.  Raising money for music education, middle school intramural sports, and technology will be our focus.

All in all, we’re off to a wonderful beginning.  We look forward to supporting the Highline Schools even more in the future, and welcome community members to get involved and make a difference – now, and for future generations of Highline students.


The exceptional people who have invested their time, energy and wisdom as presidents of the Highline Schools Foundation board include the following:

  • Ann Crossler (2001)
  • Kerry Wallingford (2002)
  • Pat Beatie (2003)
  • John Roberts (2003)
  • Nancy Damon (2004)
  • Terri-Ann Bentacourt (2005)
  • Eric Aasness (2006)
  • Sandra Eliason (2007)
  • Holly Moore (2008)
  • Don Foy (2009)
  • Maya Mendoza-Exstrom (2010)
  • Chuck Tuman (2011)
  • Janel Stoneback (2012)
  • Scott Gifford (2013)
  • Kristen Kerns (2014)
  • Erin Ambrozic (2015)
  • Michael Yellam (2016)
  • Marco  Milanese (2017)
  • Travis Exstrom (2018)

* The Foundation’s original name was “Highline Schools Fund for Excellence” – the name was later changed to “Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence” and sometimes you will see it as just “Highline Schools Foundation” – whatever name we are using, the mission has always been the same: “To provide community resources to help all Highline Public Schools succeed!” – and we are thankful to all the community members, parents and volunteers who have helped us grow!