Tait Stoddard knows her way around Vestavia schools. She and her husband, Rob, have kids at three schools (Mary Whit at Pizitz, Worth at Central and Burton at West), and she’s volunteered in classrooms and front offices, served as room mom, helped with events, coached rec league basketball, substitute taught, and worked in Girls’ PE at Pizitz. And starting this summer, she is taking a new step to make a difference in the system at the helm of the Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation.
What might people not know about the foundation?
We have an endowment that remains untouched. The Foundation raises money that goes to the endowment and grants the earnings of the endowment to the schools. A donation made today benefits generation in years to come. The larger our endowment, the more money we can grant to the schools. Due to the Foundation, our school system and children will reap rewards long after my children graduate.
What is one of the most interesting things you have learned since starting this job in June?
The generosity of our community and local businesses has blown me away. We have a unique bond in our city centered on the betterment of our community and schools for future generations.
What are some examples of what the Foundation funds?
The Foundation provides ongoing, dependable funding for professional development, technology and classroom enhancements. We focus on grants that impact a large number of students and teachers, that can be used in future years and that can be replicated in other schools in our system. Some of my favorites are the high-altitude weather balloon/GoPro at Liberty Park Middle, a model classroom for Pizitz, a virtual reality center at Central, and computers and cart for Exceptional Education at VHHS.
What might we find you doing when you are not working on the Foundation?
More than likely I will be at one of my children’s sporting events. We spend a great deal of time at the ballpark and gym, playing baseball, basketball and volleyball. I love spending time with my family! If we are not playing sports, then we are playing in our yard.
What are some easy ways for community members to support the Foundation?
Amazon.com will donate 0.5 percent of the price of your eligible purchase if you select the Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation at smile.amazon.com, which works just like the regular Amazon site. We also have cards you use at Publix and are on the Planet Fundraiser app that you can use at local businesses. We also have three main events. The PNC Luncheon is in October, our Pitch-In Campaign is in January/February, and Dinner and Diamonds is Feb. 24. Visit vestaviafoundation.org to see how you can get involved!