Ideas to Impact: Your Gifts at Work 
Academic Competition National Travel Fund
  • $15,000 School Grant to PCHS
  • Alleviates costs for PCHS academic clubs who qualify for national competitions
  • PCEF has funded the program since 2012
It's a tough time of year for a student to stay focused at the high school.  Summer is looming, but AP tests are in full swing. College plans are finalized, but it's still three weeks 'til graduation.
For many students, though, their work will continue into the summer, as they travel to compete on a national stage for their academic clubs such as Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Technology Student Association (TSA), Ethics, or Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA.)
Excelling at this level presents a unique challenge. English teacher and Academic Decathlon coach Matt Nagel had an idea to solve it. "We'd qualify for nationals on a spring Saturday and have to register by Wednesday of the next week. There was barely enough time to get all the paperwork done and zero time to think about fundraising. Also, it's tough to raise a lot of money with only nine students. For several reasons it's challenging for groups like Debate, HOSA, FBLA, Ethics Bowl, Model UN, etc. to raise money quickly to go to a national competition. That was the problem I hoped to solve by writing this grant."
With the encouragement of several community members, Matt wrote the first grant for the Academic Competition National Travel Fund in 2011, and PCEF has funded it every year since. It has grown to accommodate the increasing success of the academic clubs at PCHS.
"Success at the state and national levels is expensive," says PCHS Principal Bob O'Connor. "We would not be able to have students compete at the national level without support from PCEF. With the level of effort that our students are putting into their respective clubs and teams, we have a duty to help them go as far as they can with their endeavors."
PCHS Graduate Mina Berglund, a sophomore at Pomona College, recalls her experience competing on the national stage for FBLA, "It helped me get a taste of what it was going to be like outside of the Park City bubble. I was able to step outside of my comfort zone in a similar way that I do in college now. I started to understand what it was like to be surrounded by other students who had very similar drive and accomplishments, and began to learn how to collaborate and compete with them in a productive way."

Thank you to our donors, who help us provide this unmatched experience for our students!
PCEF Academic Rigor Facts
  • Academic Rigor is one of PCEF's six areas of interest for program funding.
  • Programs we support:
    • National Competition Fund
    • Author-in-Residence
    • Dual Immersion Media
    • English Language Arts and Supplemental Reading Materials
    • PACE (Program for Academic Challenge and Enrichment)
  • Together with our donors, we've funded over $200,000 in Academic Rigor programs this year.  Click here to learn more!
Support Your Children's Teachers for Running with Ed!
Did you know that almost 160 PCSD teachers and staff are Running with Ed?! There are teams from every school, Preschool, and the Transportation Department. Superintendent Conley is running for the 3rd year in a row!
These teachers and staff work hard every day to provide the best education to our students. How about supporting them by making a donation to their fundraising teams? A 
$10 donation, or more, in honor of your child, will help us fund $150,000 in School Grants for these educators next year!

Jeremy Ranch Elementary School
Virginia Skeffington, Trevor Gilotti, Jennifer Johnson, Shelby Cornett and Chris Pelt
Molly Forster and her students!

McPolin Elementary School

Jan Tullis, Heidi Stanger, Amy Vanover, Martin Briggs and Andy Tullis
Denine Therrien, Sterling Burris, Genevieve Mullins and Marta Villalba
Renee Perry, Brian Kretschmar, Melanie Coffelt, Rodrigo Rivas, 
Lorenza Zamarron and Rebecca Turco  
Tory Kendall, Todd Hansen, Chad Farnworth, Joanna Hammel, 
Julie Hastings and Piper Hastings

Parley's Park Elementary School
Melissa Bott, Rachel Taylor, Nicole Bott, Amy McGarr, Melissa Allen, Alisa Oakley, 
Jennifer Shane and Tonya Christofferson
Joe Demers, Theresa Lippert, Melissa Holm, Cassie Olson, Jill Kindt, Michelle Connel, 
Maryann Demers, and Amanda West
Kara Cook, Nicole Kennedy, Sheila Kirst, Stacy Harris and Jobana Gertz
Jen Wheelwright, Vicky Rudolph, Amy Jenkins, Alane Gaspari, 
Kim Quapp, and Noemi Bonilla

Ecker Hill Middle School 
Tracy Fike, Katie Mcginn, Jacki Uribe, Meredith McWilliams, Marnie Moody, JuneVolk, Ginny Etheridge, Don Crandall, Kelly Crandall, Brad Gannon, Johnna Roussos, Annie Wallace, Michael Stone, LoriDrivdahl, Shea Klinghoffer, TraciEvans, Dan Gallery, Liz Thompson, Cailin Davis, Laura Todd, Tristin Eason, Jen Hales

Treasure Mountain Junior High
Julie Hooker, Emily Gaudet, Melissa Maxwell, Heidi Matthews and Ali Gallagher
Sam Thompson, Pete Stoughton, Megan McKenna, Negin Smith and Michelle Dieterich  
Meghan Zarnetske

Park City High School
Ed Mulick, Debra Alcox, George Murphy, Michael Doleac, Ann Sykes, Erica Ball, 
Sharon Ellsworth-Nielson, Liz Haslem, Melissa Perry, and Dara Smith 
Kevin Fober, Mary Purzychi-firpo, Lauren Parrish, Carolee Polvere, Jacob Jobe, 
Jared Romero and Vanessa Jordan  
Chris Wood, Jesse Schuveiller, Kathleen Waller, K Henderson, Jamie Weekes, 
Elaine Peterson and Micaela Damas

Not running? Help out at your school exchange! And be sure to join us at the RWE Finish Party from 1:00 - 4:00 pm at the Basin Rec Fieldhouse on May 21st. Just $10/person or $25/family includes food, drink, kids activities and a cool sponsor expo. See which school wins the $5,000 Ragnar Grant!

Be sure to vote RWE for Park City's Favorite Fundraiser!  
Excellent Educator Express

Educators nominated by their Park City School District peers were honored Friday April 22nd. Led by the PC Bands and in front of cheering students and faculty, they received the Doilney Excellent Educator Awards sponsored by Deer Valley Resort. 

The Excellent Educators:
PCHS - Corrie Potts
TMJH - Laura Bechdel
EHMS - Liz Thompson
JRES - Deb Guthery
MPES - Melanie Coffelt
PPES - Melissa Bott
TSES - Susan Beason

In addition, Steve Cuttitta received the senior class nominated Sarah and Stephen Doilney Award.  Read the full story in the Park Record and enjoy the Park Record's Excellent Educator Express Photo Album
Donor Spotlight: Why We Give
Mike Polinsky and Tasha Hardy

Mike and Tasha met in Park City after they both moved here in 1996. They were married in 1999, and Tasha became a teacher at McPolin Elementary. "I come from a long line of teachers, counselors and principals, so it was meant to be," says Tasha. "Our family has always had a passion for education."
They became involved with Running with Ed from the very beginning. Joanna Chesley had also been a teacher at McPolin, and the two families worked hard on the idea of putting on a 'mini-Ragnar' type fundraiser for PCEF. "The first year we were too busy on the operational side of the race to fundraise. But then we were one of the first teams to do it.
"Obviously, because of our background, education is really important to us. But even more appealing was the fact that the dollars we raise for PCEF stay here in our District, helping our kids and teachers. In Utah, the majority of our education tax dollars go away, so this is critical for funding programs here, beyond the basic budget."
Mike and Tasha's RWE team is always in the top 10 for fundraising, but they have also brought new teams to race and fundraise. "We felt if we could spread the word about how much fun the race is and get more people to take part, then the fundraising would eventually grow as well. And it has. All the teams that we've brought along also fundraise!
"We like to say, we're never going to win the race, but we're going to have a really really good time. We love running with our kids. Our children are aware of what RWE is about and what PCEF does for the schools. They are very excited at the thought that they are contributing.  And, they love the exchanges, seeing their teachers, and running with our other teams."
Mike's advice for those that may be shy about asking for donations to their team? "What's the worst that can happen? Someone may say no. Or not answer. But many people will say yes! Don't be afraid to try. It never hurts to ask."
One Book One Community 2016
Park City Library, Summit County Library and Dolly's Bookstore
Teacher Spotlight - Matt Nagel
  • English, AP Literature, Ethics, Academic Decathlon Teacher at PCHS
  • Teacher for 12 years at PCHS
  • Undergrad in English Literature from the U, Masters in Theological Studies from Vanderbilt 
  • Passionate about music
Matt was raised in New Orleans and came to the U after serving a mission in Brazil. "Teaching was not my original choice. After I finished at the U, I knew I wanted to go to grad school, and the Master in Theology program at Vanderbilt fascinated me. After I finished, we decided to move back to Utah since my wife's family is here. I tried a few careers, but they weren't what I thought they would be. I decided to try teaching, and I'm grateful now that those other things didn't work out.
"I applied to nine schools, and was hired to teach English at PCHS.  And I've never left. It's hard to say the best part about teaching here. It's a tie between the students and the faculty. The students are really the best, but they leave very year! One of my colleagues said, 'This isn't work, it's home,' and that's true.
"I teach literature and philosophy, so my best days are when the kids leave confused, by which I mean they are in the uncomfortable process of reconsidering their preconceptions. Ultimately, I hope they make conclusions, but I want them to struggle with ideas before deciding. I created the Ethics Class 11 years ago, which grew out of my education at Vanderbilt."
As someone who has been awarded numerous PCEF grants over the years, we asked Matt what PCEF means to him and PCSD. "PCEF offers real and substantial support to teachers who are trying to go beyond what's expected. This motivates us in two ways: knowing there is money to support good ideas/practices takes away one of the excuses to not be innovative or ambitious as a teacher/coach; and "what's expected" is a bar that keeps getting raised by the innovative/ambitious teachers PCEF supports."
Matt and his wife Sara are parents to four boys, all attending schools in PCSD: Two 8th graders, and a 4th and 1st grader. He is passionate about music, ("I loved living in Nashville,") and was once a 'decent fiddler' but now plays electric guitar. He has been known to jam with the Seniors during their last week of school at the Parking Lot Party.

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