BPS Foundation Celebrates 35 Years of Advancing Quality Education

Thirty-five years ago this month, the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation became a reality. A group of dedicated volunteers who understood that the quality of life in our community is directly related to the quality of our public education system created the Foundation. 

The goal of these leaders was to match private donations with the funding priorities of our public schools, in an effort to advance and enrich education in Bartlesville Public Schools.   They accomplished this goal by funding grants to teachers for innovative programs and projects for their classrooms.  Examples of some of the first funded grants include: science equipment to clone carrots and other plants; bringing a NASA education specialists from Houston, TX to visit with Jane Phillips Elementary students and let them try on space suits; a marine aquarium, an amphitheater, an Apple IIc computer, and funds to start a student store and a mentor program, partnering older elementary students with younger ones.  

The Foundation’s focus has always been and continues to be on funding enrichment opportunities – experiences, programs, and projects beyond the District’s traditional budget. BPSF board members – from 1985 through the present – make funding decisions that aim to maintain Bartlesville’s position as a leader in public education, giving our teachers and students the resources they need to achieve greatness. 

The Foundation has significantly impacted Bartlesville over the past 35 years.  It has matched the generosity of our community with the needs of our public schools by raising and distributing over $3 million to Bartlesville Public Schools. In addition to funding, it hosts events and campaigns to promote the District, encouraging the continuation of a long-standing community culture of valuing and supporting public education.  

The Foundation is grateful to the community and past board members who established a legacy that the current board has the honor of carrying on today.  

Founding members included: 

Nancy Grigsby – President

Carolyn Gorman – Vice President

Paul Parker – Treasurer 

William Carter – Associate Treasurer

Gary Moore – Secretary 

Gary Toothaker – Superintendent

Walter Allison 

Don Donaldson 

Betty Kane

Robert Kane 

R.E. Lyons

Kay Schneider

Verna Trepka 

Sigrid Williams 

Gary Winters

Ann Basinger

Jim Miller 

Robert Touchstone

Barbara McCoy