New Officers & Directors to Lead


Sarasota, FL – June 10, 2009 – Taking the gavel from Christina Pfahler, new board chairman David Sessions congratulated his predecessor for steering the Education Foundation of Sarasota County through a challenging year.

“You set a high standard for our board members this year, with a level of energy and dedication to our mission that will be tough to match,” Sessions said at the group’s annual meeting held today at The Field Club in Sarasota. As the Foundation’s incoming chair, he went on to recognize the efforts of fellow board members, staff and Executive Director Cindy Kaiser. The Foundation secured over $1.2 million for technology, literacy, classroom grants, student awards, teacher recognition and other programs during the past year, reaching overall fundraising goals. Its Texcellence Computer Donation Program provided computers, training and tech support to more than 1,100 families in need during the 2008-2009 school year, reaching over 2,500 since the project was launched in the spring of 2007.

Other officers elected for 2009–2010 were Lisa Carlton, vice chairman; Libby Early, secretary; and Brian Hall, treasurer. New members of the board elected to serve three-year terms were Michael P. Bryant of Fawley Bryant Architects and Jason Swift of Jon F. Swift, Inc. Retiring board members honored for their service included Carlotta Cooley, David Dettmann, Jerry Kaplan and Susan Morris.

Special guest Scott Lempe, the Sarasota County School’s chief operating officer, reported the latest news on district budget, staffing and facilities. He thanked the current and past Foundation board leaders assembled at the luncheon for stepping up their contributions and advocacy for the public schools in difficult times. Steve Cantees, executive director for district high schools, shared highlights of a new multi-year collaboration with the Foundation to significantly boost reading and writing skills in grades 9-12.

Dedicated to quality education for all children, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County is an independent, not-for-profit organization that works in partnership with the community and Sarasota County public schools. With the support of individuals, families, companies and foundations, the Education Foundation awards more than $1,200,000 each year to initiatives including the TeXcellence Computer Donation program, Teacher of the Year, Academic Olympics, classroom grants, fine arts programs, and literacy initiatives. For more information visit or call 941-927-0965.