Friday, February 18, 2022 7:34 p.m.
Erin Serafina, Executive Director of the Warsaw Educational Foundation, is pictured sitting in her office in the Warsaw Public Schools Administration Building. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.
Erin Serafina has always been interested in non-profit management, which combines all her hobbies.
“I still admire and will always be involved with teachers and supporting teachers and schools. And it looked like an interesting way to join the community to support teachers and apply all my knowledge, ”said Serafina about why she is interested in becoming the executive director of the Warsaw Education Foundation.
Serafina became CEO of WEF in December after Barb Smolen retired on June 4.
Serafina worked as a fourth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School from 2003 to 2007. She received several grants from the foundation when she taught, so she said she knows about the WEF. Seraphine’s mother taught art at Edgewood and also received some grants from the WEF.
Serafina also has some experience outside of education, working at Zimmer Biomet and at a company in Colorado.
She said she wants it to be known that WEF still exists. Serafina wants to continue to do what the foundation did, as well as try something new and “just keep supporting our teachers and students to make Warsaw schools even better than they are.”
One of the WEF’s main fundraisers is the Community Quiz Bowl. Serafina said that “because last year we didn’t have it at all, and last year was virtual,” it was hard. “So we really hope to hold it in person. Here is the goal, such a plan. And raise a lot of money. And the money goes to teachers who apply for grants, who do interesting and unique things in their classrooms, ”she said.
On March 15 at 7 pm it is scheduled for 7 pm at the Tiger Recreation Center in Warsaw.
Serafina said the WEF has been running the Community Quiz Bowl for over 20 years.
“It’s a lively trivia game,” she said. “You have your desk, your team table for up to five people. And we have a lot of sponsors so teachers can participate. So many businesses in our community have already sponsored teams. ”
In the past, the bowl was made with a pen and paper, where the teams sent their answers and then counted them.
“This year we’re going to try something new where we use a digital system so they can use the app to respond, and so it will move a little faster and hopefully be a little more technologically advanced than relying on our pen and paper counting, ”she said.
The Bowl consists of 60 questions and as many teams that can get into the TRAC.
By raising funds, businesses provide the WEF with their payments to participate in the quiz. There are three levels to join the team: $ 2,000, $ 1,000, and $ 300 per team. The money goes to the WEF fund, and when the grants are ready to be allocated, the money comes from that fund.
Teams can register online until February 28 at https://forms.gle/VR6HhVdDpPUWG8j79.
People can pay via PayPal via http://paypal.me/warsawedfoundation or by sending checks to the Warsaw Education Foundation, PO Box 1343, Warsaw IN 46581.
Another WEF fundraiser is with Kroger. People can create an account where the money goes to a nonprofit.
In addition to Kroger and Quiz Bowl accounts, WEF relies on individual donations.
Examples of past recipients of WEF grant recipients include a public garden, classroom dramatic works for storytelling, and plastics recycling.
“Everything we see that will benefit students and add creativity to what teachers are already doing, and benefit students year after year, we are interested in hearing and supporting,” she said.
How many grants the WEF allocates each year depends on how much money the foundation raises and how many teachers apply for grants.
“We are all considering them. The Council (WEF) is considering them. And then they decide whether it is in line with our values and what we can support, ”Serafina said.
There are some programs that WEF has done in the past that Serafina would like to rekindle.
Serafina said she would like to continue, but is not sure if the WEF will be able to continue a workshop on non-traditional employment for women. She said she thinks it’s a wonderful thing.
WEF also held a Festival of Excellence, which awarded the best students in the classes that Serafina hopes to rekindle.
She said she is open to new ideas. She said WEF will be looking for new things to support its educators.
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