The mission of the Moore Public Schools Foundation for Academic Excellence is to enhance, expand, and enrich students’ educational experiences through private donations and gifts.
Your donations go to teachers & programs that have a direct impact on students. In just the last 18 months, our mission has had an effect on 100% of Moore Public Schools students. Whether it’s a sponsorship, an advertisement, a payroll deduction, or a general donation, your money is being used to further the educational experience of 25,000 students.
We connect your dollars to classroom projects
for Moore Public Schools students
Academic excellence has always been the focus of the Moore Public Schools. In 1995, a group of thirty community leaders comprising a cross-section of the community established the Moore Public Schools Foundation for Academic Excellence. The Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and its members are dedicated to the belief that public education plays a pivotal role in community development. Our staff, board of directors, and community donors work every day to ensure that 25,000 students have the best educational experience we can provide them.
The Foundation’s support for the school system comes predominantly in the form of grants awarded to innovative teachers. Every teacher in the Moore system is eligible to submit grant proposals. Such proposals are reviewed for their proposed curriculum enriching properties, and as many as funds allow are selected to receive stipends. Awarded grant funds may be used for:
Foundation members believe that teacher grants help turn good ideas into better educational opportunities for our children.
ENHANCE ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
We strive to assist in ways that help enhance academic excellence in the Moore schools by providing funding not available through public sources.
SUPPORT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT
We work to better inform the community about strengths and innovative programs of public schools while helping build public confidence in the schools system.
BRING THE COMMUNITY TO THE DISTRICT
We focus on encouraging community and business involvement in the public schools in a positive and supportive manner to include financial support.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Amanda Robinson
- Brianna Wall
- Carla McKinley
- Catherine Landeros
- David Burton
- Drew McKinney
- Heidi Fox
- Jeanette Capshaw
- Jeff Groves
- Jessica True
- Maggie Alfaro
- MaKailee Davis
- Michel Roberts
- Michael Owens
- Zach Swift
- Mandy Kincannon
- Robert Romines
- Kortni Toralba
- Alona Whitebird
Lizzy first got involved with nonprofits while living in Tulsa and working for an organization that focused on youth mentorship. There, Lizzy developed a love for all aspects of nonprofit work as well as the public schools she helped establish mentoring programs in. Prior to being named Executive Director of the Moore Public Schools Foundation, Lizzy served for 3 years as the executive director at another nonprofit local to Moore, Sharing Tree, which fostered her love for the Moore Community. Now with several years of experience in nonprofit programs and development, Lizzy works to develop relationships within the community in order to advance the mission of the Moore Public Schools Foundation. Lizzy provides leadership and oversees day-to-day operations for the organization. Lizzy believes that all students are deserving of an enhanced, enriched, and expanded educational experience. Lizzy spends her free time with her husband, their families, and two dogs, Gus and Thor. In her spare time, she loves to laugh and make memories with her loved ones and her favorite title so far is “Aunt Weezy”. She has an insatiable sweet tooth and loves to try new restaurants. Her favorite hobbies are reading, baking, thrifting, and going to concerts.
OUR LIFETIME MEMBERS
As a nonprofit organization, our Board of Directors make all the magic happen. They spend countless hours helping make important decisions for our community. Not only for current students and staff, but for future generations to come. With over 25 years of existence, over 100 community members have served on our Board of Directors. Our Lifetime Members are those who have gone above and beyond. These Members helped take the organization to the next level, every step of the way. We are proud of where we come from, and wouldn’t be who we are today without these Members.
Mr. Bonds began his educational career in 1965. He taught math and coached in Kansas at Liberal Public Schools. He also taught three years at Olustee Public Schools before serving in the United States Army. He then moved to Moore in 1971 to begin his service with Moore Public Schools. Mr. Bonds taught math at Central Junior High and Moore High School before taking positions as assistant principal at Central Junior High and later, Moore High School. Mr. Bonds then went on to serve as principal at Highland West Junior High and eventually Moore High. After serving as principal at Moore High School, in 1987 he was named principal of the district’s second high school, Westmoore.
In 1993, Mr. Bonds became the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the district. He also served as Deputy Superintendent and Interim Superintendent before becoming Superintendent in March of 1997.Mr. Bonds was responsible for the successful restoration of the district’s facilities following the devastation of the May 3, 1999 tornado. This tornado caused some $19 million in damages. Westmoore High School sustained more than $12 million in damages and re-opened in August 1999 with only the auditorium still under construction. Kelley Elementary School, which was completely destroyed, opened in August 2000.
Mr. Bonds was named the District I Oklahoma Association of Secondary Principals Administrator of the Year in 1988. He was named District VII Administrator of the Year by OASA District in 2001. He was also named a Life Member of the Oklahoma State PTA. He held an officer’s position on the Moore Public Schools Foundation Board once it was established in 1995 and was named a Lifetime Member.
Mr. Bonds received a Master of Education Degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Math and Secondary Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He also received an Associate of Arts Degree in General Education from Altus Junior College.
Jan Bonds has given him her support through 51 years of marriage. Mrs. Bonds retired after 31 years of service to Moore Public Schools. All of her teaching years were at Northmoor Elementary. Mr. Bonds has always attributed his success to his family who stood by him, the employees who worked for him, and the community who supported him. Upon his retirement, the Moore Board of Education named Wayland Bonds Elementary School as a tribute to his service.
In September of 1994, the superintendent of Moore Public Schools, Dr. Dan Foreman, reached out to Debbie Venard wanting to create a foundation. The previous district he worked for, had a well-established foundation so he was familiar with working alongside a non-profit that supported the school system. Dr. Foreman suggested that the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Fall Forum would be the best place to gather information so Mrs. Venard and Shirley Beel attended the conference.
Mrs. Venard attended a breakout session on How to Start a Foundation. Mrs. Venard became so excited after all that she had learned, she took the lead and began asking her dentist, vet, insurance agent, her children’s orthodontist, the local grocer-Mr. Steve Buchanan and a few others to take part in getting this organization off the ground.
Mrs. Polly Nichols was the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence at the time. In the beginning, the founding group attended several meetings with Mrs. Nichols and she guided them to become a group of fundraisers. Dr. Max and Mrs. Venard financed most of the beginning expenses for the Foundation: stationery, postage, state filings, etc. Mrs. Venard threw herself into the work, making it a full-time job while she was already working a full-time job at Dr. Venard’s optometry office. She also had her most important responsibility as wife and mother to her three boys: David, Daniel and Dustin. Mrs. Venard was well-known throughout the district for her work with PTA and her advocacy for her son, Danny, who passed away in 2004.
Mrs. Venard filed the lengthy paperwork to establish the Foundation as a 501(c)3 so all donations would be tax deductible for donors. Volunteers immediately began working to raise funds for the Foundation. The group sacked groceries at Buchanan’s grocery store alongside the morning radio hosts of KXY-Dave and Dan, for tips. Mrs. Venard was nominated for the JC Penny’s Volunteer of the Year award and was awarded $5000 for the MPSF. These volunteers came together and decided that the seed members of the Foundation should each give $500 to help establish it financially. Each person that made this $500 donation became a Founding Member of the Foundation. This group accepted all donations and were thankful for any monies that came in to support their new cause.
In the early spring of 1995, the MPSF hosted their first banquet at Westmoore High School. Mary Fallin was the speaker and former Governor George Nigh was the Master of Ceremonies. Of the dignitaries at the head of the table, Polly Nichols was included. The event was a huge success! The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence office was located at the Journal Records Building in Oklahoma City and Mrs. Venard spent a significant amount of time visiting Polly Nichols there as Mrs. Nichols helped to propel the Foundation forward.
On April 19, 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing occurred. Mrs. Nichols was critically injured. Mrs. Venard had been in the building 24 hours prior visiting Mrs. Nichols. The bombing stopped all momentum of the MPSF. The group knew it was not the time to ask for donations during Oklahoma City’s time of recovery. They had the seed money from the Founding members, the money raised at the banquet, the funds from Mrs. Venard’s JCPenny award among other donations.
They decided to hold off on further fundraising that spring and award the first grants in the Fall of 1995. The founders delivered a balloon bouquet to each of the winning teachers, along with the check to cover the costs of the requested grant. Mrs. Venard said it was so fun to physically deliver the news and surprise each of the teachers.
Dr. and Mrs. Venard both graduated from Moore High School. Their sons, David and Dustin, graduated from Westmoore High School and Danny, graduated from Moore High School.
Sherry Howell has lived in South OKC all of her life, graduating from Capitol Hill High School. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Business from the University of Central Oklahoma. She has known since kindergarten her passion was for teaching and serving others, but her most significant accomplishment is being a wife, mother, and grandmother. She has been married to her husband Larry for 47 years. Her daughter Traci and granddaughter Maci are her pride and joy.
Sherry has always had a desire to “leave her footprint” in South Oklahoma City. In 1976, she and a number of women assisted Helen Cole in creating a Republican Women’s Club for South OKC. She was a co-founder and board member of Moore Public Schools Foundation from 1995-2000. It was a time of need within Moore Public Schools. It was the dream of numerous teachers and students to add hands-on academic technology as well as cultural experiences to their classrooms. MPSF listened to these needs and fulfilled them by improving the students’ learning experiences in and outside the classroom through teacher grants.
Sherry was a founder, past president and Board member of Oklahoma City Community College Foundation from 1998 to present. She worked with Mayor Kirk Humphreys on the OKC Go program that was put into motion in 1999 at OCCC. During 1998-2007 Sherry served on the Integris Southwest Medical Center FoundationExecutive Board and held the position of Finance Chair.
One of her greatest legacies for South OKC is Women of the South. Sherry along with 8 other women founded the first philanthropic group in South OKC and named it appropriately-Women of the South.
Since it’s inception on April 1, 1995, WOS has awarded hundreds of scholarships and participated in many cultural and community projects throughout the South Oklahoma City and Moore area. WOS has Scholarship opportunities for women who are the primary provider to attend OCCC, as well as college scholarships available to all Moore Schools and Southside high school senior girls who qualify according to need. Women of the South facilitates Sherry’s passion for education by reaching those who may not have had an opportunity otherwise. Sherry truly believes each person deserves a higher education.
In addition to her South OKC work, Sherry has contributed to numerous organizations and foundations throughout the Oklahoma City area. She was an active parent and teacher at Living Word Academy until it closed in 1986. She and 7 other parents and business owners founded Oklahoma Christian Academy on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University. Mayor Kirk Humphreys appointed her to be a co-chair of the Civic Center Renovation in 1998-2000. The renovation evolved into the Civic Center Foundation in which she served from 2000-2011. Sherry continued to work with Mayor Humphreys on the MAPS Project.
Sherry’s love and dedication to South OKC along with her desire to teach and assist others in achieving their goals is why Sherry Howell is a shining light for South Oklahoma City.
Anita Horn grew up on the outskirts of Oklahoma City in a dedicated, agriculture based family, where she learned the values of hard word. Anita considers her greatest blessings her husband of 35
years, Hoby, their 3 daughters, 3 sons-in-law and 6 Grandloves:
Mandy & Ty Kincannon, Emmie & Dax Haley & Tommy Noles, Paisley & Sunny Natalie & Chance Baker, Beau & Dylan
Working alongside Hoby at a desk and in the shop, they built their family and their business-Horn Equipment Company-together in Moore. Hoby and Anita have always worked at advocating for Moore Public Schools. In the early 1980s, they paid their employees and the spouses of their employees to go door to door lobbying votes that would help increase the state’s education budget through horserace betting profits. Hoby, a Moore High School graduate and Anita always felt it was important to raise their children in the public school system and were always proud to do so. All three of their daughters and their sons-in-law are graduates of Moore High School.
When their eldest daughter Mandy started kindergarten at Northmoor Elementary, Anita’s community service began as a homeroom mother. Seeing that she could work this into her schedule, then grew to years of PTA service, participation in other community groups, and her service to the Moore Public Schools Foundation.
During her time with MPSF, Anita worked on numerous projects. Most memorably, she authored and received two grants through the Margaret Annis Boys Trust which provided new landscaping to Westmoore High School following the May 3, 1999 tornado which had caused $12 million in damages to the school. She also began the MPSF endowment at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 2001.
Above all, she says the definite highlight of her time with the Foundation was seeing and hearing the tears, screams, and excitement of the teachers that received grants for their classrooms. She takes great pride in knowing this work continues from year to year, providing teachers with the tools to make learning memorable and fun. She is thankful for the board members, donors, and community partners of MPSF that provide such a much-needed kindness to Moore Public Schools classrooms.
Steve Buchanan is the owner/broker of Buchanan Realty Group in Oklahoma City. He is a commercial realtor, developer, and builder. Steve grew up in the family grocery business – Buchanan Food Marts – which at one time had five stores in the south Oklahoma City and Moore areas. He was a third-generation grocer – the business was started by his grandfather and was operated by the family for over 50 years until it was sold in 1999 to Fleming Foods. During the sale of the company, Steve learned about the real estate business and became interested enough to make it his second career.
Steve attended Moore schools throughout his childhood and graduated from Moore High School. He and his wife, Cathy, have been very involved in MPS activities for years – as their two daughters also attended Moore schools. Steve has always had the desire to help his community and the local schools. He was a founding member of the Moore Public School Foundation when it originated in 1995 and served as President at one time. Through the grocery stores and their mascot, “Bucky”, Steve was instrumental in raising funds and bringing the Moore Police Department’s anti-drug program (D.A.R.E.) to the Moore Elementary Schools. He also served as the Co-Chairman/Chairman of the Red Ribbon Parade in downtown Moore for 23 years.
Steve captured memories for many families in Moore schools by photographing numerous Moore and Westmoore athletic events, groups, and proms. He has built lasting relationships through his involvement with MPS.
Steve currently serves on the INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center Board as Past President and he is a member of the South OKC Rotary Club.
In his “spare” time, Steve enjoys flying, photography, fishing and traveling.
Amy Reeves was raised in the Moore School System, graduating from Moore High School in 1987 where she met her husband Dan Reeves. Amy graduated from College in 1991 from Central State University (UCO) with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education where she was on the Dean’s Honor Roll. Dan and Amy were married in 1989 and have three children. They have a daughter Kaitlin that graduated from Moore High School in 2010 and The University of Oklahoma in 2014, a son Matt that graduated from Moore High School in 2017 and is a student at The University of Oklahoma, and a daughter Mackenzie that is currently a student at Moore High School. Amy taught school in the Mid Del School system before she and her husband opened Landmark Fine Homes in the year 2000. Landmark was named America’s Best Builder in 2012 and the Oklahoma State Home Builder of the year for 2017. Dan and Amy have donated over $250,000 to various local and national charities. She is a proud2007 graduate of Leadership Moore. Amy has been involved with the Moore Public Schools Foundation since 2007 and served as President for 3 years and is in her second term as a school board member for the Moore Public Schools. Amy is also a past board member and current volunteer for The Salvation Army of Cleveland County and has been a Team Captain for the Cleveland County Relay for Life for the past 10 years. Her hobbies include traveling, decorating, volunteering and spending time with her family.
Lori is the, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking at First United Bank. First United Bank is building a banking culture to empower and inspire others to Spend Life Wisely through Financial Well-being, Personal Growth and Faith. Lori is a certified Emotional Intelligence Coach and founder of Breakthrough Consulting. She partners with companies to develop mindful leadership and effective communication strategies. She is also a professional instructor at Moore Norman Technology Center. Lori recently served on South Oklahoma City Chamber Board of Directors, Integris South Hospital Board of Directors, as well as Board of Directors at Bridges, a non-profit organization serving homeless high school students in Norman, OK. Lori is a graduate of Moore High School. She and her husband Robert have been married 29 years and reside in South Oklahoma City. Their son Ryan, a graduate of Westmoore High School and OU, is currently attending OU medical School. Lori’s passions include activities that bring joy into her life such as traveling, cycling, hiking, volunteering, and spending time with friends and family. Please join me in honoring Lori Fightmaster as the newest Lifetime Honoree of the Moore Public Schools Foundation.
From 2008-2017 Audra Brown served as an invaluable member of the Moore Public Schools Foundation. Her dedication to education began early when she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education from the University Central Oklahoma. Audra and Duane Brown have been married for 23 years and they opened Brown’s Driving School together in 1996. Audra and Duane have raised both of their children in Moore Public Schools. Britt is a Westmoore graduate and plays baseball for Northern Oklahoma College. Madison is a Senior at Westmoore and a successful track athlete.
A transplant from Ponca City that married a Moore native, Audra is thankful to have raised her kids in the welcoming and friendly community of Moore. Audra loved serving on the Foundation Board because of the wonderful people that she worked beside and the mission to do great things in the community for our Moore Public School children. Audra said that Moore is such a welcoming, friendly city with one of the best school systems in the nation and she is proud to call it her home!
Linda is a loyal member of the Moore & South OKC community, living in Cleveland County since 1976. Linda has been married to her husband Bill Neimann for 53 years, and they are incredibly active in our community. Bill and Linda have two daughters, Staci and Ashlee, who both graduated from Moore High. Tradition lives on as three of their four grandchildren attend Moore Public Schools.
Linda has always been passionate about growing and improving Moore and South Oklahoma City’s quality of education and living. When she was asked to be a founder of Moore Public School Foundation there was no hesitation. For Linda, it was an honor and privilege to join the group. Raising money to ensure Moore Public Schools students and teachers wasn’t an easy task, but she did it with charm and determination. MPSF has grown into an incredible force of Grants and Funding Resources and by adding new ambitious board members.
Linda’s dedication for the Moore and South Oklahoma City areas lives on today through her active and continued support for all the groups she helped begin.