Science Department Chair Susan Park works with a student to find the molar volume of a gas.

The Dons Fund, which runs annually, helps bridge the gaps in the school’s budget by supporting immediate needs at Santa Barbara High School. The Foundation works closely with the school to identify critical projects that benefit all students and have no other source of funding. The funds raised this year will be applied toward projects in the 2013/14 school year.

“The Foundation gives us a huge boost,” said John Becchio, principal of Santa Barbara High School. “We use the money from the Dons Fund to support our students and teachers, and to run programs that we couldn’t otherwise. This makes our school a better place for everyone involved.”

This academic year, using funds from last year’s Dons Fund, the Foundation is paying for lab supplies for all science classes, replenishing a budget that has dwindled to next to nothing in recent years. It is also funding the school’s college and career counselor, supporting professional development, and paying for a myriad of technology needs, among other projects.

“We are so appreciative of the generosity of our donors,” said Michele Cuttler, a foundation board member and SBHS parent who co-chaired the successful appeal with Meghan Stoll. This year’s Dons Fund raised $55,000 more than last year’s.

Students in Mr. Parsons physics class launch rockets, in awe of Newton’s third law.

The Foundation for SBHS raises money to benefit all students, as opposed to one particular class, sport, club, or activity. It aims to strengthen the academic program at Santa Barbara High School, improve the physical campus, and enrich the extracurricular activities so that all students have the opportunity to excel both inside and outside the classroom.

In addition to the Dons Fund, the Foundation is wrapping up a capital campaign to raise money to renovate JR Richards Gymnasium. Work on the gym is scheduled to begin this summer, and to date $725,000 of the $800,000 goal has been raised for that project.

To learn more about the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School or to make a donation, please visit


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