SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Educational Foundation (SEF) held its annual Partners In Education Fundraising Evening on Nov. 1 at the home of Sharon French and Terry Haggerty.  

In attendance were Dr. Nathan Parker, Superintendent of Summit Public Schools, members of the Summit Board of Education, and Alison Grill, Summit High School (SHS) College Specialist. The event was chaired by Jennifer Anderson. Other committee members were Mary Beth Driscoll, Nancy Elia, Sharon French, Anna Guttilla, Betsy Macpherson, Sue Thatch and Nicole Vigliotta.

Laura Schaffer, president of SEF, opened the evening by saying, “Partners Night is really a big thank you to those who have made a decision to invest big in public school education in Summit. So many of Summit’s teachers are truly inspired educators and I honestly can’t think of a better investment than in them and our children who learn from them.”

Various grants were highlighted throughout the evening. Anne Poyner, SHS drama teacher, talked about SEF contributions to the forensics and debate programs. Seniors Allison Scott and Greg Archer enacted their award-winning Interpretive Duo performance.

Guests were able to examine one of the new Node chairs which are part of the 21st Century Classroom arrangement installed in all language arts classrooms at the Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS). Randy Wallock, seventh grade language arts teacher, manned a video that demonstrated the flexibility and collaboration enhancing ability of the new classroom layout.

Loren MacTaggart, SHS special education teacher, demonstrated the new Spark Student Response System being used in the Special Education classroom and throughout the Social Studies Department.  A trivia quiz was set up so that guests could experience how the system works.

Also on display were LEGO Machine Sets built by elementary students, literary magazines from SHS and LCJSMS, and iPads that SEF has funded.

“It was a fantastic evening” said Annemaire Cahill, advertising manager of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce.  Parker agreed, “Because of SEF, the children in this school district are the beneficiaries of incredible enrichment programs.”  

Julie Kimmel, SEF executive vice-president, added, “Partners Night is a really special evening. It was a pleasure to welcome so many longstanding SEF donors, and it was especially nice to meet many new Partners who attended the event for the first time this year.  We are grateful that several district teachers and staff members were able to join us so we could learn first-hand about some of SEF’s recent grants.  And I can’t forget to add a big shout out to Sharon French and Terry Haggerty for being such gracious hosts.”

The SEF’s next fundraising evening is Casino Night to be held Spring 2014.  To learn more about SEF, visit