⬛ Guest Column
By Chris Maling
Special to The Outlook
“Imagine the end at the beginning” has been a quote that directs my focus and attention with all my activities regarding family, career and fundraising for charities. As the outgoing president of the San Marino Schools Foundation, I imagined at the beginning that our community of San Marino, through the efforts of the foundation, would reach or exceed our $2 million goal of fundraising at the end of June 2019. Our campaign, “Everyone Gives,” was a call to every resident, parent, business owner and community member to support our schools and have what is referred to as “skin in the game.”
I want to thank my fellow trustees, who worked tirelessly as volunteers throughout this past fiscal year. Your combined skills, knowledge, ideas and energy boosted the foundation (and, specifically, me) through some serious headwinds and challenges. Next, I would like to thank the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education led by President Lisa Link. Our collaboration with the district opened pathways of communication through town hall meetings to members of the community by presenting facts on the financial operations, curriculum and soon, in the fourth quarter of 2019, a report on facilities. We are a stronger district because of your efforts.
Next, a school district can be just a school district, stymied in mediocrity and succumbing to unwarranted community outcries. However, interim Superintendent Loren Kleinrock had the courage to challenge the “fake news” and social media fabrications and clearly articulate the truth. We are deeply indebted to his leadership.
Finally, the foundation would not be operating administratively without the guidance of Executive Director James Lau and associates Sara Snider and Hannah Frank. It has been terrific to work with this team and witness the support and growth of the foundation’s efforts.
Now the baton will be passed July 1 to our new leadership team composed of Erin Bilvado as foundation president and incoming Superintendent Jeff Wilson — two talented, innovative and amazing people to lead our schools’ future endeavors.
Remember my mantra, “imagine the end at the beginning”? Well, our commitment to the school district is $2 million. We are currently at $1.91 million and need $90,000 by June 30 to reach our goal. We are almost there! Please remember, you have found true joy and happiness in life when you give and go on giving, never counting the cost.