Lynn Heinlein leaves as head of now-thriving Education Foundation
For five years, Lynn Heinlein, the director of the Park City Education Foundation, has been intimately involved the community in striving to make Park City school district one of the top-10 school districts in the nation.
Heinlein will soon relinquish her position as director, but will continue her life of fundraising, working with Westminster College in Salt Lake. There she plans to make the college affordable to deserving students through community involvement funding scholarships for students entering the private, liberal-arts college. Heinlein said she wanted to remain with the Education Foundation through this, its 20th anniversary.
"I’m going to miss the daily contact with the school board and school district staff, they’ve been wonderful and welcoming. As a farewell, the staff recently gave Heinlein a necklace representing the Education Foundation.
She used to run a trading floor on Wall Street, an exciting lifestyle, she said, but when the day was done, she felt she had little satisfaction. She said she thought she wanted to teach school, feeling that was the way she could make a difference in others’ lives. But she got involved in fundraising as she was raising her children, and has been doing it ever since.
"I got hooked on fundraising," she said. "I found I had a knack for bringing different kinds of people together, looking at it as ‘what can we do that’s best for everybody.’"
"I love talking with everyone from ministers to real estate agents, to get their point of view," she said.
When she took on the position with the Education Foundation, the organization had an annual budget of $100,000. This year its budget is over $1 million.
But the Education Foundation and the community can’t go it alone.
"The Utah State’s government needs to know that the economy and society truly benefit from education," Heinlein said. "In the long run it costs the community less. With the next wave of the economy and technology to be competitive in the world, we need a high level of problem solving."
"We need to keep the big picture in mind," Heinlein said. "The education budget should not be a piece of a pie where people are fighting against it with other needs."
Heinlein feels fortunate to have worked in a community. "This community values education very much," she said. "People in our community do want to help kids. We always have had a dynamic community."
Heinlein might have been in the dream fundraising environment in Park City, but she said that communities that don’t have the parental support and resources can still have successful students. She sees parental involvement in a child’s education is crucial to the child’s success, but that if parents are unavailable to nurture their children, there are programs like "Big Brothers, Big Sisters," that are.
Heinlein said she makes people aware of school needs, and amounts needed.
"They find their own ways to raise money," she said.
She is a major proponent of full-day kindergarten. She believes that children can make far greater strides in their future if they are taught well when they are young. "It’s a preventative, like health-care," she said. "Its so much less expensive in the long run , fewer people drop out and more become productive members of society."
There is little doubt Heinlein loves raising funds for the benefit of others, and she hopes people aren’t afraid to try it for themselves.
I encourage people to get involved," she said. "People should never be scared of asking for money if it’s a good cause. They are happy to see the impact they can have."
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