FLINTON — Richard Snyder of Coalport is stepping down as executive director of the Glendale Education Foundation after almost 20 years of service. Snyder has been with the all-volunteer 501.c.3 nonprofit since its inception in 2002. “It’s just the time to leave and let others do it,” Snyder said of his retirement from the Foundation.
But he admitted he will miss volunteering with the organization. “It was a labor of love,” Snyder said. “And it’s been a daily part of my life for almost 20 years,” Snyder said.
As executive director, Snyder ran the day-to-day operations of the foundation, applied for grants, secured donations and ran the foundation’s annual golf tournament. Snyder said he plans to continue to help out from time-to-time at the foundation’s events plus be a continual donor.
Fellow education foundation board member Bill Morrison said Snyder has worked diligently to help provide the best education possible to students of the Glendale School District. “He’s been the heartbeat of the education foundation,” Morrison said. “He’s the best.”
Prior to his retirement from teaching 11 years ago, Snyder was an art teacher in the school district. He said for most of those years he was the only art teacher in the district, which would prove useful when it came to searching for sponsors, donations and volunteers for the foundation from Glendale alumni because he had most of the students in his class.
The Glendale Education Foundation funds enrichment programs and scholarships for students. The foundation provides three scholarships a year to graduating seniors, as well as funding the Viking Achievement Program, which gives monetary prizes to high achieving students in grades seven through nine including prizes for highest GPA, most improved student and most community service hours. The foundation also sponsors the Academic Letter program, which is similar to letters for athletic achievement but only for academics, Snyder said.
The foundation also funds field trips and educational speakers and programs. For example, the foundation recently funded a Shakespearian acting troop from Philadelphia to come to the school to perform for students and provide an acting workshop. “We try to do things to impact the kids on every level,” Snyder said of the education foundation.
Because of the organization’s expertise in setting up and managing scholarships, the education foundation is the repository for scholarships for 25 other organizations and individuals totaling roughly $60,000, Snyder said.
He said the Glendale Education Foundation has three main revenue streams. Its two annual events, the golf tournament and wine festival. “Both are a lot of fun and are well run events,” Snyder said.
And the third main revenue stream is the Glendale staff’ annual deduction. This program allows all staff members in the school district the option of donating a portion of their paychecks to the foundation. Snyder said the district’s staff members are extremely generous as this program raises roughly $5,600 a year.
Although he is retiring from the foundation, Snyder said he will continue as the curator of the Coalport Area Coal Museum. He also plans to spend more time traveling with his wife Lori.
Snyder said it is important to strive every day to have a positive impact on the world and he hopes he was able to do so through his work with the foundation.
And he thanked all of the board members of the Foundation who he worked with over the years. “They all have been very helpful in giving back to the community over the years, through the kids,” Snyder said.
Those wishing to donate to the education foundation can make checks payable to Glendale Education Foundation, 1466 Beaver Valley Road, Flinton, PA 16640. Or one can pay online at PayPal.me/GSDFoundation. All donations are tax deductible.