On August 1, 2017, St. Teresa High School launched its newest campaign – Sustain the Future. The goal of this campaign is to raise $10.5 million with the first $500 thousand being set aside for the operational needs and the remaining $10 million going into the St. Teresa Educational Foundation. By adding this new money to the foundation’s current endowment of $5.4 million, the earnings generated each year would provide increased support towards St. Teresa High School’s operating budget.
To fully meet the operational needs of a private school like St. Teresa, funding from many sources is needed. Tuition and fees alone, which now stands at $7,250 per student, covers only 53% of the school’s costs. Philanthropy and general fundraising activity provide the second highest revenue. The St. Teresa Educational Foundation will provide nearly $240,000 this year to support the high school’s educational operations.
With increasing educational costs and declining enrollments in Macon County, St. Teresa has to become more self-sustaining. “We have been blessed by large bequests and one-time gifts over the past few years that have allowed us to maintain a balanced budget,” said Dr. Ken Hendriksen, Executive Director of the Foundation and previous CEO/Principal of St. Teresa High School. “Without the success of this campaign, St. Teresa High School would be forced to increase tuition significantly and/or consider eliminating some of the current educational offerings, ultimately affecting the quality of education that students receive.”
Tracey Jerger, President of the St. Teresa Educational Foundation stated, “There has never been a more critical campaign for the future of St. Teresa High School. As a mother of two graduates, I know first-hand how vital their high school education was to charting and guiding their success in college and beyond. Their time at St. Teresa was a major stepping stone for their futures. My hope is we will be able to continue this quality, faith-based education for generations to come.”
With a current enrollment of 225 students, down from 275 five years ago, St. Teresa High School has a projected deficit of nearly $500,000 this year and for the next couple of years thereafter. A generous benefactor has guaranteed to cover the 2017-2018 deficit until June 30 2018. The first $500,000 in cash received towards this campaign, which has been committed, is being held aside for the projected deficit for the following school year, which gives us more time to add capital to the foundation’s corpus.
To-date, the Sustain the Future campaign has received commitments totaling $5.02 million. We are extremely blessed and appreciative of the generosity of these commitments. However, we are only half way to our goal. “Unlike the public schools in our area that can pass a tax referendum to improve finances,” says Hendriksen, “we have to rely on enrollment or increased financial donations.”
This is a challenging, yet exciting, goal that we have with the ultimate outcome of continuing to provide students with the best educational experience like we have for generations. With the success of this campaign, more than $750,000 will be provided to the school annually providing the needed financial support to sustain a balanced budget moving forward. We ask and pray that the St. Teresa and Decatur community join us in making the Sustain the Future campaign successful.