by Olivia Segalman, Associate Director of Advancement for Community Engagement and Events
Shorecrest’s Mission is augmented by the generosity of parents, grandparents, alumni, and friends who support the School philanthropically or by effecting change locally, globally or right here at Shorecrest. We call these community members Contributing Chargers. This week we are pleased to spotlight Jennifer Phelps. Jennifer and her husband Justin have two children in Shorecrest Lower School, Evan ’31 and Sara ‘32.
Jennifer is a dedicated partner of the School as a member of the Board of Trustees, through her time as a past co-president of Shorecrest Community Association (SCA), and as this year’s Advancement Committee Chair. One could say that as a family they are truly ‘all in’ in terms of Shorecrest community leadership, supporting the school with contributions of time, skills, and philanthropic gifts.
Why is Shorecrest important to you?
When our family was looking at schools, we had three things that we were looking for:
1. Does the faculty stay abreast of current research in education, and are they supported by the administration to use what they learn?
2. Is a community approach to learning part of the educational process? If my children are being taught something, will I be given the tools to continue supporting their education and connection to the classroom at home?
3. Will the foundation of all learning be based on social and emotional development?
During our tour, it was clear that the answer was yes to all of these things. Shorecrest stated their Core Values and Mission during our tour, and they have proven they will work to execute on those values. This type of integrity in a school is important to our family.
What do you enjoy most about being part of this community?
I enjoy knowing that Shorecrest is a place where I can feel like my children are with family. It has been their home away from home for the last five years, and every year I have felt more content and excited for my children's future. As parents at Shorecrest, we don't feel like we are just another face in the crowd. We enjoy watching teachers and staff interact with our kids. They don't just know them by name, they know their likes, their dislikes and their struggles.
This past week in particular I have found joy in calling on my friends for support and they all showed up for our family in various ways. Each answered call, photos sent of my daughter at a party I had to miss, shared carpools, answers to simple questions that you know you read in Ebytes but can't quite remember… There is so much joy found within a community based on giving and support of each other.
What does giving to this community mean to you?
Giving to the Shorecrest community with our whole heart, our time, and resources whenever we can allows us to play a part in helping our children and community reach their fullest potential. We get to be part of each person's journey into adulthood. Participating in so many different ways in our children's and friends' lives and experiences on campus is a gift to us.
How do you think your gift will impact current and future Shorecrest students?
A financial gift provides Shorecrest the opportunity to execute its mission effectively. Supporting our faculty is one of our family's highest priorities. They have the most important jobs. They have our children's hearts and minds for 8 hours each day! I want to help ensure they have everything they need to broaden opportunities for students and their access to resources and programs. I know our efforts help Shorecrest continue to offer a safe learning environment where students are encouraged to be themselves, have a strong sense of community and love for learning.
Anything that you'd like to share?
I don't believe that things will always be perfect. Raising children is hard, being a teacher is hard. Doing it all together as a community with Shorecrest has created a lot of comfort and peace within our family’s parenting journey. It really does take a village. We are very happy that the Shorecrest community is part of ours.
The impact of Contributing Chargers like Jennifer, along with other members of our community, can be felt every day. To suggest a Contributing Charger to feature, email Olivia Segalman
, Associate Director of Advancement for Community Engagement & Events. Join our Contributing Chargers by supporting the Shorecrest Fund today.