by Olivia Segalman, Associate Director of Advancement for Community Engagement and Events
Shorecrest’s Mission is augmented by the generosity of our 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 Lower School parents Miko and Jon Kepko. The Kepko Family joined the Shorecrest Community in 2019, when their daughter Mia ‘34 was in the Experiential School.
The Kepko Family was inspired by Shorecrest’s roots as an outdoor school, and in honor of the approaching centennial helped create a new Outdoor Classroom and Garden in the Lower School through the Laube Family Foundation.
“The Laube Family Foundation
is the legacy of my father, William Tell Laube III, who was unable to fully realize his goals of giving back to others before his passing. When I make donations on his behalf, I look back on the values he taught me,” shared Miko Kepko, Director of Laube Family Foundation.
“Now as parents ourselves, we know one place that kids can truly be themselves is outdoors. When I learned of the school’s outdoor history, it seemed like the perfect marriage between meeting students’ needs with the origins of Shorecrest.
The goal of the Outdoor Classroom and Garden is to take advantage of Florida’s favorable climate and outdoor culture to take learning outside– a unique integration of lessons in the fresh air with the cultivation of environmental stewardship,” Miko explained.
Last week Nancy Spencer, Head of School; Dr. Lisa Bianco, Head of Lower School; Michael Gillis, Director of Advancement and other administrators gathered with the Kepko Family in the new home of the Lower School Outdoor Classroom and Garden for a groundbreaking ceremony.
Miko shared, “I like to believe I have a conversation with my dad each time I think about which opportunities to pursue. My father was unable to meet my daughter, Mia ‘34, but I know he would do anything to support her learning environment.”
Dr. Lisa Bianco shared, “As child-centered educators, the Lower School faculty, staff and I wholeheartedly embrace Shorecrest’s early roots as an outdoor school. Over the years, we have dreamed of our community developing new outdoor classrooms in order for students to experience the benefits of learning in and about nature–as well as to extend our focus on hands-on, experiential learning.”
The Kepko family’s generosity, and the construction of the Lower School Outdoor Classroom and Garden, provide a world of possibilities — specifically opportunities for our young students to gather, work, explore, reflect, and share learning in the open air, as well as take advantage of the natural and environmental sciences embedded in our campus and the outdoor spaces surrounding the garden.
The impact of Contributing Chargers like the Kepko Family, along with other members of our community, can be felt every day. If you’d like to learn more about this project or how you can make a similar gift, contact Michael Gillis, Director of Advancement.
Support the Shorecrest Fund today by clicking here
or email Olivia Segalman, Associate Director of Advancement for Community Engagement & Events, to share your and others' Contributing Chargers stories.