Ansonia Public Schools Scholarship Funds



In 2010, Dr. Carol Merlone, superintendent of Ansonia Schools, sought approval from the Ansonia Board of Education to move the scholarship funds, which were kept in passbook savings accounts at the time, to the Valley Community Foundation’s (VCF’s) comingled investment pool. “It was one thing when local banks were paying significant interest on passbook savings. But with current rates, we needed VCF’s management and expertise to keep our funds from being depleted,” said Carol. 

The Ansonia Schools appreciated that VCF was a local nonprofit that specializes in this type of activity, which led them to invest their scholarships in 2010 in a concerted effort to simplify the scholarship management process. Having administered those funds for the past eight years, VCF earned the trust and confidence of the Schools’ leaders who decided to endow the scholarship funds by making them permanent resources at the Foundation. The decision has been beneficial for all involved and allows both organizations to honor the intent of those who wanted to establish permanent scholarships. 

Lisa R. Jones, school business administrator, explained, “The Foundation had been previously accepting donations for the funds on our behalf. Last year, Sharon Closius suggested we consider making our scholarship funds part of the VCF endowment rather than for investment purposes only.” The change provides an opportunity to expand the longevity of funds that might otherwise have become depleted.” 

New Funds Established in 2018 Benefiting Ansonia Students: 

• Ansonia High School Endowed Fund
• Ansonia High School Non-endowed Fund
• Ansonia Public Schools Fund
• John F. Blake, Jr. Memorial Prize
• Ruth H. Feinberg Connors Principal’s Award
• Amos Hawley Memorial Award
• Industrial Arts/Vocational Education
• Winifred Bennett Kerins Memorial Prize
• Russell & Joanne Kiley Kulawiz Fund
• John Quake Memorial
• V. Gerald Ryan #2

Eileen Ehman, the District’s grants manager/community liaison, said having the School’s scholarship funds become endowed at VCF has helped to provide long term sustainability. Familiar with how VCF supports the community in a variety of ways, Eileen said the school system jumped at the opportunity to expand its relationship with VCF once the Board of Education gave its approval. 

“We are able to keep honoring memories of loved ones who have passed,” Eileen said. “These were people who supported Ansonia’s education system during their lifetime and can now do so long into the future.” 

“We have a very congenial relationship with VCF,” said Carol. “We are grateful that they provide us with a way for all of our scholarship donor legacies to live on for the Ansonia students who will benefit from this opportunity for many years to come.”






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