Special Note from Executive Director, Paul Olivett:

It is with great sadness that I learned today of the passing of Mardi Lowry McDonough, beloved teacher and member of the State College community. On behalf of the Foundation Board, I'd like to extend our condolences to Mardi’s family and friends. Several weeks ago, the Foundation was approached by State High classmates of Mardi who wanted to honor her. After some discussion, thanks to the support of her family, the Foundation Board, and District Administration, we agreed to name the Student Opportunity Fund and Grant Program in her honor and were preparing to make an announcement. We are humbled and honored to attach her name to such an important program that has and will continue to benefit teachers and students throughout the District for many years. 

On a personal note, my family has known Mardi since our children were at Corl Street together many years ago. In fact, Mardi and I served as chaperones together for the famous (at least to Corl Street folks) Gettysburg 5th grade trip and my wife Denise shared many “Corl Street Mom” and other community activities with her. It’s difficult to overestimate just how many people she touched in her life and we are fortunate to have been a part of that special group.  

Thank you again to Colleen, Grace, and Nick for allowing us to honor Mardi and to her classmates Roy and Mike for working though the details. 



In 2016, the State College Area School District Education Foundation established the Student Opportunity Fund to provide financial resources for grant awards to teachers and staff. So far, tens of thousands of dollars have been awarded for projects that benefit students across the district in academic and extracurricular opportunities.

Now, in partnership with her family, the Education Foundation will honor Mardi Lowry McDonough, 1987 State High graduate, longtime educator in the district, and parent to two State High graduates, by permanently adding her name to the fund.

“In recognition of her own experience, the experiences of her daughters Colleen and Grace, her exemplary career as a teacher, and her honorable service to teachers and the community, the Education Foundation board is privileged to name this fund and program in Mardi’s honor,” said Board President Chris Buchignani. “We are delighted that we have been able to work with Mardi and her family on this opportunity to continue to impact our students, teachers and the entire State College community through this fund and grant program.”

Mardi’s family will attend an annual gathering with grant winners to celebrate their initiative and achievements. Also, in recognition of Mardi’s membership in the High School Concert and Marching Bands and her love of music, the Education Foundation plans to award at least one grant each cycle to a music department, music program, or music group-related request.

Donations can be made at scasdfoundation.org/donate.

The State College Area School District Education Foundation is committed to enhancing the educational experience of students within the State College Area School District by providing financial support for innovative learning opportunities.