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.

Every gift made to the State College Area Education Foundation helps us in our mission of putting students first. Annual donations help to support a robust educational experience, from a rigorous, competitive curriculum, innovative tools and resources, and enriching extracurricular activities for students in the State College Area School District each and every year. Thank you for enhancing learning opportunities for local students with your annual donation.

Your gift helps:

  • Support student learning opportunities through 100+ co-curricular/extra-curricular organizations. From clubs for young farmers to thespians to avid readers to ping pong players, State College School District offers numerous activities to enhance students' academic, social, and emotional experiences. Your support will help more students engage in more experiences that interest them.

  • Support development costs for new curricular programs. In an ever-changing technological world, our academic programs must continue offering up-to-date tools, resources, and courses that provide students with the skills they’ll need to succeed in college and in their careers.

  • Provide underprivileged students with access to the co-curricular and extracurricular activities, through programs such as Community Education Extended Learning (CEEL), intramurals, and Sports and Shorts/summer enrichment programs. One such program is the Community Education sponsored Galaxy Explorers (grades 3-5) and Moon Base One (grades 6-8) programs in cooperation with the Federation of Galaxy Explorers. Through this program, students explore space by learning about principles of space science, earth science, rocketry, and more. They work in teams to build an international space station, build and launch a rocket, and conduct experiments that are "out of this world."

  • Raise awareness for mental health for students within the district. In a day and age where news of bullying, depression, and teen suicide appears in the daily headlines, we are committed to providing a safe, non-judgmental environment that helps students identify mental health issues within the school community and how to get help for themselves or a friend.