Southington Education Foundation, Inc.
Our Mission

The Southington Education Foundation is committed to instilling a love of learning in our children through innovative and creative initiatives that expand existing educational opportunities. The Foundation will reach out to the community to help secure and inspire excellence and overall achievement in our already outstanding school system.

Upcoming Events
May 28: Virtual STEM University Presentation
Jun. 4: Grants Reception
Jun. 5: SEF Board at Large Meeting
Jun. 7: Watch JAWS during Movie Night at the Drive-In
Jun. 10: SEF Exec Board Meeting
Jun. 12: Nature Center Ribbon Cutting
Oct. 24: Fan of the Foundation

Grants Reception

Our next Grants Reception will be held June 4, 4:00 at Thalberg School. Ellen Bellinger and Marian Virello will highlight their Indoor Organic Vegetable Garden, and Chanelle Curtin will highlight the First LEGO League - A Robotics STEM Team.

Help us celebrate the terrific work of our teachers!

Members Make a Difference!

 The next quarterly meeting of the SEF Board at Large is June 5th at 6:30 at Hatton School.  Kim DiFusco, newly elected vice-chairman will conduct this meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to engage your support of the SEF as well as to provide specific information about the organization's accomplishments. We have much to do and we need your help!

Join SEF 
We're always looking for members to help us achieve our mission of instilling a love of learning in our children. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Jan Galati.
Consider donating to SEF
MAY 2014
Virtual STEM University Presentation

Join us for the unveiling of the Virtual STEM University on May 28, 4-5pm, at South End School.


The Southington Education Foundation in conjunction with the Southington Public Schools is excited to announce this web-based instructional resource for educators. We hope that you will be able to join us in viewing these highly innovative teacher-created lessons which incorporate the STEM components of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


This event provides an opportunity to thank the teams of teachers involved in this initiative as well as the administrators who oversaw this project. Lessons highlighted will include "Force & Motion" by Jennifer Irazabel and Sara Cavanaugh (Grades 4 & 5) and "Light & Mirrors" by Betty Brown (Grade 5).


Please join representatives from the Southington Public Schools and the Southington Education Foundation as we showcase these innovative lesson designs and a website resource that may be the only one of its kind in the nation. 

Join us for SEF Movie Night at the Drive-In

   JAWS at the Drive-In
   Sat. Jun. 7, 6 PM
   Southington Drive-In
   Cost per car is $10
   {$15 out-of-town residents)

The SEF will once again be hosting a movie night at Southington Drive-In, June 7.  We will be showing one of our favorites: JAWS. 


Gates are scheduled to open at 6:00 p.m. and the movie begins at sunset. Cost per car is $10 for Southington residents and $15 for out-of-town residents. Special entertainment by Eric Korp, a Southington teacher is featured prior to the movie's showing. Korp will entertain children in organized activities as he did last year.


Volunteers are needed to work for a few hours that evening. Tasks are basic and will be explained that evening. Arrival time is 5:45. Please contact Jan Galati at if you can volunteer, or if you have questions about the evening. Click here for more info 

Nature Center Ribbon Cutting

Please join use for the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new YMCA Nature Center and SEF STEM Laboratory, June 12, 6-7pm at YMCA Camp Sloper, 1000 East Street in Southington.


The Southington Education Foundation provided $20,000 towards construction of the nature center. The 750 square-foot building, previously a pavilion, has been enclosed for year-round use.


Additionally, the Nature Center building has the potential for expanding the Science at Sloper initiative. Currently, all fourth graders are bused to this site in the fall and spring; in the future students may be able to participate in winter enrichment activities.

SEF Receives the Order of the Blue Knight Award

L-R: Tony Sheffy, Jan Galati, Martin Semmel, Alan DeBisschop

The Southington Education Foundation was chosen to receive the Order of the Blue Knight Award at the May 7th Academic Awards Evening at Southington High School.


Who receives this award? What does it signify? "Each year SHS honors members of the community who have contributed significant amounts of their personal time to help our school. Through their volunteerism and dedication, they help make SHS a better place," said Marty Semmel, SHS Principal. "I think you folks do terrific work and I am proud that we can recognize the work in this way."


Alan DeBischop and Tony Sheffy joined Jan Galati to accept the award. "This award recognizes the hard work that SEF members have put forth over the past five years, and I'm happy to accept on their behalf," said Jan.

Read the full story here.

WannaBees Take the Trophy at 4th Annual Spelling Bee

L-R: John Zimmerman, Joe Furey, Dave Pestillo, Joe Peccerillo

The WannaBees ("Brothers from Other Mothers" Dave Pestillo, Joe

Peccerillo and John Zimmerman) took home the coveted trophy at the Fourth Annual SEF Community Spelling Bee, Wednesday, April 23 at Southington High School. 


The following teams made it to the final round: Hip-Bees (Sherri DiNello, Sue Euley and Patty Smolinski from the Board of Education), Rotabees (Kate Sirignano, Kris Noli and Gloria Brown from the Rotary Club), Profits for SEF (Steve Proffitt, Mathew Proffitt and Mark Proffitt) and Bee-Knighted (Helen Crowley, Rick Terino and Kim DiFusco from SHS Administration). 


With 25 teams participating SEF raised over $8,000 to benefit education in Southington. Thanks to all who participated with special thanks to our Bee coordinator Alan DeBisschop, Bee referee Beth Pestillo, Bee Master Joe Furey, and Bee Judges Dale Reidinger and Stephanie Lawlor.


A special shout out to our corporate sponsor, the Hospital of Central Connecticut, for their financial support of $1,000! 


And what was the word that won the night for The WannaBees? IRIDESCENT. 


View photos from the event here.

Big Thank You to Rogers Orchards!

L-R: Co-VP Peter Rogers, Jan Galati, Jack Parczyk, Co-VP Greg Parzych, Martha Rogers Parzyck

The SEF received a $5,000 donation recently from Rogers Orchards. This contribution supports the SEF's ongoing mission to provide enriching educational opportunities for students in the Southington Public School system.


Greg Parzych, Co-Vice President of Rogers Orchard, Inc. said he contacted the SEF because, "We have been looking for ways to support our local schools in a meaningful way that the educators can take advantage of". Parzych indicated that each year the business chooses a cause to support.


Jan Galati, chairman of the SEF, expressed her appreciation to the Rogers Orchards family for their generous financial support. She went on to say that this funding will contribute to ongoing projects such as the Science at Sloper district-wide program for fourth graders as well as new initiatives such as the Virtual STEM University which is soon to be launched.

SEF Celebrates Five

The Southington Education Foundation celebrates its fifth anniversary this year with a renewed commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for students, specifically with regard to advancements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction.


Since its founding in 2009, the SEF has awarded more than $130,000 in grants to educators in the Southington Public School system. Programs funded have included an elementary school science lab, an outdoor teaching garden, a salt water aquarium for marine biology studies, African drums and a classroom planetarium. In all, more than 50 grants have been disbursed.


Read the complete story by Dawn Miceli.

Dr. Joseph V. Erardi, Jr. Scholarship

The SEF  is proud to recognize Dr. Joseph V. Erardi, Jr. for his work on behalf of the Southington Education Foundation. 


In 2009 Dr. Erardi brought together members of the community in order to establish the Southington Education Foundation, whose mission is in part to instill a love of learning. Serving as Ex-officio Director, Dr. Erardi has supported projects and initiatives all in benefit of the students of the Southington Public Schools.


So, it is fitting that the Southington Education Foundation continues the legacy of Dr. Erardi through an annual scholarship for a deserving Southington High School student. The $1,000 scholarship will be granted to a graduating Southington High School senior in good standing.  The student must be continuing his/her education, be civic-minded and demonstrate the desire to help school, community and/or country.


At a reception March 24, members of the SEF board presented Dr. Erardi with a plaque describing the scholarship. "I was deeply touched by this scholarship," Joe said the day after receiving the plaque. "I often tell colleagues, family, and friends that Southington has a greater percentage of caring and committed to the cause people than any other place I have ever worked. Your generosity during my tenure for K-12 learning should be played forward to every community throughout the country as the formula was not magical... simply hard and smart work. I am never speechless. I was last night."

STEM Scholarship
SEF  is committed to bringing increased awareness and recognition to the importance of STEM-based experiential learning. Integrating the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into cross-curriculum studies is essential for our 21st century students.


This is why SEF is excited to be able to provide an annual scholarship devoted to STEM.


The $1,000 Southington Education Foundation STEM Scholarship will be offered to a graduating Southington High School senior in good standing with a desire to major or minor in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.