October 2021
President's Message
The PPS Foundation works hard to bring community partners into our schools. Whether it's providing in kind donations, speaking to our Horizons Clubs, internships, or being an Adopter-a-School partner, we help connect you with our school district. Check out the video below to hear some of the ways our partners are involved in our schools!
This newsletter highlights ways to get involved and support the Peoria Public Schools Foundation. Short on time? Read the list below for a quick summary on how you can help or scroll through the newsletter for more details!

Ways to get involved and support the Peoria Public Schools Foundation

  • Volunteer to help pour drink samples at Junction City's Wine and Whiskey Walk that benefits the PPS Foundation (or buy a ticket to the event!).

  • Sign up to speak about your career path at one of our Horizons Club meetings.

  • Learn more about the members of our school district who are making a positive impact on our students - specifically this month - Mark Bills Middle School secretary, Mrs. Kathy Shorty.

  • Listen to our next Buzz Chats episode on Thursday, October 14th.

  • Congratulate our October SHERO of the month - Janet Ham!

  • Purchase ad space on the PPS Stadium Sign - proceeds benefit the PPS Foundation and also the school district's effort to revitalize the stadium property.

  • Place a cheese or nuts order for the Kiwanis Club of South-West Peoria's annual fundraiser. (30% of the proceeds benefit the PPS Foundation!)

  • Donate to our student scholarship program.

  • Say thank you to our community partners - in particular - Starbucks, Hy-Vee and K2 Benefits!
The 9th Annual Wine and Whiskey Walk is once again back. Tickets are $40 and are on sale now. We're also seeking volunteers to help with this fun event. The event will be held on Saturday, October 16th from 1-6 pm at the Junction City Shopping Center and all proceeds benefit the Peoria Public Schools Foundation. You won't want to miss it!

What is the annual Wine and Whiskey Walk?

The Wine and Whiskey Walk is a great way to spend your Saturday afternoon and raise money for public education. With over 30 samplings of different wines and whiskeys available, participants are encouraged to spend the day at Junction City exploring the shops, having tasty treats, and enjoying live entertainment. Souvenir wine tasting glass, raffle and door prize giveaways and free swag bags from Junction City are just some of the extra perks you receive for attending. This event is brought to you by Junction City Shopping Center, Born2Events and the Peoria Public Schools Foundation.
How can you help?

Volunteers are needed at the tasting tables to pour drink samples and to setup/cleanup. Click the button below to sign up for a shift. We'd also love for you to participate in the event as well. Click below to purchase a ticket today!
Horizons Needs YOU!
Sign-Up now for Fall Career Speaking Opportunities

We are thrilled that Horizons Club, our middle school career exploration program, is back for a new school year. However, to make this experience impactful for our students we need YOUR help. We are seeking career speakers to share their story with our students via zoom and in-person, as able. Speaking slots are available at all PPS middle schools each day of the week. We would love to share ALL careers with our students, so we hope you can join in on this important volunteer effort. 
If you have any questions about being a career speaker or the Horizons program in general, please contact Trish O’Shaughnessy at patricia.oshaughnessy@ 
Adopt-A-School Program:
Principal for the Day
The principals at Richwoods and Harrison schools were accompanied by local business and community leaders, dubbed “Principal Partners”, earlier this week as part of the PPS Foundation’s first "Principal for the Day" pilot event.

The program allows community members to shadow a principal over the course of a morning and gives them an up-close look at the Peoria Public School District and helps get businesses interested in the Foundation's Adopt-a-School program.

During their time as Principal Partners, participants had a chance to learn firsthand about the challenges and rewards local school principals navigate every day. We appreciate the community members who graciously gave of their mornings to see the dedication, passion, and positivity that is alive in our schools among principals, teachers, and our amazing students. 

Over lunch, partners reflected on their morning at the schools and heard from Superintendent Dr. Kherat on the importance of school-community partnerships to ensure each school in our community is a place where students, staff and families can thrive.

Participant DeMarcus Hamilton said of his experience, "Thank you all for the opportunity to return to Harrison School and spend some time with Principal Daniels and her students. This program is an excellent idea to further get the community involved and brainstorm ways that we can continue to pour into our youth. I look forward to being able to contribute in the future".

Participant Amanda Campbell describe her experience by saying "This morning I had the honor of job shadowing the Richwood's High School principal, Carly Emken. There are no words to express how impressed I am by Carly, her staff and the kids in the building who were polite and respectful".

If you are interested in participating in being a “Principal for the Day” in the future, please contact
Pictured on Left: Harrison's Principal Mrs. Daniels with participants - Jonathan Williams and DeMarcus Hamiliton

Pictured on Right: Participant Amanda Campbell, Richwoods Principal Mrs. Emken, PPS Foundation's Trish O'Shaughnessy and Participant Ed Emken

This month we caught up with Mrs. Kathy Shorty, who is a secretary at Mark Bills Middle School. Mrs. Shorty has been working in the Peoria Public Schools district for 16 years. Among her many job responsibilities, she is also one of the first faces you seen when you enter the school. We're so glad to share her answers below so that you can get to know her better.

Thanks for talking with us, Mrs. Shorty! Do you have a favorite meal?

One of my favorite meals is BBQ. I also like mac-n-cheese, baked beans and deviled eggs.
So what's on your car stereo on your way to work?

106.3 to listen to Gary Moore’s talk show or R&B.

What's the last show you binged and loved?

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do I watch the Parkers, the Voice, the Game Show channel, the Animal Planet channel, House Remodel... stuff like that. I may have binged on The Have and the Have Nots.

Do you have a favorite thing to do during the Fall?

I like to sit around the fire pit with family and friends and make smores with my grandchildren.  

What advice would you give to your high school self?

Stay focused. Do your absolute best. Enjoy school. Go straight to college and stay on campus. Be active and health conscious. Set goals. Think before you act. Enjoy life. Remember what your parents taught you. Always keep God in your life.

Thanks for chatting with us, Mrs. Shorty. We appreciate your dedication to Peoria Public Schools and all you do to help Mark Bills run smoothly!
Check Out the Latest Buzz Chat Video!
Last month, Cindy Morris chatted with PPS parents Janet Ham, Jaleesha Allen and Amanda Campbell. Check out the latest video below to hear about topics relevant to PPS parents across the school district.

Each month we will be connecting with different members of our community to talk about our public schools and how they interact with current events in Peoria. All chats can be viewed live on our Facebook page on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM. Not able to catch it live? No problem, the videos will stay posted on our page so scroll through to watch any you missed.
Our October SHERO is community volunteer and PPS parent, Janet Ham. Janet is the past president of Whitter Primary School's PTO, where her three boys attend school. She also recently spearheaded a capitol campaign and West Bluff community effort to install a new playground on the Whittier campus. This effort not only enhances the experience for all Whittier students but helped created a needed community space for all West Bluff children. Janet is wonderful to work with and we are so appreciative of all that she does to improve our community. Congrats and thank you for all you do, Janet!
Ad spots are available on the new electronic sign located on the PPS Stadium property. The sign has great visibility for both eastbound and westbound traffic on War Memorial Drive. $300 per week or $1,000 per month spots are available. Artwork must be in a 2100 x 900 jpg file. The sign is 14 feet wide by 6 feet tall.

All proceeds for sign advertisement go directly to help Peoria Public School's campaign to improve the stadium property. Please message with any questions.
Another Way to Support the PPS Foundation
We are excited to once again partner with the Kiwanis Club of South-West Peoria for their annual fundraiser. To help support both our organizations, please place an order today! Order forms can be printed from the button below. Once completed, mail order form and payment to the PPS Foundation's office. Feel free to e-mail with any questions.
PPS Foundation's Scholarship Program
Did you know that the PPS Foundation administers 20 scholarships for graduating PPS seniors each year? The more funds we have available, the more scholarships we can award for each of these scholarships. Last year we were able to provide 27 scholarship awards to help continue the education of these PPS students. We know our students are capable of great things, and we want to help them achieve their goals! Students can begin to apply for each of these scholarships on November 1st. We have seen first hand how much these awards mean to the students who receive them. Help us grow this program so that we can provide funds to as many students as possible. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Click HERE for more details on each scholarship!
PPS Foundation's Board of Directors:
Dan Adler, Andre Allen, Ruth Bittner, Solivian Dismuke, Maarten de Haas, Alex Elger, Daniel Musisi, Cheryl Sanfilip, and Cathy Wiggers

PPS Foundation's Staff:
Cindy Morris - President
Jen Adler - Administrative Director
Sarah Oakford - Adopt-A-School Coordinator
Trish O'Shaughnessy - Director, Community Engagement & Horizons Program
Annalee Anderson - Career Tech Advocate
Sara Montgomery - Career Tech Advocate
Olivia Smith - Career Tech Advocate
Matt Violet - Horizons and See It Be It Career Exploration Programming Logistics Coordinator