Schools Plus is a partnership of concerned parents, educators, and community businesses that have come together with the shared belief that co-curricular activities are not expendable luxuries in the education of our youth. Rather, they are vital enrichment activities that help to develop qualities of leadership, teamwork, tolerance, and perseverance that are the foundation stones of civilized society.
By offering our young people continued opportunities to develop their talents, we help improve our community and assure a better future for those who will come after us.
Schools Plus is an all volunteer group of Santa Rosa citizens whose mission is funding sports, music, art, drama and other enrichment programs for students in Santa Rosa’s public secondary schools.
Organized as a California, not-for-profit-corporation, Schools Plus consists of an operations board and an endowment committee. Both are supported by community businesses and by city government. We operate without any paid administrative staff.
"The world our children inhabit is so different, radically so, than the on that we inherited. An increasingly open global economy requires -- absolutely requires -- that all of us be better educated, more skilled, more adaptable and more capable of working collaboratively. We must not forget that no nation can remain great without a truly well educated people. No nation can remain good without transmitting the fundamental values of a civil society to each new generation. No nation can remain strong unless it puts its young people at the forefront of its concerns."
- William E. Brock from An American Imperative
- President: Brendan Kunkle
- Vice President: Tracy Weitzenberg
- Secretary: Patrick Stelzner
- VP of Marketing: Windy Swindt
- Treasurer: Brian Kilkenny
- Chairman of the Board: John Bribiescas
- Jeff Carniglia
- Amy Chiurco
- Kelly Chiurco
- Laura Clelland
- Suzi Donavon
- Jennifer Foster
- Sally Frey
- Ted Grafe
- Jon Graves
- Ashley Haskins
- Keith LaVine
- Adam Lewis
- Jason Lea
- Rick Niles
- Jill K. Peterson
- Katie Ruppe
- Clint Shubel
- Christine Snyder
- Patrick Stelzner
- Tracy Weitzenberg
- Paul Zamarian
Schools Plus is currently in need of Volunteers.
Join us and help make a difference in our community. Click Here to volunteer.
Please contact us with any questions you may have.
Schools Plus Endowment Committee is made up of community leaders, concerned parents and businesses that serve the greater Santa Rosa community.
Endowment Committee Members
- John Bribiescas
- Jeff Carniglia
- Matt Davis
- Libby Hutton
- Diane Keegan
- Phillip H. Kelly
- Bruce A. Kelm
- Maisie McCarthy
- Wayne R. Wolski
Since 1990, Schools Plus has allocated over $4 million to Santa Rosa’s public schools for sports and arts programs, making a positive, collective impact on more than 15,000 students annually.
In late 2010, when the Santa Rosa School Board announced the elimination of spring high school and middle school sports for 2011, in concert with City Schools, we doubled-down on our mission to guarantee spring sports would not be eliminated, that the current generation of students will have all the opportunities of past generations. This is the third time Schools Plus, in partnership with SRCS, has been instrumental in saving high school sports in Santa Rosa, thus saving the North Bay League.
A recent city schools budget analysis states, “As reported at the time of the second interim report, the District is faced with expenditure reductions over $8 million in 2012-2013…the District must once again prepare for significant expenditure reductions.” Subsequently, future cuts threaten elimination of all high school sports programs, not just spring sports.
Schools Plus has faith that Santa Rosa will not allow this to happen. As we move forward, we’re proud to introduce to the community our new and expanded board of directors.* This all volunteer, blue ribbon group is committed to sustained efforts to save high school and middle school sports for as long as it takes. Please note that through the entirety of our twenty-two (22) years, fifty percent (50%) of funds raised have always gone to art and music programs in Santa Rosa’s public secondary schools.
In 2013, Schools Plus allocated $160,000.00 to the SRCS five middle schools, the five comprehensive senior high schools and Ridgway (alternative) High School.
SCHOOLS PLUS BOARD MEMBERS NEEDED!
Contact Us Today and Become a Schools Plus Board Member or Volunteer!
We have a wonderful group of concerned parents, educators and community members who comprise our Board and together we raise much-needed funds for Santa Rosa area school enrichment programs.
The commitment is a one-hour evening meeting once or twice a month and it’s a lot of fun. We raise funds for a VERY worthwhile cause, and you'll be making a real difference in our community and in the lives of our children.
"The fate we impose on our children today shall be the fate of all of us tomorrow."
- Robert Kennedy
2014 President Brendan Kunkle
"Year upon year, since the rebirth of the Schools Plus board in 2010, the organization and its board have raised more and more needed funds and greater awareness for the need to support sports, art, drama and music programs within the Santa Rosa School District. In 2014, we again exceeded our record total for allocations to each of the public high schools and middle schools in the district. This year, we are allocating a total of $189,500.00 to these schools. Our ability to do so is due to the hard work of the board and the incredible outpouring of support from our wonderful community. Each dollar has a tangible effect and makes a significant difference in the lives of kids participating in these programs within the schools.
Like many who have come before me, I am honored to be this year's board President. I too grew up here, attending Rincon Valley Junior High School (that's what it was called back then), and Santa Rosa High School. I had the great benefit of playing sports in middle and high school. The lessons learned and friends made within these programs were a huge part of my adolescent experience. My wife and I made a conscious decision to raise our two kids here, and to send them to public schools within this district. I have witnessed firsthand the diminishing school district budgets over the years, and yet the amazing work of students, teachers, coaches and administrators within the district who must deal with such constraints that were not present when I was growing up. It is important to me, and every member of our board, that we address this problem directly in order to allow the schools the opportunity to continue providing these vital co-curricular programs to the kids, and in turn to allow these same kids to prosper as a result.
I urge each and every parent to recognize the importance of these programs within our schools and to do something about it, whether that be by way of volunteering time, money or resources to the cause. I am proud to be a part of a community that has demonstrated such understanding and support of Schools Plus and the schools in general. I am also proud to be a part of the incredible Schools Plus board, made up of dedicated, diverse, interesting and hardworking people who are as a group single minded in the pursuit of continually improving opportunities for our kids. I look forward to another great year ahead."
Brendan played varsity baseball and ran varsity cross country for Santa Rosa High School. He is the managing partner of Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery, an all-purpose law firm in Santa Rosa. He and his wife Claudine have two children, Gavin and Grace, who attend school in the Santa Rosa School District.
2013 President Jeff Carniglia
"It is absolutely amazing what our current board has been able to accomplish since 2010. During 2013, we were able to make our largest allocation in our 23 year history. Allocating over $160,000 to Santa Rosa Middle and High Schools this year, we have made a statement that Schools Plus, in conjunction with our great Santa Rosa community, will not allow Art and Sports programs to be eliminated without a fight.
Like Jill, I was also playing high school sports when Schools Plus was founded and I could not imagine what it would have been like if these programs were not available to me in my high school years.
Since 2010, we have grown our second generation board from 12 to 22 people who all share the same like-mindedness. To volunteer our time and resources to help keep Santa Rosa middle and high school art, music, and sports programs alive and thriving, so that the next generation of students can be afforded the same, if not better, opportunities that we were.
Having two kids of my own and knowing how vital these opportunities are to the community, made it a simple choice to join the board of Schools Plus in 2010. I want to personally thank everyone on the board and our endowment committee, with a special thank you to our Chairman, John Bribiescas, for everything that you all do to make Santa Rosa a better place to live."
Jeff played baseball, basketball, and football for Montgomery High School. Jeff was in public accounting for 13 years and is now a controller for Verihealth ambulance. He and his wife, Melissa have two children in our schools.
2012 President Jill Peterson
“Schools Plus has been a part of my life for the past 20 years. I was in middle school when my mother, Diane Keegan, helped start Schools Plus. There was a huge need to help save sports, music and arts programs back then and there still is now. It's hard to believe all these years have passed and we are still facing the same crisis. It's such a shame.
Thank goodness Schools Plus came along when it did. I can’t even begin to think about what my high school and middle school experiences would have been like without those important programs that were such a huge part of my school life. These opportunities taught me so much about who I was and helped me develop into who I am today. Now that I have children of my own, the thought of them being faced with the same situation of losing these activities in their school makes me sick. I knew that I needed to help by taking an active role in making sure that we take steps to make sure these programs are not lost. Joining the Schools Plus Board was the best decision I could have made. It feels good to be pro-active, and put myself behind something that I believe in so strongly. Just like we have been doing for the past 22 years, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to keeping sports, arts and music programs in Santa Rosa’s secondary schools. I am so proud of what our second generation board has already done in the past two years, and I look forward to what's ahead for Schools Plus and our kids.”
Incoming Schools Plus President Jill was an outstanding high school soccer player. Jill is a specialist with the Roseland School District. She and her husband Dave have three children in our schools.
2011 President Ashley Haskins
"A rally call to the community rang out in early 2010 to save high school spring sports. I joined Schools Plus dedicated to not letting high school and middle school spring sports disappear in the short run, but also to prevent any of our school sports and arts programs from being cut in the long run. In less than five months, a newly formed group of people committed to the same mission organized the first, A Night Under the Lights gala event! The goal was to raise enough money to save high school and middle school spring sports programs. We had a great event, but no clear leadership roles had been defined [within the new group]. So, when the dust settled at the beginning of 2011, we went about the task of electing new officers to the regenerated board…I want to thank all of you for the privilege of being president for 2011. I have learned a lot and enjoyed every minute! You are an amazing group of professionals and it has been an honor to work with you. I look forward to supporting Jill (Peterson) as she takes on the role of president. Thank you so much again for your support last year, and all you do for our kids! You rock!"
Ashley is a third grade teacher at Hidden Valley Elementary School. She and her husband Dean have two children in our schools.
Statistics verify that students involved in sports have very good attendance.