Visionary donors, Jane and Mike Zavasky, sought out the Catholic Foundation of Northwest Pennsylvania as a partner to make a meaningful impact on Catholic schools through charitable giving.

Jane is a retired teacher who taught in the North East school district for over 30 years and Mike is retired from a senior level position at Erie Insurance. Both are experienced benefactors, having previously established college scholarships for North East school district students.

Facilitated by Catholic Foundation staff, Jane and Mike investigated giving opportunities by meeting with school leaders to begin to understand the greatest needs of the Erie Catholic School System. During conversations that drew out their interests as well as the issues that challenge Catholic schools, their plan came together. The Zavaskys explain, "We concluded that the best way to help future generations would be to help Catholic teachers succeed."

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Students at Our Lady of Peace School working on a science lab with their teacher

Their decision led to the Erie Catholic School System Endowment for Teachers, established to fund initiatives that help to hire, reward and retain professional teachers. The greatest opportunity to ensure the viability of Catholic education is having resources which enable the hiring and retention of outstanding teachers. These outstanding teachers help make Erie Catholic elementary schools strong.

This endowment will support Catholic school teachers as well as support the long-term viability of Catholic schools in the Erie area. This is a win-win: the endowment fund will grow steadily over time under the careful stewardship of the Catholic Foundation board of directors and generate annual grants to initiatives that support teachers. Jane and Mike chose the Catholic Foundation because, “we feel confident that our gifts will be managed wisely and will perpetuate our vision for future generations.”

Jane and Mike describe themselves as products of a strong educational foundation and they are deeply devoted to their Catholic upbringing. "We believe if we can help others receive a good educational foundation, they too can be successful in life and affect the future. We know Catholic teachers build that foundation in children every day, both spiritually and academically."

To make the Erie Catholic School System Endowment for Teachers impactful, Jane and Mike introduced an exciting $100,000 matching gift opportunity. Gifts of cash and appreciated securities are welcome, as are gifts from IRAs and distributions from Donor Advised Funds. You can also donate with your credit card online by clicking the button below. Inquire to the Catholic Foundation for more information.

“We want our gift to endure and grow. Perpetuating a strong educational foundation within the Catholic community is a mission we believe will support generations to come.”
— Jane and Mike Zavasky, Donors
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