About the Foundation
The Princeton Education Foundation (PEF) is a not-for-profit foundation created to support excellence in our children's education in the Princeton City School district. The PEF funds scholarships, programs and purchases over & above what the school district provides, in order to maintain the "Princeton Advantage". In addition, the PEF supports restoring, maintaining, and building Princeton Pride.
In 2011 a retired teacher who taught one year at Princeton High School bequeathed $250,000 to the Princeton City School District. The money was designated to create a Foundation to benefit the children in Princeton City Schools. The gentleman stated in his will that he gave the money because Princeton gave him his start in his career.
In October 2011 Princeton Administrator Mike Wilson was appointed as the Director of the Princeton Education Foundation. The Foundation Group, located in Nashville, Tennessee, was contracted to write the by-laws and file the paperwork for the formation of the Princeton Education Foundation as a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status.
Mr. Wilson began to recruit Trustees for the newly formed foundation. The first meeting of the Princeton Education Foundation took place in January 2012. There were nine original Trustees and Vicki Hoppe was elected as the Foundation’s secretary. The office for the Foundation was located in Princeton High School on Chester Road.
The first order of business for the Foundation was to sponsor the Viking 50 dinner on behalf of the Princeton Scholarship Committee. The dinner took place in February of 2012. The Viking 50 got its name in the 1980s when Princeton played Moeller in football each year. For fifty dollars a patron would get a ticket to the football game and a dinner prior to the game. The proceeds from the dinner were given to the Princeton Scholarship Fund. The dinner moved to February when the Princeton vs. Moeller football series was terminated. The Viking 50 had slowly dwindled in attendance over the years. In 2011 there were 40 people in attendance in the Princeton High School Cafeteria. The first time the event was sponsored by the Foundation in 2012, the event grew to an attendance of 160 and was held in the Princeton high School Cafeteria. A survey of Princeton supporters revealed that they wanted to move the dinner to an off-campus location and include more auction items.
In 2013 the Viking 50 was given a new name, “The Princeton Pride Gala.” The event was held in February with 322 people in attendance. Karen Forgus, Princeton Alumnus and Vice-president of the Cincinnati Reds, was the emcee. In 2014 the Gala moved to the Sharonville Convention Center and attendance grew to 678 people. Princeton Alumnus and Fox News Anchor Tracey Johnson was the emcee. The Princeton Pride Gala continues to be the premier event and primary fundraiser for the Princeton Education Foundation.
In August 2014 Mike Wilson returned to his role as a building administrator and a committee of Trustees was formed to hire a new Director. The committee chose Princeton Alumnus and former Wyoming Foundation Director Pat Seuberling. Ms. Seuberling took over as Foundation Director in August 2014 and served in that capacity for one year. The Foundation office was relocated to the Princeton Administration Center on Cottingham Drive in August 2014. In August 2015 Princeton Alumnus Ed Cunningham was elected as President of the Princeton Education Foundation and is the first volunteer to lead the Foundation.
Mr. Cunningham held the position of President until 2016 when Alumnus Mr. Jon Myron-Simons was elected. Under Jon's tenure as President, the PEF continued to move forward and to do great things.