Mobilizing Generosity 

to Support Education

About Us

Since 1997, the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation has existed to mobilize the community’s generosity and to support the amazing educators and students within the Saint Louis Public Schools. Over the years, we’ve provided schools with more than $20 million in resources.

The St. Louis Public Schools Foundation is the District’s strategy partner with the unique mission of dedicating 100% of its funds and efforts to District strategy. The Foundation works closely with the Saint Louis Public Schools Superintendent, District leadership, and schools to ensure that the community’s resources support District priorities.

Mission Statement

The mission of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation is to engage and focus local, regional and national support to promote educational success for St. Louis Public School District students.

The SLPS Foundation achieves its mission by:

  1. Building great partnerships and community support – from individuals, to nonprofit partners, to funders – for the St. Louis Public Schools students
  2. Cultivating donations and other resources to support strategic priorities that help students, schools and teachers in the District
  3. Stewarding corporate and private donations for scholarships and strategic priorities
  4. Investing private dollars in the District to support four strategic priorities:
    • Early Childhood Education
    • College and Career Readiness
    • Great Leaders
    • Student Wellbeing

Operating Principles

To ensure program integrity and good stewardship, the Foundation:

  1. Focuses on strategic areas identified by district leadership, educators, and students as key levers for facilitating student success;
  2. Invites investment only in evidence-based programs that have buy-in from both the District and School level and for which there is a clear evaluation plan;
  3. Demonstrates fiscal responsibility and high-level transparency.

Our Team

  • Jane Donahue
    Jane Donahue President

    Jane Donahue was named President of the St. Louis Public Foundation in October 2013. Prior to her role at the SLPS Foundation, Ms. Donahue spent 9 years at Deaconess Foundation, where she led a capacity building grant making program, the Deaconess Impact Partnership, for child-serving nonprofits in St. Louis. Ms. Donahue is deeply engaged in promoting the potential of low-income students throughout St. Louis.

  • Donna M. Woods
    Donna M. Woods FUND MANAGER

    Donna Woods joined the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation in July 2014, after retiring from a lifetime of distinguished service in the St. Louis Public Schools.  Since 1996, she worked as Executive Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent.

  • Emily Zevely
    Emily Zevely Development Director

    Emily Zevely comes to the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation from CCSSO in Washington D.C., where she led the National Teacher of the Year Program for 4 years. In this role, she cultivated philanthropic support to create opportunities for teachers. As a former teacher with the District and native St. Louisan, Emily’s heart belongs in St. Louis. She is eager to work with community members, families, and partners to ensure equitable educational opportunities for students.

  • Kaleigh Lawrence, MSW, LCSW
    Kaleigh Lawrence, MSW, LCSW Director of Programs

    Kaleigh Lawrence joined the St Louis Public Schools Foundation staff in February of 2019, after working as the Founding Manager of Student Services and Social Work a Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls. Kaleigh began her career as a Teach for America corps member and elementary teacher at Lyon @ Blow, where she developed a passion for educational equity and supporting young people. Kaleigh looks forward to partnering with stakeholders to make student centered decisions.

Board of Directors

Tamila N. Taylor, Chair, Consultant
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Robert L. Newmark, Vice Chair, Managing Partner
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, LLP

Peter Werner, Vice Chair
NonProfit Consultant

Linda Bearman, Secretary, Vice President
Ingenium Partners, Inc.

R.D. Todd Baur, Treasurer, Principal
Conway Investment Research, LLC


Erin Braddock, Employment Counsel
Enterprise Holdings, Inc.

Keith Brooks, Executive Director
Big League Impact

Jomo Castro, Regional Director, External Affairs AT&T

Amita Chinnadurai, Risk Management Leader, Edward Jones

Vanessa Cooksey, Director of Strategic Communications & Student Engagement
Washington University

Caryn L. Fine, Director and Assistant General Counsel
Ameren Services

Atul Kamra, Managing Partner

Geoffrey Ratliff, Financial Advisor
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Rachel Seward, Vice President
MiTek Industries

Suzanne Spence, Community Volunteer

Pam Trapp, Community Volunteer

Shawn Williams, Principal
Mallinkrodt Academy, SLPS

LaToya Wilson, Pediatric Dentist, St. Louis Children’s Hospital


  • “We have a tremendously diverse, resourceful and resilient student body. We just strive to give them an equal playing field. We want the same opportunities. The SLPS Foundation exists to bridge the gap that is ever widening between students from different socio-economic classes.”

    Jane Donahue President of SLPS Foundation
  • We want our students to walk into environments that spark imagination and confidence."

    Clarissa Ross SLPS Early Childhood Education Coordinator
  • “If we can put an excellent principal in every one of our schools, we can really accelerate progress.”

    Dr. Kelvin R. Adams Superintendent, St. Louis Public School District
  • “When I first started the program, students segregated themselves by high school, but we’ve come together as a family…we’ve formed study groups, shared advice, and most importantly, passed Calculus!  The Early College Academy has been the highlight of my high school experience.”

    Arric Lucas SLPS graduate
  • “We know our kids come from poverty and violence. Added to the normal stresses of family life these kids deal with unpredictable relocation, audible gunfire, and/or violent crime. They need to learn coping skills to work through the stress and trauma they face everyday, so they can succeed in college and in life.”

    Krista Germann Northwest’s Social Justice Council’s Advisor and Social Studies Teacher
  • “Saint Louis Public Schools’ primary mission is to educate our students………. but we know they need to be healthy to learn.”

    Dr. Kelvin R. Adams Superintendent, St. Louis Public School District
  • “We keep striving to make sure all of our students have the preparation and adult guidance they need to create their own path forward.”

    Dr. Beth Bender Associate Superintendent of College and Career Readiness

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