About the Foundation

The Columbia Public Schools Foundation (CPSF) began on the premise that every child needs a strong foundation. Created as an endowment for Columbia’s youth, CPSF supports quality programs that directly and positively impact student learning.

CPSF is an independent, not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors. CPSF volunteers represent community members, business professionals, educators and parents. We were established to collect and distribute contributions from individuals, businesses, and organizations. Our goals are to:

  • Enhance academic excellence in the public schools by providing funding not available through public sources
  • Expand learning opportunities for all our children
  • Stimulate creativity and innovation
  • Enrich the schools’ basic curriculum
  • Encourage community and business involvement in the public schools

Sometimes people wonder why this extra funding is needed since our public schools are supported with tax dollars. The simple truth is that those tax dollars barely cover “fixed overhead”: salaries, benefits, utilities, transportation, maintenance, etc. There are very few dollars left to invest in innovative teaching materials and experiences; sometimes even important basics such as library books aren’t adequately funded. Your donation to CPSF really make a difference for kids in the classroom.

CPSF asks our entire community, individuals and businesses, to participate in our campaign to build and strengthen our endowment. With continued support we will achieve our goal establishing a substantial endowment capable of funding the worthy enrichment and enhancement project requests that we receive each year. Your donation to CPSF will be used to fund learning experiences for Columbia Public School students.

You can find our 2013 IRS 990 form here.  Please Contact Us for prior years’ IRS 990 form(s).

Susie Adams
Jan Mees
Michelle Baumstark
Peter Stiepleman
Jolene Schulz

Jolene Schulz earned an associate’s degree from Christian College in 1961, followed by a bachelor’s and master’s of education from the University of Missouri. She has taught kindergarteners and college students alike, including some at Columbia College, where she was an adjunct professor from 1998 to 2001. Jolene served 34 years as an administrator for the Columbia Public Schools. She has held board positions with many organizations, including the National Association of Partners in Education, Central Missouri Leadership, Missouri Community Service Commission (appointed by the Governor), National Association of States Service Association (as a representative for the State of Missouri), Columbia Junior Achievement, Ronald McDonald House Charities of mid-Missouri, Community Foundation of Central Missouri, Voluntary Action Center and Mid-Missouri Tourism. She is also a Columbia Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her work and dedication to the community, including the University of Missouri Faculty/Alumni Award, the Missouri Hazel Riback Volunteer Director of the Year Award for the State of Missouri and the Columbia College Alumni Association’s Community Service Award, among others. Jolene is currently the co-owner of Tiger Trolley Tours.

Jolene is proud to serve on the Columbia Public Schools Foundation Board as this service allows her to “continue my lifelong commitment to enriching public education and expanding learning opportunities for all students. By encouraging the business and general community to be more involved with the Foundation, I can help increase resources for teachers and opportunities for students in the Columbia Public Schools.”

Les Borgmeyer

Les Borgmeyer is the vice president of sales for Columbia Daily Tribune/ Tribune Publishing Company. He manages the print and digital advertising departments for the Columbia Daily Tribune and the commercial print sales division for Tribune Publishing Company.  He recently assumed management of the Tribune marketing services division for the Tribune. Les is the president for the Missouri Ad Managers Association and serves on the Advertising, Marketing and Communications Committee for the Missouri Press Association. He teaches an MBA entrepreneurship class for the University of Missouri, evening MBA and undergraduate courses at Columbia College in marketing and management, and has taught marketing for William Woods University’s undergraduate, online and MBA programs.

This is Les’ 2nd time to serve on the board for CPSF. Les serves on the board because “public education is the foundation by which we build the future of Columbia. All three of my children graduated from CPS and have all achieved masters and professional degrees. My wife, Ann, had a wonderful career as an elementary teacher and Reading Recovery specialist. I saw the dedication she had in helping children and have experienced that same dedication with most of the teachers I have met with CPS. Serving on the board of CPSF allows me to ensure future generations will have similar great experiences with support from our Foundation.”

Tom Rose
Treasurer

Tom Rose graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine and has been in private small animal practice in Columbia ever since. He is managing partner of Rolling Hills Veterinary Hospitals in Columbia. Tom has been a longtime volunteer with Columbia Public Schools, both as a mentor to several students throughout the district and as a Partner in Education with Mill Creek Elementary. He also was a member of the CPS Board of Education from 2007-2014, serving as president from 2011-2013.

Tom joined the CPSF board because he believes the Foundation is a “vital part of helping the school district achieve its goals and overall mission of providing an excellent education for all students.” He believes that high-quality early childhood experiences are the key to success in school and in life. Tom feels the CPSF board has a “significant role to play in assisting CPS with establishing and maintaining relevant programming that will lead to greater student achievement and success.”

Sally Silvers
Secretary

Sally Silvers taught special education in the St. Louis County Special School District and then with the Columbia Public Schools and as an instructor at the Department of Special Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Sally holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and education from Washington University and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University and the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award (now the Hero Award) for service to the community. Sally serves as vice president of the board of directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri.

Sally is a founding member and longtime board member of the Columbia Public Schools Foundation. “Twenty years later, the contributions of so many have impacted the lives of countless students and educators within the Columbia Public Schools. I can only imagine what will be accomplished in the next twenty years—and beyond.”

Cindy Mustard

Cindy Mustard is co-owner of Tiger Trolley Tours and is the former executive director of Voluntary Action Center in Columbia. A Columbia native, she attended the University Lab School, Jefferson Junior High School and Hickman High School, and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She serves on the board for the Community Foundation of Central Missouri, the Missouri Symphony Society and the Family Impact Center, among others, and is active as a Chamber of Commerce ambassador and a member of the Columbia Downtown Rotary Club. Cindy has been honored for her service and volunteerism with the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award, Athena Award from the Chamber of Commerce, MU Outstanding Faculty-Alumni Award, the League of Women Voters Citizen of the Year and the CPSF Hall of Leaders, among many others.

Cindy joined the CPSF board of directors in 2012 and feels that CPSF is “truly a unique organization and it is an honor and privilege to serve on it.” Cindy believes “so strongly in the Columbia Public Schools that being on the board of CPSF is one way I can give back to the schools. I was so fortunate to receive such an excellent academic background that prepared me for college over 50 years ago that being a part of CPSF will ensure that today’s students will continue to receive the very best educational opportunities.”

Nyle Klinginsmith
Past President

Nyle Klingsmith is known throughout the community for his time at Jefferson Junior High School, now Jefferson Middle School, where he first began his education career as a student teacher. Nyle later served as a social studies teacher, counselor and director of guidance and principal at Jeff Junior before retiring in 2008 after 38 years with the Columbia Public Schools.

Nyle joined the CPSF board in 2009 and served as board president in 2015. “As a CPS employee, I always felt that the community valued what we were trying to do for its young people. One of the ways I knew that to be true was the work of CPSF,” Nyle says. “Here was a group of community-minded people who were willing to support innovative ideas aimed at improving our kids’ experiences. During my last decade in the schools I saw firsthand the good work of the Foundation, and now I have the opportunity to be on the other side of the table as a Board member, reading those grants and being excited once again by the opportunities they will provide to our teachers and their students.”

Shatenita Horton

Shatenita strives to lead by example in both her professional life and her volunteer activities. Shatenita has been in banking for 20 years and is currently vice president, security officer and Forum Banking Center manager at Providence Bank. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia College and her master’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She is involved with several local organizations such as the Chamber Ambassadors, Columbia Metro Rotary Club, True North and Women’s Network, and previously served on the board for the Voluntary Action Center, the Women’s Network Steering Committee, the Stephens College Alumnae Association and the Missouri Bankers Association Young BankersLeadership Division. She is the co-chair for the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Columbia Program for 2017 and received the Athena Young Professional Award in 2012.

Shatenita joined the CPSF board in 2014 and is very passionate about her role on the board. “Our schools and their future progress should be top priority because giving our children the best education in turn builds the best communities,” Shatenita says.

Jean Gurucharri

Jean Gurucharri is a founding member of the Columbia Public Schools Foundation. An active community volunteer for more than 30 years, Jean also is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and a diploma in nursing. Because Jean’s three daughters received an excellent education from Columbia Public Schools, she is committed to continuing that “excellence so that all our students can succeed in life.”

Jean initially served on the CPSF board from 1995-2003 and then rejoined the board in 2015. “I truly believe that outstanding schools are what make a strong city and community,” Jean says. “If our schools are not strong, then our community will not grow.”

Sondra Flaker

Sondra Flaker was extremely active in the Columbia Public Schools during her daughters’ education and remains so after they have graduated. Sondra holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in counseling, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has served as an information specialist for the Division of Mental Health and a medical social worker at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. In addition to her work for the school system, Sondra has been an active volunteer throughout the community, earning her the J.C. Penney Volunteer of the Year Award (now the Hero Award) and the Volunteer of the Year Award in the State of Missouri. She also has been inducted into the CPSF Hall of Leaders as a Volunteer.

Sondra joined the CPSF board in 2012 as “an opportunity to give back to the Columbia Public Schools and its teachers for providing such a great education to our family.” She believes “providing excellence in public school education is extremely important to a community.”

Jill Evans

Jill Evans dedicated her career to public education, serving as a professional school counselor for 20 years in the Columbia Public Schools. She also has worked as an elementary school teacher and as director and teacher at Three by Four Preschool in Columbia. Jill earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Westfield State College in Westfield, Mass., and her master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has served as president of the Mid-Missouri School Counselor Association and is a member of the Boone County Retired Teachers Association.

Jill joined the CPSF board in 2011, the year after she retired. “The strength of CPSF is that it allows the school district to implement exciting programs that they would not be able to fund on their own,” Jill says. “I think it is exciting for students to have opportunities in all areas that wouldn’t be available to them otherwise.”

Lynn Barnett
President

Lynn Barnett retired in 2009 after a 28-year career with the Columbia Public Schools, serving as an assistant superintendent for student services, secretary for the board of education, director of special education, and special education teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education, a master’s degree in learning disabilities and a doctorate in education administration, all from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Lynn is an active member of the community, having served as chair of the City of Columbia’s Cultural Affairs Commission, chair of the Family Health Center, vice president of the Columbia Downtown Rotary and as a board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Services for Independent Living, among many others.

Barnett also is a Columbia Public Schools alum, having attended Parkade Elementary School, Jefferson Junior High School and Hickman High School. Her five daughters also attended and graduated from the Columbia Public Schools, and now she has four grandchildren enrolled in CPS. She joined the CPSF board in 2014. “I am proud to have been a part of the school district and feel that through my work with the CPS Foundation I can continue to support the excellent teaching and learning that is going on in our public schools,” Lynn says.