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home : opinions : opinions June 24, 2016

3/27/2012 10:07:00 AM
Letter to the editor: Cash donation agreement ensures exceptional educational opportunities at Grand Canyon School
Sharyl Allen
Grand Canyon Schools Superintendent

To the Editor:

We live in a time of "great" disasters and "great" discoveries. We live in the wake of the devastating tsunami in Japan, the famine that hit East Africa, the deadly tornados that killed hundreds in the U.S., the flooding in Thailand, the unforgiving earthquake that seized Christchurch, New Zealand, volcano eruptions in Guatemala and crippling ice/snow storms that ravaged many parts of the world. Despite all of the natural disasters, perhaps the greatest discovery is the charity that exists within us. The contributions of time, talents, finances, prayer circles and more reflect that the sensitivity of humanity towards natural disasters unifies us in a common cause for good.

Recently, the Grand Canyon School District's Governing Board completed a cash donation agreement with Stilo Development with a common cause of ensuring exceptional education opportunities for students. With the support of the Tusayan Town Council, the district's governing board was able to mitigate every issue that could be foreseen. The school district, the town council, the governing board and Stilo Development joined hands in a common cause: the future welfare and financial stability of the Grand Canyon School District.

I would personally like to thank Tom DePaolo - Stilo Development Principal Negotiator, for looking at ways to say "yes" to district needs; Brandon Kavanaugh - District's Legal Counsel, and his steady legal guidance through what he deemed the most generous donation agreement his colleagues and peers have ever seen, former Vice-Mayor, Cecily Maniaci for her unwavering support and guidance in asking for what the district needs to meet lofty student goals; and the Grand Canyon School District Governing Board for having the courage to take their time to ensure that the cash donation agreement addressed unforeseen future events. The agreement includes: housing, non-committed cash, funding for a grant writer, student study abroad, a percent of all gross revenues donated to the district and protection of small schools funding.

Without a comprehensive and strong cash donation agreement, development could have been a painful disaster for the school district. What we discovered was a firm commitment from the developer, the town council and, of course, the governing board towards children and learning. Indeed, we live in a time of great discoveries about one another and the power of unity. Again, a big thanks to all involved for a most positive outcome.

Sharyl Allen


Grand Canyon Schools

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Article comment by: Stacy Young

@Bob Thompson - You're quite right. I'd like to see her address that much more local "natural disaster" instead of how wonderful it is that she's cuddling with Tusayan developers.

What a weird letter.

Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Article comment by: Bob Blasi

Congratulations Ms. Allen in moving the community forward in such a positive way. Your encouraging words are inspirational!

Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Article comment by: Bob Thompson

perhaps she should also take donations to help her employees pay the surprise tax bills her mistake caused

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