What is the Good Shepherd School Foundation?

The Good Shepherd School Foundation is a non-profit corporation (501c3) that is separate from Good Shepherd Catholic School. Its mission is to provide, through its fund-raising activities, the continued financial stability and educational excellence of Good Shepherd Catholic School. We seek to achieve our goals and objectives through prayer and by organized fund-raising programs.

Our Story

The Good Shepherd School Foundation was created by Father Sonny Avitabile, who was pastor of Good Shepherd between 1981 and 1993. He felt the school needed a way to raise money for its needs without having to raise the tuition or the subsidy from the parish. Father Sonny worked to bring together leaders from both the school and the community, and in 1995 the Good Shepherd School Foundation was formed.

The first goal of the Foundation was to bring the teachers’ salaries up to Orange County standards to ensure we did not lose our great educators. Over the years, the Foundation contributed money to the school's operating budget and reached 100% of the comparable salaries of Orange County teachers. The school’s budget has since been adjusted to accommodate for this.

Another BIG impact that the Foundation has made is in the area of capital improvements. Did you know that the New Learning Center - Building G, which houses the school offices and the middle school classrooms, was built without a capital campaign within the school or parish community? The building was financed through monies from the school, parish, and diocese, but mostly through monies donated to the Good Shepherd School Foundation. Contributions raised annually by the Foundation have gone directly to paying down loans with the Orlando Diocese and Good Shepherd Parish. The diocesan loan has since been retired and the parish loan is being paid within a scheduled seven year plan. By the time the loan is completed, the Foundation will have paid for at least 90% of the building cost!

In 2005 the Foundation also contributed over $300,000 to GSCS. While approximately $200,000 was used for the annual payments on the New Learning Center loan, an additional $100,000 was raised through individual contributions and Foundation fund raisers such as the Gala & Auction, Team Angels (pledges made to runners during the WDW marathon and half-marathon), and other Foundation fund raising programs. None of these monies came from tuition or parish subsidies. The Foundation’s contributions have allowed the tuition at our school to remain accessible for our families while enhancing the superior level of education provided by GSCS - a benefit to each and every school family.

Over the last few years, the increase in technology on campus has soared due to purchases made by the Foundation. Adding numonic (smart) boards in classrooms, equipping the computer lab, and purchasing new software such as Compass Learning Odyssey. In the Spring of 2011, the Foundation provided the funds so our school, including the GS Family Center, could become a wireless campus and allow for school secure and guest WiFi networks. Once again keeping GSCS at the forefront of current technology for use by our teachers and students.

Another key role of the Foundation is to provide scholarships for school families that may need assistance to continue to keep their children at our school. The Foundation has provided over $100,000 in scholarships to GSCS students in recent years. During the previous two school years the Foundation will continue its support to multiple families with over $50,000 in scholarships, so these families can continue to afford a Catholic education for their children.

Would you consider supporting us in our mission?


Board of Directors
(listed alphabetically)
Patti Durfee
Holly Finke - Secretary
Reba Fritz - 1st Vice President
Kathy Hanvey
Michael Janowiak - Treasurer
Dave Kiniry
Patricia McNamee - President
Mike Nicoloff
Carla Suero - 2nd Vice President
Gina Striby
Brian Tomey