POUGHKEEPSIE – The newly revitalized Poughkeepsie Public Schools Foundation (PPSF) has appointed Hudson Valley powerhouse G. Angela Henry as its first-ever executive director.
In her new role, Henry will oversee the non-profit’s fundraising and grant-making efforts, and work in tandem with board members, school administrators and community partners to identify needs and find solutions that support and enrich the education of students in the Poughkeepsie City School District.
“Angela Henry is the right person to represent the Foundation,” said Ellen Staino, board president of PPSF, a retired teacher and former president of the Poughkeepsie City School District Board of Education. “She is passionate and articulate about our mission. Her varied skill set will serve the Foundation, school district and community in the most positive way. I welcome Angela to our team and look forward to working with her.”
The PPSF was initially founded in 2008 to put musical instruments in the hands of students who could not afford to rent them. Over the years the Foundation raised and distributed over $40,000 for projects as diverse as museum field trips, the creation of school gardens and the Pioneer Post Newspaper. The Foundation was dormant from 2016 until 2019, when two original members of the Foundation’s Board, Diane Ruffin and Stan Merritt, joined Staino to revive it. “We were determined,” Staino recalls, “given the tremendous opportunity gaps facing Poughkeepsie youth.” A new mission statement has been adopted, committees put in place, funds raised and grants initiated.
The PPSF Board of Trustees, half of whom are Poughkeepsie High School alumni/ae, has been expanded and includes parents, teachers and community members. The city schools are represented on the board, ex officio, by the Superintendent, the Board of Education President, and a representative of the Teachers Association. Currently a designated fund of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, the Foundation was incorporated as a non-profit in New York State, and is in the process of securing federal not-for-profit status. The Foundation will focus on providing support to enrich the education of all students in the district, fundraising for opportunities such as campus visits for first generation college applicants, financial aid and STEAM programs.
“The Foundation’s tagline says it all,” said Henry. “Our children, our schools, our community. For 30 years, those have been a part of my own education, my professional life and my volunteer time. Working for the PPSF will feed my professional passion and my personal mission.”
Henry has served as a teacher and administrator and, more recently, as an executive search and organizational consultant for nonprofit organizations across the country. Local clients include the Barrett Art Center, Beatrix Farrand Garden Association, Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies, Dutchess Community College, La Grange Public Library and Walkway Over the Hudson. She has volunteered her public speaking talents to Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill, Historic Huguenot Street, SUNY Empire State College and SUNY New Paltz, among others.
Henry is a Dutchess County, NY resident and active in the City of Poughkeepsie through many community-building events and civic and cultural activities.