A Visionary and Leader for the PUSD Education Foundation

By Tara Fort

It has been said that small groups make some of the biggest differences in our world—and that rings true for the Prescott Unified School District Education Foundation (PUSD EF), a small but mighty force in the Prescott community. In just three short years after launching, the Foundation has experienced great success due to the generous, caring volunteers and givers, and the community outreach it provides under the direction and leadership of Executive Director Tami Phillips.  Phillips, a newcomer to Prescott and a seasoned pro when it comes to nonprofit agencies, has spent 35 years dedicating herself to expanding the efforts of highly respected organizations which collectively raised over $100 million dollars throughout her participation. Board of Directors President Krista Carman says, “The PUSD Education Foundation Board is thrilled to have Tami as our executive director.  She has hit the ground running and we believe that the Foundation will be able to make an even greater impact thanks to her experience, passion and dedication.”

Founded in 2015 the EF started out with some very ambitious goals. Since that time, it has funded programs like teacher grants, technology implementation and campus beautification including historic preservation of community landmarks.  Says Phillips, “The Foundation Board has done a dramatic job over the past few years without any paid staff. We now have the opportunity to bring in new ideas which will help us raise significantly more money for the teachers of our district and more money for the children of our community.” The mission of the EF is to link community and alumni resources with the needs of the schools, to both enhance and complement the existing and future offerings.

Phillips knows firsthand that for any community to be strong and vibrant, its future must be solid; being a part of PUSD was a perfect fit for both for her and the District. Says Phillips, “I know that the strength of any organization lies within quality programs, and that was why I was so excited to join the PUSD Education Foundation. We must have a strong public school system and career paths to keep our graduates in the community.” When she initially heard about PUSD she was especially excited to learn that the Foundation was funding a program called Naviance.  Phillips states, “Naviance is a comprehensive web-based tool that provides education, career and college planning resources designed to assist student in exploring their interests, making career choices, funding college and managing college applications.”

Like many women in our community, Phillips dedicates more than 40 hours to the Foundation, realizing that “there is so much to do to meet the needs of our youth and our educators.” Her balance comes in the form of staying in touch with extended family in Southern California and taking care of the family’s three dogs.  She and her husband, a disabled Vietnam Vet who volunteers the VA Hospital in Prescott, love being outdoors and camping a few times a year.

The Education Foundation hosts events throughout the year and offers committees on which volunteers can serve.  For more information about the Prescott Unified School District Education Foundation, visit the District office at 300 East Gurley Street, or email future@PUSDEducationFoundation.com.