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May 18 2011

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TISD exec gets noticed for efforts

It was a busy few days for Tyler Independent School District (TISD) Foundation Executive Director Larry Goddard.
Despite staying busy with the “Night of Shining Stars” and “The Art of Giving” events he received three prestigious honors from his peers in the educational community.
The first was his election to the American School Foundation Alliance (ASFA) national advisory board of directors.  He became the first Texan ever selected for this panel of the nation’s most expert minds for educational fundraising, marketing and community relations.  The board concentrates on grant requests, funder relations, corporate giving and in counseling every American school district on private funding.
Goddard’s next honor was being the first-ever person to receive the ASFA’s professional certification.  This intense program concentrates on ongoing education, developing leadership skills, public relations ability, and developing board management prowess.  He will attend the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) conference in San Antonio in July to assist in certifying others.
Lastly, Goddard has been asked to be a contributor to Texas School Business magazine. He will be writing “Spotlight” articles about notable students and educators.  Already established by his work with IN magazine, he is already widely read in East Texas.
“We have no limits in the future of alternative education,” said Goddard.  “Now, more than ever, our public school classrooms need us to determine creative and innovative ways to fund the programs which are outside the normal lesson plan.  Donors are receptive to helping fund education entities, and we are gradually getting to the public school leadership that is vital to have community support, responsive and sophisticated communications and, most of all, accountability and confidence for donor trust and stewardship.  The biggest challenge has been to convince school officials to learn about nonprofit organizations.  They just don’t get it, and won’t admit that they don’t.”
He had yet more profound insights on this vital matter.
“We have unfortunately found that public funding for education has a limited ceiling, and rather than debate who knows where what money might be, it seems we need to concentrate our best minds on a national basis for discovering alternative funding sources,” he said.  “That’s the role of [the] AFSA advisory board–an American think tank to look at various forms of possible funding and get the word immediately to our public school personnel.”
Goddard already has built a national reputation as a trailblazer in how to manage the boards of education foundations. He has worked with the Stephenville, Anahauc, Lindale and Bullard independent school districts.  In August he will give the convocation keynote at Chisum ISD.
“We will be seeking grant resources from corporate and provide foundations.  We will look into state revenues, such as personalized license plates–income that could be earmarked for education foundations for innovative programs,” he added.
The ASFA Honorary Advisory Committee was formed to discuss the challenges that school foundations face today, and to generate ideas that promote the education foundation movement nationwide,” said Chicago-based ASFA Executive Director Nancy Dye.  “The committee is comprised of successful foundation leaders who will share national knowledge and expertise within their seven unique regions.  As a result, local foundations will learn how their peers overcome the challenges that today’s economic environment presents to the educational system.”
Goddard’s learned colleagues had yet more to say about his endless qualifications.
“Larry Goddard’s experience in higher education as community liaison, foundation director, public relations officer and marketing expert make him the perfect candidate for public school success in the future,” said Jim Collogan of the National School Foundation Association.  “We are proud that he is our charter certified professional.”
Texas School Business Magazine Editor Katie Ford chimed in with, “I had no idea Larry was such a gifted interviewer/writer. I intended to just read the first few graphs of one of his pieces, but I ended up reading all samples in their entirety.  Goddard is a keen observer of human behavior, and you have such tact in addressing the finer details that other writers might hesitate to include. We are honored to have Larry contribute to our magazine.  He has a real talent in finessing potentially touchy subjects.”
Some of Goddard’s stories for IN are Lunch Ladies at A.L. Hogg Middle School; Mary Ellen Reed in the Athletic Program; Francie Hodges: A Tyler ISD Volunteer; and Chris Parcell: A Graduate of St.Louis Boshears School.  Apart from education-oriented stories he will soon be contributing to the INtersting Folks You Should Know in Tyler column.  He enjoyed himself immensely during his busy few days.
“It was a great week,” he said.  “I had an ankle procedure on my severely disabled leg and ankle on Thursday, and that in itself would have made this a bummer week,” he said.  “The procedure was unsuccessful, and I was told by the doctor he has done all he can do to help.”
Twenty-one years ago Goddard was run over by a jeep, and he has spent the intervening years advocating for Americans with Disabilities.  Despite seven operations he still limps, but does not let it slow him down.
“I don’t want to disappoint anyone,” he said.  “The doctor told me that nothing else could be done except for fusing the bone joints of the ankle, and cutting nerves to alleviate pain–well, cut all feeling entirely.”
Still, he summarizes these days as successful.
“I think God sent me some good news this week–maybe he even stockpiled it for me.  I love my work and those around me.  We have the best board of directors, who understand our mission of raising funds to inspire learning,.enrich teaching and enhance opportunities,” he said.  “I will remain an advocate for good teachers, and want nothing but the best for Tyler ISD.  We have a million good stories happening every day, and someone needs to tell those stories.  I plan to do just that.”

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