New Faces Help Save Renaissance Foundation


After nearly being disbanded because of a lack of community support, four concerned citizens recently volunteered to lead the Tyrone Renaissance Education Foundation (TREF)

The new Renaissance co-chairs are Wendy Grot and Crystal Seltzer, the new high school treasurer is Mark Laird, returning secretary Peggy Cox, and the returning secretary for the organization is Jennifer Jackson.

Laird was not even aware of the Renaissance Foundation until the danger of it being shut down until it was made public. Then he went to a meeting and learned about everything TREF members were doing and was immediately inspired to join.   

“Since moving back to Tyrone in 2015, I have been considering finding some way to help in the school,” said Laird, “I felt that these were programs that we had to keep alive.”

I felt that these were programs that we had to keep alive.

— Mark Laird

Another fresh face to the group is parent volunteer Joy Williams. Her two daughters are in the middle school and her son is currently in kindergarten at the elementary school. Her involvement began when was she was approached by former co-chair Julie White and a few other parents at an elementary PTO meeting.

“We are here to help encourage them to achieve academically. We also like to recognize the kids who have improved academically over the year,” said Williams.

With the all the support TREF received the organization was able to avoid the possibility of dissolving that it faced earlier this month. Now, knowing of TREF’s continuation they will be able to focus on many goals for the 2017-18 year.

“TREF is already doing some great things to reward students who are doing well.  We need to continue with those programs as long as they are well-received by the students,” said Laird, “In the meeting, we also discussed how TREF members have been interested in helping the underdog.  I think that finding ways to target the students who are working hard, but maybe not the most successful, would be a good area for focus.”

They hope to continue providing scholarships to the seniors which they receive the funding through many donations from local business.They would like to recognize students who receive high honors and honor roll for the first 3 marking periods with the sundae bar.

“It’s important to volunteer. I’ve had an opportunity to help with the ice cream sundae days and it’s great to see the kids happy about a sweet treat,” said Seltzer.