Former West York Teacher leaves $3.4 million gift to York County Community Foundation


York, PA —Doris Schwartz, a former West York teacher and flight attendant who died in 2013, is helping York County educators foster innovation across district lines with a fund at York County Community Foundation (YCCF). The Doris E. Schwartz Education Fund was created with a $3.4 million gift to YCCF from Ms. Schwartz’s estate. The fund recently made its first grant in the amount of $100,000 each year for the next two years to the Lincoln Intermediate Unit (LIU) 12 to help create an Innovation Lab.

The Doris E. Schwartz Education Fund was created in 2013 from Ms. Schwartz’s estate under the direction of her friends and executors Nancy L. Frey and Kenneth R. Smith, with help from Ms. Schwartz’s attorney, John Stitt. “Doris was greatly inspired by her personal educational achievements amplified by her world travels,” said Stitt. “Her experiences, internationally, induced her to bring her world view back home and channel it to inspire locals to ‘think bigger’ than they otherwise might. The Community Foundation was the perfect tool with which to create her unique legacy.”

The grant to Lincoln Intermediate Unit (LIU) 12 will create a forum for teachers to work together across school districts in teacher-student teams that will design and execute innovative solutions to real-world problems. Project teams will be nominated by their districts and will go through an application process to receive funding for their innovative approach. When projects are completed, teams will present their results to their peers and the communities impacted by the projects.

“Thanks to Doris Schwartz’s legacy, we have been given the opportunity to partner with YCCF to create a forum where innovative educational practices can be ignited, strategically disrupted, and thrive in The Innovation Lab,” said Jody L. Nace, Ed. D., Innovation Lab Project Lead and Assistant Executive Director, LIU. “We are especially thrilled this will include cross-district collaboration among teachers and students to solve real community problems. We look forward to igniting play, passion, and purpose with our students and teachers, in order to encourage true creative problem solving in York County schools.”

Jane Conover, president of YCCF, said, “The grant to LIU from the Doris E. Schwartz Education Fund has the potential to create a culture of innovation that could transform the education system in York County. We are so grateful to Doris, her attorney, John Stitt, and the executors of her will for making a gift that can create long-term systemic change.”

Ms. Schwartz was a long-time resident of West York and was nearly a century old when she died in 2013. She was an educator and a flight attendant who travelled extensively around the world, and her vast and varied experiences gave her an appreciation of the importance of education at every stage of life. The goal of the Doris E. Schwartz Education Fund is to raise the bar for education in York County by helping York County public school teachers meaningfully increase their capacity to lead.

In addition, The Doris E. Schwartz Education Fund provides scholarship support to graduating seniors from 13 York County school districts. Over the past two years (2015 and 2016), the Fund has awarded $52,000 per year in scholarships.

SOURCE: York County Community Foundation