WELCOME TO THE PROMISE OF PARK:
The Promise of Park Gift Agreement – Multi-Year Pledge
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a message from the Campaign Co-Chairs; the Head of School; and President of the Board:
Betsy and Stacey Berner
The Park School has been an integral part of our lives for over two decades. Our five children have cumulatively spent an amazing 60 academic years at Park, with our youngest child graduating in 2020. Over that time, the school equipped them—each with their unique traits and interests—to be independent thinkers, advocates, and responsible community members. They explored science, math, literature, history, and the arts; competed in sports; were engaged citizens; and made lifelong friends. It is both heartwarming and validating to watch our kids successfully navigate their post-Park experiences.
For those reasons, and for many more, we are serving as co-chairs of The Promise of Park campaign. We want The Park School to continue to fulfill its extraordinary mission for the students on campus today, and for the students of tomorrow and the decades to come.
This is a collective campaign. Together, we can update and modernize learning spaces, creating new environments that are user-friendly, flexible, and suitable for the dynamic, forward thinking modes of inquiry and innovation that our expert educators are known for. Furthermore, the entire Board and the Park community want a Park education to be available to as many students as possible—making the growth of Park’s endowment as important as a new building and renovations.
Supporting The Promise of Park campaign, to us, starts with the recognition that our children, and every Park student today, have benefited from the generosity of past generations—and we want to make sure we are paying that forward.
Park has been an exceptional partner in helping us to raise our kids to become confident questioners and responsible citizens of the world. We seek your partnership in advancing the school’s mission through this important campaign that will benefit every Park student.
Head of School
At Park, our students are at the center of all that we do. They are supported by an inspired and inspiring faculty; they are challenged by a thoughtful and innovative curriculum; and they live and learn together on our remarkable campus: a 100-acre learning laboratory. It is no accident that excellence is the natural outcome at Park.
The Promise of Park campaign ensures that we can fulfill our school’s longstanding mission for the Park students of today and tomorrow. As we invest in signature programs, develop exciting new learning opportunities, and enhance our facilities, we create a bold, bright future – full of promise – for generations to come. The time to do this work is now.
With gratitude to the families, students, and teachers who have shaped Park for more than a century, we prepare for and embrace the future. This campaign supports building a new wing for science, engineering, and design labs; modernizing many of the oldest parts of our current building; and intentionally improving long-term sustainability. From net zero enhancements to careful consideration of access and mobility, our interior and adjacent exterior spaces – both new and renovated – will reflect Park’s commitment to creating thoughtful connections with one another, with ideas, and with the environment.
Further, The Promise of Park seeks to build our endowment, ensuring that current and future generations of students will have access to all of the opportunities that a Park education provides. Through the generosity of the community and careful stewardship by the Board of Trustees, Park’s endowment has grown considerably over the past 20 years – and we seek to build upon that momentum and advance the mission of the school.
This is an incredibly exciting time as we come together to build on our school’s strong foundation and ensure Park continues to thrive for many years to come! I sincerely hope that you join me in this effort.
President of the board of trustees
The Park School Board of Trustees is deeply engaged in the work that is central to our mission: supporting the Head of School and the administrative team, and ensuring that The Park School of Baltimore will be here for generations to come, educating our children and children’s children.
In launching the Promise of Park campaign, our community is taking exciting — and ambitious — steps forward. With gratitude to those who have built the Park School of today, we invite you — our amazing community — to be a part of building Park’s future.
The development of our new Science and Engineering Wing, and the plans for renovation and renewal of some of our existing spaces in the years to come, will provide the opportunity for students’ deep exploration of the STEM disciplines, and will create opportunities for reimagining how our expert educators advance teaching and learning across all divisions at Park.
Further, the campaign strengthens our endowment—the financial foundation of Park’s future. By growing our endowment, we will broaden financial access to a Park education and continue to support Park’s mission-driven programming. Through the generosity of the community and careful stewardship by the Board of Trustees, our endowment has grown considerably over the past 20 years—and this campaign seeks to build upon that momentum.
On behalf of the Board, I thank you for taking the time to learn about The Promise of Park and all of the ways you can contribute to The Park School of the future.
Create a state-of-the-art new science and engineering wing to cultivate inquiry and innovation.
We promise a dedicated Science and Engineering Wing that will provide state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. It will include purpose-built spaces for robotics and engineering, movable walls for flexibility of classroom configurations, and research labs that allow for projects that extend beyond a single class period. Breakout spaces and a new student commons will create much needed additional gathering places. The wing will serve as a hub for field research, on campus and beyond.
Renovate and renew existing spaces with modernized systems and improved physical access to serve generations of Park students.
Drawing inspiration from our new Science and Engineering Wing, we promise to renovate and renew existing spaces—imagining how best to support our students and our program both today and tomorrow. Modernized systems, newly configured classrooms and gathering spaces with improved physical access—including new interior and exterior pathways, a four-stop elevator, and greater connections between and among buildings—will create an ideal space for living and learning into the future.
Incorporate sustainability and environmental stewardship to reflect our values and vision for the future.
We promise a sustainable future, with environmental stewardship as a guiding principle. Our Science and Engineering Wing is designed as a net-zero project, and we commit to increasing energy efficiency and lowering our carbon footprint as we renovate and renew existing facilities. Further, we will value and preserve greenspace on campus as we continue to envision the exciting possibilities for learning that our natural environment provides.
Expand financial access to a Park education and support continued faculty development by strengthening our endowment.
We promise to make a Park education financially accessible to as many students as possible. Strengthening our endowment will provide long-term financial security for the school, supporting a strong, need-based Tuition Assistance program and an unparalleled commitment to faculty growth and professional development.
Click a tab for information about how to get involved or for campaign FAQs!
You may make an online campaign gift or pledge here on this page.
To make a gift to The Park Fund, please click here.
You may mail a check to:
The Park School Development Office
2425 Old Court Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21208
Park accepts gifts of appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares. The Park School sells the securities, and all proceeds benefit The Promise of Park campaign.
Park accepts gifts by wire transfer.
Planned gifts may be made in support of Park’s endowment.
Many employers offer matching gift programs that increase the value of a donor’s gift. Please contact your employer for more information.
If you are interested in naming opportunities, please contact Director of Development Roger Seidenman ’85 email@example.com.
If you would like to learn more or have questions about making a gift, please email or call:
Director of Development Roger Seidenman ’85
Director of Stewardship and Capital Campaign Jamie Altchek ’98
All contributions to The Promise of Park campaign are 100% tax deductible.
If you would like to volunteer for The Promise of Park campaign, please contact Director of Stewardship and Capital Campaign Jamie Altchek ’98 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.339.4164.
Please check back here for updates regarding information sessions and tours that will be scheduled in the spring.
Frequently Asked Questions:
This is the most ambitious campaign in Park’s history. We set out to accomplish several goals: 1) Build a new Science and Engineering Wing, 2) Raise $10 million for the endowment, 3) Begin modernizing existing spaces and systems, and 4) Create a Lower School Multipurpose Room. We have already raised over $27.5 million, $9.9 million of which is designated toward the endowment. We are now focused on raising money to begin additional campus improvements.
The Park Fund remains the school’s top fundraising priority. We are asking all campaign donors to continue supporting The Park Fund every year at the same level or a higher level.
A donor may commit to a Park Fund gift of a certain size over several years. We would like all donors to at least maintain, if not increase, their current level of Park Fund support throughout the duration of their campaign pledge.
There are many ways in which a donor can make a gift to the campaign:
- Online here on the Promise of Park site
- By check
- Securities: Park accepts gifts of appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares. The school sells the securities, and all proceeds benefit The Promise of Park campaign.
- Wire transfer (wiring instructions can be provided to the donor upon request)
- Planned Gifts: Planned gifts may be made in support of Park’s endowment. There are various gift vehicles if a donor chooses to make a planned gift. Donors choosing to make a planned gift should consult with their own attorneys and financial advisors.
While different arrangements work for individual donors, most donors to this campaign are paying their pledges over three to five years.
The construction for the Science and Engineering Wing is on target to open for the 2023-2024 school year.
Building the new Science and Engineering Wing will enable our current faculty to expand their curricula in ways they currently cannot because of the limitations of our existing spaces. We do not anticipate adding faculty positions because of the new wing.
We are not planning to expand enrollment because of the new Science and Engineering Wing. The purpose of current and future campus improvements is to right-size the Middle and Upper School academic spaces. We learned through the campus planning process that our current space in these divisions is undersized. The pandemic has further magnified the need for right-sized and flexible classrooms in these divisions. The completed campus plan will be able to accommodate 700-900 students. We opened with more than 840 students in Fall 2022.
The endowment is the financial foundation for Park’s future, and we will continue raising major gifts for it even when we have met the goals of this campaign. We will always be working to grow Park’s endowment.
All of the construction projects included in this campaign will improve the accessibility of Park’s campus, including new elevators, entry ramps, and other ways to ensure greater access. As part of the school’s larger fundraising efforts and specifically its efforts to grow the school’s endowment, we are increasing funds available to support essential diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programming across all three divisions.
Stories of Support
Gina and Dan Hirschhorn ’75
“A Park School education is woven into the fabric of our family, from Park’s earliest classes through the Class of 2021. Park has remained true to its founding principles of fostering children’s innate curiosity and desire to learn. We have enjoyed watching our sons, Aaron ’21 and Jacob ’21, experience all of this for themselves, from Kindergarten through graduation. Over the years we have asked ourselves, ‘How do we know it’s working?’ We know because throughout their Park careers, there was never a day when our boys didn’t want to be at school.”
In fact, they insisted on arriving at least 30 minutes early each morning to engage in the excitement that the day held. We know because of the special teachers they had and the inspiration they provided. As our boys moved into Upper School, there were frequent conversations about the courses and teachers that were challenging them and igniting their desire to learn and think critically. English teacher Greg Brandt’s “Etymology and Semantics” class inspired discussions about language and the origins of words, leading our sons to a new area of study in college. Susan Weintraub’s “Writing About Now” inspired a lasting interest in current events. The class discussions that our boys shared at home sparked our imaginations as well. The teachers at Park have a gift for engaging minds, and we feel very fortunate that our family has been able to take part in that for so many years.
The Promise of Park campaign resonates deeply with the elements of Park that we love so much. We share a profound appreciation for a robust and ever-increasing endowment. We want to contribute to Park’s long-term sustainability, so that future generations of children can benefit from all that our family has experienced. There is a growing need for tuition assistance in the Baltimore area. A strong endowment is one way to address this challenge and provide a Park education to any child regardless of means. In addition, we appreciate the importance of ensuring that Park provides students and teachers with classrooms, labs, and makerspaces that will enable them to continue doing their very best work, challenging themselves in every way imaginable. The new Science and Engineering Wing will add necessary space for Park’s cutting-edge curricula in these disciplines. As teaching and learning evolves, so must our campus.
The Promise of Park is both groundbreaking and connected to the values that led to the creation of Park School more than 100 years ago. We are thrilled to be able to support all that The Promise of Park campaign is doing for Park School today and for generations to come.
Sandra Levi Gerstung ’61 and Karen Sirota Weinstein ’87
Sandi and Karen are members of a multigenerational, philanthropic Park family whose connection to Park spans nearly a century. Their commitment to The Promise of Park campaign will support campus plans as well as the endowment, ensuring that every student benefits from their generous gift.
Sandi shared that, “It is no understatement to say that Park School stays with you forever. I have a brick from the Liberty Heights campus that I use at home, as a doorstop. I feel so fortunate that Park is one of the bonds that connects my family. As a member of one of the first classes to graduate from the current campus, it has been amazing to watch the school evolve — as an alumna, a parent, and now a grandparent. A peak Park moment for me was seeing my grandson, Daniel Weinstein ’21, graduate on the turf field.
Throughout the school’s history, Park has always kept children at the center of everything it does. The world and education change, and Park consistently evolves, adapts, and reimagines how to best provide what students and teachers need. I am excited to be a part of creating opportunities that will result from a new Science and Engineering Wing. I am equally inspired to support the design of classrooms that are flexible and right-sized for all of the activities that go into a Park education, today and into the future. I love that Park is so dynamic, and I am delighted that I can help make that possible.” Karen continued, “It means so much to me that my grandmother, Ryda Hecht Levi ’33, was a student at the Auchentoroly Terrace campus, and that my son Daniel ’21 and daughter Julie ’23 are fourth generation Park students. The family legacy of a Park education is very important to me, and having that shared experience is one of the reasons I chose to send my children to Park.
Watching my kids experience Park has been wonderful. I see The Promise of Park campaign as a way to say thank you for all that my family has received from the school, and also to make sure that Park remains on the cutting edge of education for future generations of students. The Science and Engineering Wing is going to add some fantastic possibilities to the curriculum, and perhaps most important of all, the new classrooms will support the necessary exchange of ideas and opinions that are the foundation of a Park education.
I am excited to support this campaign as a donor and a volunteer, and to be able to give back to the school that has provided so much to me and my family.”
Lila Shapiro-Cyr and Brian Cyr
“Park was a clear choice for our family. We absolutely fell in love with the teaching and learning taking place in the classroom. Faculty and students treat one another with respect and care. Park creates a learning environment where kids can express their own opinions and are taken seriously.”
Because we are not from Baltimore, we did not have preconceived ideas about the schools in the area. We researched many education options, and we quickly realized that Park was the perfect place for our family — an academically rigorous yet nurturing community. We have had an exceptional experience in every division — Lower, Middle, and now Upper School. Our boys trust that they can take chances in the classroom and fully explore their interests, and they love going to school. Noah, Class of 2022, shared with us — without prompting — that what has been most meaningful for him are the relationships with his teachers and with his friends. Over the years, it has become increasingly clear to us how Park’s faculty creates the space for students to engage in their own education and learn to advocate for themselves. We have seen how Park teachers truly connect with students, provide insight and guidance, and encourage them to think critically for themselves; this enables Park students to move confidently into the larger world and be whomever they want to be.
As we consider the future of the school and The Promise of Park campaign, we hope that more kids who would not otherwise have access to a Park education can benefit from the school, just as our own kids have. We also feel strongly about the new Science and Engineering wing and the upcoming renovations of existing spaces. Modern facilities are important to evolving the curriculum to meet the needs of current and future students and attract families from all walks of life. At the same time, we know that Park’s strong focus on progressive education will continue to be the best way to educate students — Park teaches kids how to think and enables them to be their best selves.
It’s a privilege to go to Park. We are committed to helping strengthen the school for future generations because Park is truly a special place.
SUPPORTING DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION (DEI)
Alison Lipitz Richman ’65 and Arnie Richman
Alison and Arnie, along with members of their family, have decided to generously support The Promise of Park campaign by creating The Richman Family Fund for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This restricted endowed fund supports DEI work throughout the school and will also support faculty salaries. The Richmans have established this fund to benefit current Park students. With their additional meaningful planned gift, they are ensuring that this important work will impact generations to come.
Arnie served as Board President from 1986 to 1988. As a volunteer and leader in the Park community, as a parent of three Park alumnae, and as a current Park grandparent, he understands the transformative power of a Park School education. Arnie shared that, “Our family loves Park School. We believe in the school’s mission of positive expectations and respect for individual differences. We believe in Park’s philosophy of a student-centered education, which has been consistent for more than a century.
Our family supports Park’s ongoing commitment to expanding diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives. These values are our values, and through our planned gift to Park, we hope to provide future generations of Park students with the same high-quality education and supportive environment that Alison and our three daughters experienced, and two of our grandchildren are now enjoying. The long-term success of the school is very important to Alison and me, and a planned gift allows us to invest in Park’s future.” Alison continued, “As a graduate of the Class of 1965, I know firsthand what a special place Park is. We chose to send our children to Park, and now our grandchildren are here as well. The school’s strength today is the same as when I was a student — the outstanding faculty. Teachers like Brooks Lakin made Park an exceptional place to attend in the 1960s. When we consider what is most important to us as a family, we are inspired by The Promise of Park campaign — it is a promise to support Park’s students and teachers. Our planned gift to the Richman Family Fund for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will help Park implement DEI work in every division. The fund is also committed to supporting Park teachers, who have a lasting and positive effect on children’s lives. I feel personally very grateful to Park for all that it has provided me and my family, and I know that making a planned gift will help the school for many years in the future.”
Janet Cohen ’78
The Cohen family has a longstanding tradition of supporting the endowment at Park School. Janet and her family are contributing to The Promise of Park campaign through a generous gift to the Opportunity Initiative, an endowed fund created by her mother, Sue Cohen. This fund provides tuition assistance and covers supplemental expenses for high-need families, ensuring that students can have a complete Park School experience.
My father, Nathan Cohen, would have been in the Class of 1948, but he left Park around 5th Grade and eventually went to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where my grandmother Rosa worked. Rosa established a fund in her will to support tuition assistance at Park for families who suffered an economic downturn. My mother and father made a substantial commitment to the F. Parvin Sharpless Faculty and Curricular Advancement Program (Park’s professional development program, known as FACA) in the early days, shortly before my father passed away. My mother was keenly aware of the amazing education that her children received at Park. Her appreciation for the school and her passion for giving back led her to create the Opportunity Initiative.
“The Opportunity Initiative enables Park to more fully live its mission,” said Head of School Dan Paradis. “Sue’s vision for a more equitable and inclusive school was and is inspiring. Her commitment to equity, embodied by a generous and impactful matching challenge, has motivated many others to contribute in meaningful ways. This is exactly what The Promise of Park campaign is all about — our community coming together to make sure that the best possible education is available to generations of students from across the entire Baltimore area.”
My parents and grandparents understood that a school had to have the best possible faculty, and my mother in particular believed in providing opportunities for everyone, especially the most underserved. Faculty support, along with making a Park School education possible for students of limited means, became priorities for them. They remain priorities for me and my family.
As a Park School “lifer,” I knew that my teachers would be fully engaged in their teaching, and it was not until I went to college that I realized what an exceptional education I had received at Park. The professionalism, passion for teaching, and willingness to engage students in complicated conversations (all of which I had taken for granted at Park) were very different from what I found elsewhere.
As an alumna and Trustee, I can see Park is in many ways even stronger than it was when I graduated. The Promise of Park campaign is moving the school forward to become a leader in new areas like sustainability and accessibility. With this campaign, Park engages the challenges of the 21st century without losing its commitment to excellence in teaching and opportunity for all.