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Waterset presented checks for $7,026.92 each to Maria Gsell, principal of East Bay High School, Johan VonAncken, principal of Eisenhower Middle School and Rosanne Rush, principal of Doby Elementary

How the Turkey Trot 5K is helping schools in SouthShore

March 04, 2019 - Partners in Education

As many families woke up Thanksgiving morning to prepare the feast for the day, others tied-up their running shoes to hit the pavement and support an important cause.

The Turkey Trot 5k race at Waterset benefits our public schools in Southshore: Doby Elementary, Eisenhower Middle School and East Bay High School.

Hundreds of runners in the community support the race every year to give back to our children.

Last year’s race raised nearly $20,000 for all three schools, with each one receiving more than $6,000.

This year, Newland Communities was able to donate even more money to our schools.

Just recently, Waterset presented checks for $7,026.92 each to Maria Gsell, principal of East Bay High School, Johan VonAncken, principal of Eisenhower Middle School and Rosanne Rush, principal of Doby Elementary School. 

Each principal will use the funds for projects needed in the school. A few years ago, new security cameras were installed at Eisenhower Elementary School along with beautifying the campus.

This year, Principal VonAncken is using the donation to address the growth at this school.

Staff will be purchasing outdoor tables to allow students an incentive for seating during lunch.

“We have grown to almost 1400 students school-wide and we need the additional space,” said VonAncken. “We are looking to modify our school day for next year, going to an 8 period day instead of 7, making the scheduling more conducive for teachers and students and without the outdoor tables, this change is not possible.”

Waterset will be given recognition with a plaque being placed in the patio in their honor.

Next door at East Bay High School, the funds will be used to update the sound system in the auditorium.

“The system we currently have is being held together on a string and a prayer,” says Principal Maria Gsell. “We truly have a top-notch performing arts program at EBHS and our students deserve to be heard clearly when they perform.”­­

For the third year in a row, Gsell will set aside $1000 towards a principal choice scholarship.

“I look for a student who could use the financial assistance and may not have a lot of scholarship money coming in,” said Gsell.

The student must live these key attributes: TRIBE (trustworthy, respectful, intellectually engaged, brave leader and excellent attitude.

As for Doby Elementary, Principal Rush will be sitting down with staff to brainstorm what projects will benefit the students.

The act of giving by Waterset and Newland communities doesn’t stop with the Turkey Trot.

Each quarter, they donate several iPads to Eisenhower Middle and East Bay High School students, and both companies sponsor other events throughout the school year.