The Toledo Public Schools Foundation has a 25-year history, but in October 2017, the foundation took a major step in its mission of revitalization by naming a new executive director. What was an organization that awarded scholarships once a year to TPS students is now becoming an established nonprofit that focuses on providing year-round support to students, teachers and the district as a whole.

Executive Director Erica Halada will lead the once volunteer-supported group to strategic growth that will impact students throughout the district.

A Mission that Goes Beyond Scholarships

A Toledo Blade article published on November 23, 2017 outlined Halada’s thoughts regarding the foundation’s growth, which will include expanded financial support to students pursuing alternative post-secondary education options, classroom grants, increased preschool opportunities — and, of course, a focus on growing a strong and involved network of TPS alumni.

Under the leadership of Dr. Romules Durant, CEO/superintendent, Toledo Public Schools has expanded its programs and support to students at each stage of their education — an effort that has made a significant impact in student performance and the district’s success. With the district making this investment, it only made sense for the TPS Foundation to expand its efforts to include more than traditional scholarships.

Dr. Durant explained, “It is really supporting TPS on the front end with early childhood, on the back end with apprenticeships and scholarships and in the middle with schools that can request funding for programs that fit our mission and vision.”

Engaging TPS Alumni

To grow the foundation in the direction that the board wishes, it is crucial to create a network of engaged TPS alumni. One of the goals put forth by the executive director is to engage with graduates — both those who are local, and graduates who may no longer be in the Toledo area but believe in the foundation's mission. Not only will a connected group of graduates help to strengthen support, it will also help the foundation to grow the endowment fund.

Bob LaClair, TPSF board member and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, said, “The board really feels like we’ve got an opportunity with alumni who have gone on to be successful to build up an endowment.” This endowment will then directly support the mission of the foundation and make an impact in the lives of TPS students.

“It is really exciting to think about what the alumni association can be in years to come, and I think if we engage the right way, the dollars will come,” said Halada.

Making a Difference in the Community

If the strides the foundation has made in just two short years is any indication, there are nothing but good things to come for the students in the TPS district. As Halada shared with the Toledo Blade, “A flourishing public school system means higher employment rates, lower crime rates, a healthier community, and lower poverty rates. We should all have a stake in that.”

To stay up-to-date with the impact that the TPS Foundation is making, follow the foundation’s blog and social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. To get involved with the foundation, contact Erica Halada at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, more than 800 TPS students participated in a Spartan Community Day Workshop which was hosted by Joe De Sena, Spartan Race CEO and founder. The program brought together middle school students from 13 area TPS schools, all gathered at the Huntington Center for a day filled with activity. The health-focused workshop provided TPS students with the opportunity to learn and practice age-appropriate body weight exercise that can be done from their own homes, whether it be in their bedrooms, living rooms or backyard.

Dr. Durant, who was in attendance during the workshop, stated, “This is an excellent example of how we can come together as a community to share the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle by actually providing our students with opportunities to truly experience it firsthand and not just talk about it.”

The event was made possible through a partnership with EPIC Toledo. The organization brought Mr. De Sena into the area for a community leadership event, and after realizing the greater impact that could be made, reached out to TPS administration and local organizations for support in this student-focused effort - the Toledo Public Schools Foundation (TPSF) was one of those supporting organizations!

The Board of Education of Toledo Public Schools is hosting the 2017 State of the District address on Wednesday, October 11. Dr. Durant, TPS CEO/Superintendent, TPS board members and and several other district representatives and supporters will be at the event.

The Toledo Public Schools Foundation has existed for more than 25 years, but was revitalized in 2016 under Dr. Durant’s leadership. Historically, the foundation has provided funding in an effort to promote quality education at Toledo Public Schools. Due to many factors that influence education and opportunities after graduation, the foundation has sharpened its focus in an effort to create an even bigger impact.

The TPS Foundation’s number one priority is to support the needs of Toledo Public Schools. By bringing together the community, TPS alumni and stakeholders, the foundation works to achieve the following strategic objectives:

  • Award scholarships to TPS high school graduates
  • Offer financial support allowing TPS to enhance its facilities
  • Provide support to the district's high school foundations
  • Serve as advocates for TPS pre-kindergarten programs
  • Increase community understanding and support regarding potential partners and funders

While the TPS Foundation (TPSF) works to build awareness of the strategic objectives we are working to achieve, there are certain things that many might not now about the foundation. Here are three facts you may not have realized!