Preliminary Case Narrative

As The Fulton School looks to the future and its 25th anniversary in 2018-2019, the Board of Trustees and the staff are inspired to reflect on its history and plan for future success. 


Our desire is to take The Fulton School to the next level of growth and stability.  To do this, we have set forth a bold, exciting vision for our school.  Alongside our school leadership and our Board, we have been working with a task force of volunteer leaders to create this vision. 


We now need your help to make our dreams for the future of The Fulton School a reality: To continue providing an academically challenging and supportive environment where students gain the knowledge and skills needed to become globally-minded citizens with a passion for life and learning. 

We have identified priorities calling for $4.25 million in philanthropy to transition and transform Fulton School to the next level of achievement – for our students of today and tomorrow.


The Fulton School is considering a comprehensive campaign to raise the funds to reach our visionary goals.  A total of $4,250,000 in philanthropy is needed to secure this exciting vision. Before proceeding, we are conducting a Feasibility Study to gather feedback on these plans from those important to our TFS family and who share our passion for learning.  Through this process we will determine:

• How the proposed plans resonate with our key stakeholders;

• Our capacity to raise these funds; and

• Which leaders are best suited to inspire and lead this effort.

As we consider a campaign effort, it is important to reflect on our legacy of rethinking education, making The Fulton School an extension of home and cultivating children’s capabilities and character to best equip them for the future.  That legacy has been nurtured and fulfilled with every child who has come through our doors. 

Thank you for considering our plans, offering your perspective, and helping us take this important step toward ensuring The Fulton School’s future.


Program                                  Amount
Financial Strength/Stability     $2,350,000
Endowment                            $1,000,000
Urban Campus                       $500,000
Innovation Fund                      $200,000
Campus Improvements          $200,000

TOTAL                                    $4,250,000


Financial Strength and Stability -- $2,350,000

With the 25th anniversary approaching, the Board’s goal is to provide a stronger financial footing for the school.  Our School boasts a beautiful, welcoming and highly functional facility, which called for a significant financial commitment in 1999.  Today, the School holds a $2.35 million mortgage on the facility. While this obligation is being managed in a responsible way, the time is right to retire the outstanding balance.

The Board understands and embraces its role to provide the needed financial resources in operating a sound school to deliver its mission.  Eliminating this debt frees up funds to be applied to new and exciting programs; to financial aid to attract additional students; and to establish a more sophisticated Resource Development program including a sustained annual fund effort. This commitment also creates a stronger financial foundation to ensure that we will thrive for the next 25 years and beyond.

Endowment: Permanent Source of Program Funds  --  $1,000,000

Dr. Barb Fulton was the founder of The Fulton School. Her greatest passion was helping children succeed.  From her first year teaching in a traditional public school, Dr. Barb decided that the children who weren’t ready for page 88 in the text book and the children who were well beyond page 88 weren’t “problems,” but individuals for the school to celebrate.  Her passion for this dream was the foundation of her work for the rest of her life. 

Dr. Barb knew that establishing an endowment for a school was the surest way to fulfill its missional promise.  Such an endowment will get us started down a path of predictable income for allocation to the special programs that are our hallmark, such as our learning support, travel and farm programs.  It also demonstrates long-term stability, fiscal responsibility, and financial viability.  Investment in The Fulton School through endowment funds will ensure Dr. Barb’s dream lasts forever.

Campus Improvements  --  $200,000

Providing a safe, educational, beautiful campus is paramount to the success of our students.  Our environment and surroundings play a significant role in our educational structure, therefore our facilities and grounds must maintain a state-of-the-art composition to continue to compete in the St. Louis market and manifest our mission fully.  Projects include:

Soccer field expansion  
Locker room showers
Enhanced landscaping  
Classroom furniture/fixture upgrades
Van for transportation  
Parking lot improvements

Urban Campus  --  $500,000

Strategically, The Fulton School could benefit from a second location that fits with our brand of “doing education differently.”  An urban landscape would complement our location and country surroundings. It also creates exciting opportunities for partnership with business and industry while adding an infusion of diversity and culture.  TFS has had a unique experience participating in a two-campus program; we believe that this past experience positions us well for the Urban Campus vision.  Start-up funds will allow us to research locations and feasibility, hire the Urban Campus Director and faculty, lease space, and acquire furnishings and technology, as well as accommodations for safety and security.

Many universities have two or more campuses.  Campuses have their own personalities; but from an educational standpoint, a second campus is an extension of the original.  Revenue increases, social opportunity increases, and with the right vision, brand awareness and respect increases. Imagine a high school:

  • In a cool loft space in St. Louis’s vibrant Cortex start-up district
  • Surrounded by nationally ranked universities and medical centers for partnering
  • Close to cultural and recreational assets to explore
  • Set up like a collaborative office space to boost student engagement with movable white boards and soft spaces for studying
  • Featuring a common area that feels like a café.

Innovation Fund  --  $200,000

The Fulton School is no stranger to innovative, cutting-edge education.  Our mission - to educate our students in a challenging, yet supportive environment and inspire students to become globally minded citizens with a passion for learning -  provides us with the foundation to go further in our quest to deliver the most valuable education possible.  In order to fulfill our promise, we want to distinguish ourselves by providing something different than other area schools.  We give them that reason by rethinking education.  We don’t look like other schools.  We don’t feel like other schools.  We don’t educate like other schools.  The Innovation Fund will provide ready dollars for the Head of School and her team to continue to cultivate a school environment that looks and feels different from school as usual.

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2016-17 Fulton School Board of Directors

Larry Hofstetter, President
Pam Cavness
Chetan Goyal
Carole Kelly-Frank
Terry Pabst
Eric Reynolds
John Schnurbusch
Michelle Strawbridge
Mindy Voelkel
Ian Watkins
Lynn DeLean Weber
Stan Williams
Kara Douglass, Ex-Officio


2016-17 Fulton School Feasibility Task Force

Pam Cavness
Carole Kelly-Frank
Kathy McQuillan
Denis Shine
Kindra Smith
Diane Verdine
Carrie Wilkins


CLICK HERE for a PDF version of this Feasibility Case Study.