Verdugo Hills High School

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Alumni Fund for Excellence » Alumni


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Announcing the Verdugo Hills High School
Alumni Fund for Excellence!

In 2003 VHHS Alumni established an endowment fund to promote educational opportunity and teaching excellence at Verdugo. Financial support from past students becomes Mini-Grants to teachers who apply for help in enriching the educational experience of their students.

Currently holding about $35,000, the Fund has already made over $9,000 in Mini-Grants to teacher applicants in the range of $100 to $1,000. As the Fund continues to grow with support from additional alumni, the yearly grants--disbursed from interest income--are anticipated to grow as well.

We respectfully request your contribution!

Why is there an Alumni Fund?
Verdugo Hills has remained a very special place, with caring dedicated teachers, an enthusiastic principal, and one of the most diverse student bodies in California. Yet there are educational needs that remain unmet because of a general economic climate not supportive enough of education.

It was felt that graduates who had affection for their old school and who realized the importance of community in supporting education would want to band together for Verdugo. The Fund is an outgrowth of caring alumni, initially from the Class of 1963, who saw strength in our shared history with so many other graduates and also the advantage of our many divergent post-high-school careers, life experiences, family-lives, and far-flung addresses.

What and where is the Fund?
The fund is called the VHHS Alumni Fund for Excellence. It is a permanent endowment fund, from which annual Mini-Grants will be made. The objective of these grants, which will be in the range of $500-1,000 each, is to enrich the educational experience for VHHS students.

Funds are deposited with and administered by the highly respected California Community Foundation (check their website at, and all donations are tax-deductible. Yearly grants are expected to be made from the interest income alone.

Who can apply for a Grant?
Teachers are able to apply for grants to fund projects that directly benefit their students. Examples: to buy lab equipment for a science class, to pay for a summer course that will update and improve a teacher's skills, to fund supplies and field trips for a fine arts program.

Teachers may also apply for grants that will pay for students' participation in such life-changing experiences as summer internships in science or the professions, or a class trip to attend a regional or national science fair or symposium--opportunities often denied to Verdugo students in an era of restricted budgets.

What Grants have been given so far?
In June, 2004, the first Mini-Grants were made. Five hundred dollars was earmarked for a seismograph (as it turned out, the teacher who requested it left the school so the funds were made available for another project). As evidence of the wide-ranging "bridging" support the grads are able to give, a second Grant request was met with a personal donation! The Foreign Language Department applied for money to buy binding equipment so they could produce a literary magazine. A grad on the Alumni Fund Committee coincidentally owned such equipment and chose to donate it at no cost! The Language Department was given an extra $100 to complete the project.

In June, 2005, the Drama Department received $600 to purchase a complete set of dramatic masks, which are used to encourage student expression.

In March, 2007, $750 was given towards an interactive "SMART Board," an exciting electronic white board with graphics and text capabilities to be used in science classes. Another $750 was awarded to the VHHS Jazz Band to assist in hiring a field trip bus when the Band visited Hawaii on a cultural exchange trip.

Field trips to the Long Beach Aquarium, Museum of Tolerance, and The Noise Within Theater were paid for with Grants since then. Over $1,000 worth of pH meters and lab equipment has been awarded to Chemistry classes.  Grants have been made for numerous graphing and scientific calculators for Algebra. Partnering with a Foundation, we were able to provide a classroom set of novels for an English class.

How much money does the Fund need?

  • At the current $35,000, two $500-$1000 Mini-Grants could be made every year. Our initial goal is to be able to give more substantial assistance, in the range of four $1,000 yearly grants. This requires a $100,000 endowment.


I am a grad and I want to contribute, what do I do?

  • If you would like to make a donation of any amount, please send a check, made out to

Verdugo Hills High Alumni Fund for Excellence 

  • and mail to

The California Community Foundation

221 South Figueroa St., Suite 400

Los Angeles, CA 90012

phone 213 413-4130

Please indicate your year of graduation with your donation and make sure we have your name, address, phone and email. Acknowledgment letters are sent for any gift over $50.

I have some questions or I know someone you should contact
Please contact:
Bonnie Finn, [email protected] (818) 952-1944
Janet (Isbell) Sands [email protected] (805) 570-4914 or (805) 560-6552
Susan (Flood) Rodgers, [email protected] (661) 702-9913

Thank you from the VHHS Alumni Fund Committee:

  • Janet (Isbell) Dowling Sands, Class of 1963
  • Steve Nakasone, Class of 1963
  • Bonnie Finn, Class of 1963
  • Susie (Flood) Rodgers, Class of 1963
  • Gwen (Goodwin) Hougo, Class of 1964
  • Dave Robertson, Class of 1968
  • Bill McBee, Class of 1976
  • Will Reinhart, Class of 1987 (Faculty Representative)