School Foundation to honor Randolph for years of service

Creighton Randolph is stepping down form the Monticello School Foundation board after 23 years. For the past several years, he served as emcee on stage alongside auctioneer Darrell Reyner. Randolph was also instrumental in starting the Foundation’s annual golf tournament fundraiser in May. (Express file photos)

This photo was taken in 2007 when the Foundation gave money toward the Accelerated Reading (AR) Program at Carpenter School. Randolph has always been a champion of education and reading from an early age. He’s pictured third from left in the back, along with his fellow Foundation board members.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Every year the Monticello School District Foundation honors one of its own for their hard work and dedication toward the Foundation’s efforts in helping to sustain and further education of Monticello’s students. This year on Saturday, March 3, the Foundation is honoring long-term board member and volunteer Creighton Randolph.

     Having served the Foundation for 23 years now, Randolph said it’s time to step aside to let someone else fill his shoes on the 12-member board.

     “It’s something I’ve thought of for the last year or two,” he admitted.

     While Randolph might be stepping away, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s washing his hands of the Foundation’s efforts.

     “I like the idea of helping to educate our youth,” he said. “I’ll continue to help out.”

     In terms of the recognition, Randolph said it’s not something he ever sought.

     “It’s a big deal. I’m humbled. I’ve had a lot of time wrapped up in this.”

     Randolph said volunteering in general is something he’s always enjoyed doing. Aside from his 20-plus years with the MSD Foundation, he’s also been seen as a part of the Monticello Rotary Club and a former member of the Monticello Heritage Center board, too.

     “My parents taught us to give back and to do what we could,” he said. “Sometimes your time is worth a lot more than a check.”

     Randolph started serving on the Foundation board in the fall of 1995.

     “With money limited in the public school system, the Foundation helps to enhance those educational experiences,” he said.

     Not knowing how he came to serve on the board, Randolph said at the time he was involved in other community groups at the time and it seemed like the thing to do.

     “Education has always been of interest to me, even before my daughter became a teacher,” he shared. (Randolph’s daughter, Lindsey Ryan is a fourth-grade teacher in Monticello.)

     Twice in his 23 years, Randolph served as president of the Foundation Board of Directors, on two separate occasions.

     He was/is also instrumental in the development and planning of the Richmond Kromminga School Foundation annual golf tournament at the Monticello Golf Club in May. This fundraiser typically brings in $5,000 to $6,000 a year for the Foundation.

     Randolph said Dan Vorhies, who served on the foundation in the early 2000s, approached him about helping to organize the golf tournament early on.

     “The first event raised a lot of money and we kept doing it,” said Randolph.

     He said from getting teams to sign up and securing hole sponsorships, it takes a full month to organize the tournament every year.

     “It’s gotten easier every year.”

     At one time they had 19 teams, which made for a large crowd. Randolph said they’ve since learned to cap it at about 12 teams.

     “That’s the optimal size,” he said.

     Randolph hopes the Foundation continues with this successful event.

     Another thing he’d encourage the Foundation to seek in terms of funding are major donations.

     “We need to step up our efforts to go after big gifts,” he said, whether it’s land, farm ground or personal wills. “Those could be big game changers.”

     Early on, Roman Welter gifted the Foundation trees on property Welter owned. Randolph said much like that generous gift, there are more out there.

     “With these larger gifts, we could really lock down the ability to fund a lot of things in the school district,” he said. “That could be a big (impact) to the Foundation. There’s a lot of potential for this to be really beneficial to the kids.

     In its 30 years, the Foundation has given a lot of its funding toward the purchase of technology throughout the school district. Randolph said technology has always been and will continue to be a big need in education.

     “It (technology) turns over so quick,” he said. “But the school is limited with its technology funds.” That’s where the Foundation comes in.

     Randolph explained the goal of the Foundation is to be the last resort when it comes to funding requests.

     “Our job is to only give after other (funding) sources have been exhausted,” he said. He said this way, it encourages the educators to seek out grant opportunities they may not have thought of.

     Randolph said the Accelerated Reading (AR) Program has also been a passion of his, something the Foundation has gone on to support as well. He said since he was in sixth grade himself, his English teacher was instrumental in helping him “move through the reading ranks.

     “AR is doing the same thing,” said Randolph. “It encourages reading, which is the basis for everything we do. You can’t do anything without reading and comprehension.”

     The Foundation has certainly been influential in meeting the students’ education needs over the years, helping enhance their learning before they go on to pursue secondary education opportunities.

     “It increases their chance for success,” he said.

     Taxpayers already pay into education funding with a portion of their property tax, “but we’re always limited with taxes,” said Randolph. “It’s important that everybody, especially in this community, give a little extra.”

     With that in mind, the Monticello School Foundation Dinner and Auction is still on the books for Saturday, March 3, at the Berndes Center. While there was discussion about postponing the event should the girls basketball team play in the state championship game that afternoon in Des Moines, the Foundation board decided to proceed with the scheduled date.


Subscriber Login