Join us for our 10th Annual Wine & Food Pairing on March 9th at Barn at Hillside Park in Andover. Save the Date for our 4th Annual Cornament on June 23, 2024!!!

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The Sparta Education Foundation approved two grant proposals at its June Annual meeting, in addition to inducting its new Executive Board and welcoming a new trustee, Heidi Byrne. The annual report for 2021 was reviewed and approved. View it online: 2021 Annual report.

Ronnie Spring, Director of Special Services for grades 6-12, petitioned the board for funds to support flexible seating for a new behavioral classroom at Sparta Middle School. The board approved $16,840 to supply standing desks, bean bag chairs, area rugs, bookcases, lounge seating and other classroom supplies for a new program, aimed to support students who struggle in mainstream classrooms. The goal of the behavior program aims to allow more students to remain in the public school classrooms, providing support and interventions usually reserved for out of district placement.

A $48,785 grant was awarded to Sparta High School Technology Teacher Mark Meola to cover the cost of replacing a 3D printer in the Robotics and Engineering lab. The new printer will replace a 10-year-old model, and the upgraded technology will allow Sparta High School students to continue to learn about 3D modeling and design, as well as to expand their study of the STEM fields.

In addition to hearing the grant proposals, the Sparta Education Foundation elected its new Executive Board. Heather Egli, who has served as Vice President, will move into the role of President; Jillian Palleschi, who had served as Secretary, will now serve as Vice President; Daniel Sarnowski will stay on as Treasurer; and Kimberly Noel was voted in as Secretary.

Donna West, who had served as SEF President for the past three years, will step down from the executive board but will continue to serve the foundation as a Trustee.

Lastly, Heidi Byrne was welcomed to the board, and will serve as a Sparta Education Foundation Trustee. Byrne has been a longtime resident of Sparta, and has four children who have been educated in the district. She works as a real estate agent for Keller Williams in Sparta, and has been an active volunteer, especially with the Sparta girls lacrosse program.

“We are very excited to have Heidi’s help,” said Heather Egli, SEF President. “She is very enthusiastic about the work we do to support Sparta’s schools, and I know she’ll be a big help to us with the many events we have scheduled for next year.”

One of those events will be the rescheduled Cornament, which was cancelled June 12 due to rain.

“We are happy to announce our Cornament is now rescheduled for September 11 at Mohawk Avenue School,” continued Egli. “We were really disappointed to have to postpone it, but it was a decision we had to make. We are looking forward to being able to host it in the fall, once again at Mohawk Avenue School.”

The SEF thanks its Cornament sponsors for their support:  W”Hole” Sponsor/Presenting Sponsor, Rev it Up; Board Sponsors: Harte Orthodontics, Duphiney Financial Network, Liquor Factory, the Coronato Property Group, and Rev It Up; Now (H)ear This/Music Sponsor, Skylands Orthodontics; Bracket Sponsor, Wellness Pediatrics; Food Sponsor, Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy; Sticker Sponsor, Sparta Pharmacy; Ace Sponsor, Econo-Pak, Lakeland Bank, Mike Kahwaty, and CM Packaging; A”Maize”ing Sponsors, Schenk, Price & King, Chad Barris (Family First Funding), NJ Swim of Sparta, Bubbakoos, Birch Design and Construction, the Sparta Benevolent Society, and Jula Paper Co.; as well as the Lawn Sign Sponsors, Charley, Mathnasium, Greene’s Beans, Schenk Price & King, Maize & Blue Rehab, and the Sparta Athletic Campus.

The SEF also thanks the sponsors of its other spring event, the Dragon Boat Festival, held May 22: Dragon Sponsor, Newton Medical Center – Atlantic Health; Gold Crown Sponsor, Weichert Realtors of Sparta; Gold Sponsor, Northern Pride Design; Silver Sponsors, Wellness Pediatrics, Ivy Rehab, Liquor Factory, Rev It Up, Coronato Property Group, Handtied By Tiffany, Villa Capri II, and Schoolcraft Studios; Brone Sponsors: Lakeland Bank, Skylands Orthodontics, and CM Packaging; and Paddle Sponsors, Harte Orthodontics, We Care We Clean, Schenck Price Law Firm, Chad Barris Mortgages, American Smoke, American Mobile Glass, NJ Swim Sparta, the Junior Women’s Club of Sparta, the Sparta Benevolent Society, and Jula Paper Company.

Since 2006, the Sparta Education Foundation has funded over $1,160,896 in grants to all five of Sparta’s Public Schools. The Foundation is an all-volunteer, independent 501© (3) NJ Non-Profit Corporation whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving. Visit for more information about joining or volunteering.