Who We Are

A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, The Ridgefield Education Foundation is a collection of citizens who believe that education is at the heart of our community. The REF is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of parents, local community leaders, Board of Education members, the Ridgefield Public Schools Superintendent and teachers.

Our History

REF was created in 2011 with the goal of issuing project-specific grants to fund creative, innovative, and collaborative educational initiatives conceived by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community organizations. Though an independent body, REF maintains close partnership with local schools and organizations, to keep our community at the forefront of education and instructional design and to help meet needs unique to our district.

Our Goals

The goals of the foundation are to help move education forward with creativity, innovation and collaboration by:

  • Preparing and developing a 21st century learning environment, leveraging the use of technology
  • Serving as a catalyst for the development and promotion of innovative programs
  • Enhancing the educational training, resources and technology available to educators
  • Increasing the community’s awareness and support of the schools

Mission & Vision

Our mission is to strengthen the bridge between the community and our public schools by:

  • Encouraging private philanthropy to enhance student educational experiences
  • Hosting special events, either on our own or in partnership with other town organizations, to educate the community about new, exciting and enriching opportunities for student learners
  • Enhancing the educational training, resources and technology available to educators

​We look for initiatives that will help develop and support Ridgefield’s education system as it transforms itself into a 21st century learning environment. We exist to enhance the educational training, resources and technology available to educators so that they can further foster our community to attain the skills needed to succeed in a modern economy.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors prides itself on its diversity, with employment experiences ranging from nonprofit work to legal, teaching to marketing, finance to technology. Most importantly, the Board of Directors is comprised of individuals who reside in Ridgefield, having a stake in the education system.

Pam Banks, President

James Osborn, Secretary

Jennifer Coleman

Heather Neumann Salaga

Beth Yavenditti


Jessica Seewald

Lisa Whelan