The Amphitheater School District has received a donation of about $600,000.
District officials really don’t know who the late donor Glenda J. Schottenstein was, or why she chose the district to receive the money.
Schottenstein, a Tucson resident, listed the district as the residual beneficiary in her will and trust documents. In those documents, Schottenstein explicitly spelled out that half of the money is to go toward school clothing and shoes for “needy children,” and the other half is to be used for the funding of art projects and field trips.
“We have attempted to determine whether or not she was ever a teacher in the district using all the records we have,” said Todd Jaeger, the district’s associate to the superintendent. “We have been able to find no connections to her in terms of employment or in terms of having been a parent.”
Schottenstein’s donation can only be used for what she intended. The district expects to spend about 5 percent of the donation each year, with money available into 2030.
“We would like to see it last as long as possible for as many students as possible,” Jaeger said.
Field trips are usually paid for with extracurricular fees, and art projects are usually supplemented by parent teacher organizations, Jaeger said
“She clearly knew something about how these schools operate and how they compare in programming in non-title schools,” Jaeger said.
“This is pretty thoughtful – in the true sense of the word – that she thought it through and knew exactly what she wanted to have happen with this money. This is certainly, without a doubt, the largest private gift the district has ever received.”
Schools listed in the will are Amphitheater Middle School, and Prince, Holaway, Keeling, Nash, Rio Vista and Coronado elementary schools.
Schottenstein graduated from Bexley High School in Columbus, Ohio in 1960, and died July 30, 2009. As far as Jaeger knows, she did not have any children or next of kin. The personal representative and trustee with her estate identified Schottenstein as “an investor” and “a very kind donor.”