Leadership and Love: Answering the WHY Questions

As the director of the Foundation for nearly four years, I am so proud of the personal commitment of time, talent, treasure, leadership, and love that is expressed by the foundation’s board of directors to our school district, our schools, and our students.

Therefore, over a cup of coffee, a quick email, or through a collaborative dialogue, I have been asking three questions, each beginning with the word WHY and pertaining to the work that we do to support Baltimore County Public Schools.


WHY contribute/donate?

WHY are you a storyteller about our students and schools?

WHY did you become an ambassador for public education?

In the responses that follow, you can feel the love and the leadership in each message.  A personal thank you to those identified for sharing your thoughts and answering the WHY questions for this month’s e-newsletter.

Paula Reed, National Director Education Partnerships, Discovery Education

Discovery Logo

Providing my time, energy and finances for the students in BCPS is an investment in an educational foundation for children that provides personalized and equitable learning.  I have traveled across the country visiting other large urban and suburban school districts, and I have been most impressed by BCPS’ comprehensive plan for a 5 year digital conversion, with the priority on changing the look and feel of teaching and learning for 21st Century students.  The leadership, administrators, and teachers have their eye on the prize, which is to make worldwide competitive students who are ready for a career and or college.  Very seldom do you see everyone in a school district singing from the same hymnal as you do in BCPS. .  I share BCPS’ phenomenal success with folks throughout the nation and encourage them to visit BCPS to see how great leadership, a quality team of educators, focused on children, with vision and perseverance, leads to engaged students who are ready to take on the world.

Steve Prumo, Senior Portfolio Advisor

The Prumo Group, First Vice-President, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management


The Foundation’s Mission / Vision resonates with me for two primary reasons:   It’s in my blood and it is directly aligned with my personal Mission and Vision.  My father and step-mother served BCPS their entire careers, I attended BCPS, and my 4 children will attend BCPS.  I believe I will realize my vision for my family by serving others and helping them to reach their dreams.

Jimmy Lien, General Manager Cintas Baltimore, Location 42



As an alumnus and a parent of 2 kids in Baltimore County Schools, I care a lot about the well being of Team BCPS.  I am a strong supporter of the Education Foundation, and I am excited to contribute to help make Baltimore County the flagship county for innovation, academic performance, and work-readiness.

As a leader in the business community, we have a responsibility to make sure the next generation of Maryland leaders are set up for success.  I want to make sure my kids have the best education they can get and I want all students to be well prepared to take on the world as the grow.


Jennifer Miller, Instructional Consultant – Education

Office Depot, Mid-Atlantic Region

Office Depot logo

Office Depot’s Education Division is all about Advancing Student Achievement and our belief of equal access, skill mastery and a home/school partnership is at the core of everything we do.

We believe that Baltimore County Public Schools, with the assistance of the Education Foundation, the community, and its business partners, are leading the way for all students to achieve through its ever-evolving S.T.A.T. Initiative, which will equip our future leaders with the necessary 21st Century skills to succeed in work, life and citizenship.

The tireless work being done by Debbie Phelps and her team at the Education Foundation is unparalleled in the education world today.  We, as an organization, are so inspired by what the foundation has contributed to the work being done at BCPS, the grants allotted to the students to create, research and discover, and the numerous scholarships to deserving students, are examples of how a school district can best serve its students by bringing all stakeholders together to advance student achievement.

Office Depot is proud to contribute to the students of BCPS as we all share the same “Why”; advancing student achievement.


Just a few responses in February’s e-newsletter with more responses to follow.  So, I ask you how would you respond to the WHY questions? 


WHY contribute/donate?

WHY are you a storyteller about our students and schools?

WHY did you become an ambassador for public education?