A message from Principal Simpson…
Last spring BFA’s Board of Directors approved naming the BFA Library after one of our school’s founding family members who’s service and dedication to the school is unparalleled. The BFA Library will now be known as the Shelly Dana Library to recognize Shelly Dana’s extraordinary impact at BFA.
As a founding family member, ensuring the success of BFA became Shelly Dana’s personal mission. She was a community builder and leader who inspired and encouraged others to commit their time and energy to BFA. BFA’s founder Jason Sanders commented, “Her leadership during the formative and early years was key to the establishment of the school. Over and over again, Shelly took the lead organizing committees, activities and parents meetings–all successfully…without her…our vibrant community would not be as strong.”
Thanks to her inspiration, tireless work and leadership, volunteers rallied around her and put together the first BENefit Bash to raise funds for much needed items, such as books for the library, before we even had a building. Shelly felt strongly that every child at BFA should have access to a robust library and took action to make sure that became a reality.
Shelly Dana was president of BFA’s first Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and created an independent 501(c)(3) dedicated to supporting the school. She volunteered hundreds of hours and led efforts that raised more than $600,000 for the school. Much of the funds during the school’s early years were spent on important literacy, technology, outdoor (playground/signage) and building improvements, arts, physical education and science purchases. BFA Board member and former employee Burgandy Hodge commented, “There aren’t many places around the school that you could look and not see Shelly’s hand. Whether it is the marquee outside of the building, the playground, the BFA sign on the back wall of the main office, or resources in a classroom–it’s easy to see evidence of Shelly’s hard work and dedication. This honor recognizes all her efforts on behalf of our staff, students and the entire BFA community.”
Shelly spearheaded many of the traditions we value today such as the Harvest Festival, Ben Franklin’s Birthday and Field Day. She also oversaw the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son events when those transitioned to the PTO. These traditions are essential to the vibrant sense of community that BFA students, parents and staff still enjoy today.
Shelly’s impact also can be seen in our robust volunteer community. She not only led the PTO for years but, more importantly, she inspired and encouraged volunteers and made volunteering rewarding and fun. The vast volunteer network that Shelly helped to organize is still visible and active today throughout the school. Families in need, students trying to raise money through a bake sale, and teachers who want a hot meal in the midst of conferences still benefit from the PTO Baking Committee; and our Room Parent network serves as an essential part of communication, staff appreciation and community building. Shelly firmly believed that recognizing volunteers was essential and started the tradition of rewarding families who met their volunteer quota with a free community event, generally held at Pirates Cove.
What makes Shelly’s contributions extraordinary is her leadership, creativity, talent for motivating volunteers and willingness to take on whatever the school needed to fulfill its Mission and Vision. Her influence can be felt, not only in the infrastructure of the school, its library and in the technology we use, but also in the culture and spirit of our community.
A dedication ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, in the Library. If you have any questions, please email Pam Betts.