Education Foundation

Van Buren School District Education Foundation

Mission Statement

The mission of the Van Buren School District Education Foundation is to generate and distribute resources to the Van Buren School District to enrich, maintain, and expand programs needed to meet the district's stated mission of excellence in education.

The foundation will achieve its mission by directing resources toward the following goals:
• Encourage all students to work to their highest potential
• Staff support for innovative efforts
• Recognize staff for exemplary teaching
• Build Community awareness for the Van Buren School District Education Foundation
• Inspire parents and the community to participate with the school district in enriching education

Who We Are

  • A 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt philanthropic organization of citizens.
  • Sharing a vision of enhancing education in the Van Buren School District
  • Working to increase private support for educational activities in the Van Buren School District.
  • Benefiting Van Buren School District Students and staff personnel by supporting activities not funded by tax dollars.
  • Awarding Foundation funds through a volunteer Board of Directors made up of business, community and educational leaders.

Our Purpose

The Van Buren School District Education Foundation has been created to support the educational programs for both the students and staff of the Van Buren School District.

The foundation will provide funds for educational programs and activities which either have not been funded or have been underfunded by the normal operating budget. These funds will be used to facilitate student achievement and skill development, to recognize and encourage staff excellence and to expand community involvement from individuals, business and civic organizations.

Funding Priorities

• Innovative Teaching Grants
• Technology
• Staff Development
• Economic and Special Needs of Students
• Interactive Learning Experiences for Students
• School/Community Partnerships-Programs/Projects
• Student/Teacher Recognition Programs
• Author/Artist in Resident Programs
• Permanent Endowment Fund
• Endowed Scholarship Programs

Since our inception in 2001, the Van Buren Education Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in grants to educators! 

Check out photos from our Million Dollar Celebration on Facebook! 

How you can help

Your contribution to the Van Buren School District Education Foundation will be gratefully received and carefully appropriate to provide education opportunities for students.

Your support may come from contributions for cash, annual pledges, memorial gifts, real estate, stocks, planned giving or other in-kind gifts.

You can help by participating. The foundation welcomes the intangible and invaluable gifts of your time, service and wisdom.

Image titleFind us on Facebook! @VBSDEducationFoundation

Contact Debbie Thomas at (479) 651-0810 or by email at 

Van Buren Education Foundation Board of Directors

(Years denote graduation for Van Buren Alumni) 

Debbie James Thomas (1971), VBSD Education Foundation Director

Dr. Harold Jeffcoat, VBSD Superintendent

Nathan Hurst (1994), Today’s Bank

David King (1976), PAC Printers

Lindsey Trantham, Arkansas Colleges of Health Education

Allen Defrees, Citizens Bank & Trust Company 

Bob Freeman (1973), Former Mayor of Van Buren/VBSD Board of Education

Brad Martin, Citizens Bank & Trust Company 

Brian Summerhill (1989), VBSD Deputy Superintendent

Byrl Criswell (1980), Criswell Family Dentistry

Caroline Brewer (2002), Jim White Realty, Inc.

Carolyn Loyd, GFWC-Women’s League of Van Burenn

Charley Williams, Edward Jones

Daniel Loyd, Tankersley Foods

David Neal (1972), Rhodes Chevrolet

David Needham (1982), Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield

Dianna Lyons-Wagnor, SPMI-My HR Professionals

Dustin Booth, Dustin Booth State Farm Insurance

Fred O. Williams (1970), Williams/Crawford

Jacob Howell (2004), Merge Church/VBSD Board of Education

Jean Ellyne Dougan (1965), Retired VBSD Educator/Community Volunteer

Jim Petty, Strategic Realty

Joe Stewart, Citizens Bank & Trust Company

Ken & Vicki Kilgore, Crawford Health & Rehabilitation

Kevin Bell (1988), Jimmy Bell Real Estate Company/VBSD Board of Education

Dr. Mark Hurst, Hurst Family Dentistry

Melissa Chitwood, BancorpSouth

Robbie Spoon (1981), Williams Florist & Gifts

Rusty Myers (1962), Community Volunteer

Stephanie Jones, Experian

Wendell Westfall, Bank OZK