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Greetings from the New MLWGS Foundation Executive Director

November 16, 2020 / Ginger O'Neil / Blog

Dear Governor’s School Family,

I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome I’ve received as I’ve begun my new role as Executive Director of the Governor’s School Foundation. I have a long history of involvement with the Foundation as an auction volunteer, Foundation Board member, Foundation Chair, and parent and am thrilled to be in a position to build on the amazing work done by the Foundation over the years.

My own two daughters are MLWGS alums (Jackie ’17 and Lauren ’19) so I know first-hand what an amazing school this is and how many wonderful opportunities it offers students, many of which are only possible because of the Foundation and its supporters.

For those of you new to our wonderful community or still unfamiliar with the Foundation, we are a 501(c)(3) support organization whose mission is to enhance the  educational experience for ALL students. We do this by working closely with the MLWGS admin team to identify the best ways we can invest in our students and faculty through our enhancement grants program. Financial support from parents, alums, and the wider community is one key to our success.

When the school was forced to close its doors last spring due to COVID, the Foundation leaped into action. THANKS to everyone who donated last school year, the Foundation was able to pivot (aren’t we all tired of that word??) and provide newly needed support to our students and staff. This support included:

* Providing grocery gift cards to MLWGS students while their home districts figured out how to distribute food to those who receive free and reduced meals at school

* Reimbursing teachers for courses taken so they could learn best practice in teaching virtually in their specific subjects

* Purchasing Kajeet devices for students who did not have adequate computers or wifi in their homes so they wouldn’t be left behind during the abrupt transition to virtual learning

And more.

While plans evolve for returning our Dragons to school, we at the Foundation are busy preparing to provide the enhancements that have enriched the MLWGS experience for students, teachers and alumni each year. And we need your help!

Annually, Foundation enhancement grants provide:

* Student financial assistance to cover necessary academic expenses and allow all students, regardless of financial need, to take advantage of the full range of opportunities available at MLWGS, including class- and club-related field trips and travel.

* Tuition reimbursement to faculty (just proclaimed the Best in Virginia by!) for graduate coursework and conference and workshop attendance so they can stay current in best practice related to gifted education and their specific subject area.

  • Classroom enhancements that include the purchase of equipment, books, or software, paying stipends for guest speakers, covering the cost of field trips, and more requested by teachers to enhance their lessons and the student experience.

As I get my arms around this new role, I look forward to partnering with each of you as we ensure that MLWGS provides the best experience possible for all students. If you’d like to learn more about the Foundation or get involved, please reach out to me any time at

And please donate to support our efforts as you are able online at All annual fund donations will count toward our 2020-2021 Parent Participation Contest, which will launch soon. Stay tuned for details!

Looking forward!

Ginger O’Neil