The Story of June Shelton and Evaluation Center
as written by June Ford Shelton, Ph.D.
I was packing books and personal belongings in my car to move home to Denton on March 31, 1976, when I was first approached about what would become the June Shelton School. Larry and Suzy Beeman, parents of a student at Dean Learning Center, from which I had just resigned, told me that they and a group of learning different children wanted me to stay in Dallas. Would I be willing to pursue the idea of creating a new school in Dallas for children who needed special learning techniques?
I was willing to talk about it.
A meeting was arranged for the next day to outline the philosophy of the school, determine populations to be served, and discuss services the school might offer. On April 2, 1976, Larry Beeman flew the incorporation papers to Austin, "walked them through" and the June Shelton School and Evaluation Center was chartered under the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act. Its purposes were educational, charitable and scientific: to provide evaluation, education and training for persons with learning disabilities or problems in school, and to instruct educators and other interested persons in understanding language disorders and school problems. Larry Beeman, Georgia Green, and I were the original incorporators. Mr. Beeman was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and would serve until 1979.
Beeman and Green began surveying parents; the response was excellent. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Ablon offered their home for the first forum, and more than 50 people attended. I explained the plans and the possibilities, then Beeman fielded questions, outlined problems to be solved and led the lively discussion.
Three tasks needed immediate attention: 1) add more working board members, 2) decide what to do first, and 3) find a place to begin work. Arnold Ablon and Julia Patrick were duly elected trustees that night, and we decided to open the Evaluation Center on May 1. Allyn Patrick and Beeman arranged for the use of three offices at 3960 North Central Expressway rent-free for three months, made possible by the First National Bank of Dallas. This enabled us to work within our budget, which at that time was zero.
Now we were ready for the hard part.
Merco Manufacturing Company made a $10,000 line of credit available to the school that would be used to buy school furniture and equipment. I donated my services for the summer so that the income the school had could be used for office and testing staff salaries. Some of the prospective students' mothers helped make materials for the school which was to open on Labor Day. An open house hosted by the Beemans brought still more community interest.
Parents with prospective students began applying for admission for their children, showing their confidence that the school, which existed only in the imaginations of a few, would become a reality.
After a three-month search by everyone involved, Carole Ablon located space the school could share with the Church of Religious Science at 6318 Willow Lane. The equivalent of seven rooms seemed ample for a beginning. Carole Kinsala, who had also left the Dean Learning Center, was indispensable: She acted as office manager, administrative assistant and jack-of-all-trades.
We moved into the new quarters on August 11th; by that time 22 students had enrolled. On Labor Day, 48 students showed up, 26 of them unregistered. The new total was a welcome surprise, but one that required many adjustments.
Susan Blanchard was director of the school and the first-grade teacher. Gwen Jensen, and Marilyn Aaron, two of the other original employees, are still with the school.
The inconvenience of ordering desks late and making do until they were delivered seemed like fun to the children, and the experienced teachers took the obstacles in stride. But by March the school was bursting at the seams as the number of students climbed to 66.
Joy Crouch, a friend of the school who later became administrative assistant, located space at the Preston Forest Baptist Church at the corner of Forest and Cromwell. The educational building, a second small building for testing, an office and two small classrooms were available. The move was made over spring break with the help of the parents, teachers, and board members. Moveable dividers were built to help "carve out" classrooms in the large undivided areas. The enclosed areas looked like classrooms, but the dividers didn't buffer sound. The teachers vowed that if the school ever got real walls they would never complain again. Despite the conditions, though, the teaching was great; the students were learning and their self-esteem and spirits were growing.
When the first year was over, we realized that we had a real school with school spirit and loyalty. The faculty had shared hopes, fears, trials, and triumphs. We had been told that we could never do it, but we were on our way. The school was solvent, and the $10,000 loan had been paid back. The parents and board members were supportive; everyone felt the glow of success.
When the 1977-'78 school year began, the school had 112 students and 31 staff and faculty members. The original five-member board had grown to seven. We had gained some new teachers and lost a few of the less hardy. That was the year Beverly Dooley came to the school to develop an English curriculum, teach Alphabetic-Phonics and train other teachers. The school had started in 1976 with preschool through sixth grade, but with the addition and influence of Beverly Dooley and Sandi O'Connor, we now added the seventh and eighth grades.
The teachers spent a lot of time preparing the first eighth-grade class for the transition to high school. We also added outdoor intramural sports, emphasizing development of motor skills fitness and endurance. The teachers spent many hours outside the classroom on teacher development and improving the curriculum. Fifteen teachers (from our school and others in the city) were trained in Alphabetic-Phonics in the teacher-training center. Through the training center and the Evaluation Center, the school provided services to the community that reached beyond the students enrolled there.
During the 1978-'79 school year, the Board of Trustees was expanded to 16. Sherrye Camp came to the school for an interview to do "just a little bit of testing" and was hired as school director, even though she was days away from delivering a baby.
One hundred and nineteen bright, energetic youngsters began that school year with lots of optimism and enthusiasm. As the programs and curriculum improved and expanded, the need for space grew, too, and Camp had her first big challenge. She met it by securing space in the small educational building of the Midway Baptist Church for the preschool, primary, and two first grade classes. Splitting up the school allowed for a more comfortable environment and easier programming, but the teachers missed the stimulating interaction they had previously enjoyed. All agreed that a united campus would be a goal for the future.
The school began having an open house with teacher demonstrations that year, now an annual event. The Parents' Club organized and took on the task of presenting school and community experts to speak or lead group discussions on learning disabilities, treatment, and future school opportunities to groups of interested parents. The teachers also were very busy that year moving furniture to accommodate the needs of the church. They yearned for the day when the school would no longer have to fade into the woodwork before weekends, holidays and weddings.
The emphasis, as usual, was on the teaching and the emotional growth of the children. Camp, with her background in psychology and special education, introduced "staffing" of the children, a new method to evaluate their progress whereby all of a student's teachers meet in a group to evaluate his or her progress - in math, history and every other subject, as well as social skills and adjustment to the various classes. Camp's superior communication skills also were evident in improving student interaction, in communication with the parents and in staff meetings. The faculty became closer and communicated even more under her leadership, and the students seemed happier as a result. That year taught us that structure in recreation and creative activities is at least as important - if not more as it is in academics.
The 1979-'80 school year opened with 111 students and 30 staff members on two campuses. The second Chairman of the Board was Mr. Charles Burford, who would serve through 1981. That year was the first time the school staff lost a member through death. An irreplaceable aide, Adele Wolf, died of cancer. No one at school knew of her illness. One Monday morning, she failed to come to school. In memory of her unswerving dedication, perseverance and unselfishness, the researchers established an annual award for the student who gives 100 percent in leadership, sportsmanship and citizenship.
In late spring, some unexpected news forced us to speed up our schedule for getting a school with "real walls" and no need to disappear on weekends. Preston Forest Baptist Church was sold to Korean Baptist Church, and the new owners planned to use all the space that we had shared. We needed to move by September, a feat that required much scampering on the part of the administrators and board members. For the teachers and students, meanwhile, it was business as usual.
The search for a site for the school was long and discouraging. Most places we found were unsuitable, but eventually Dick Hestwood found some commercial space in a strip shopping center on Skillman, just two blocks from Garland City limits. It wasn't ideal but there was ample space and the owners would finish it to our specifications. A three-year lease was required. The yearly rental fee was about seven times as much as we had ever paid before. Time was running out. Parents and teachers were invited to meet at the shopping center to walk through and view the empty, dark space. A lively discussion ensued, and we finally agreed that we would all work together to make it possible. That was the first time the school needed contributions above the income the school and Evaluation Center generated. Board members immediately began to hammer out details of the lease and the construction. Parents, students and teachers planned and carried out the move, but not until after summer school was over.
In 1980 -'81, 85 students settled into their new school. They had been so much a part of the move that they seemed to feel even more loyal than ever. It was a good year, but there were many hard tasks to accomplish.
We approached the Meadows Foundation to ask for help uncovering our deficit. Instead, they granted the school $50,000 as seed money to establish a development office so that we could learn how to raise the money while we also learned how to become better known in the community for the services we provide.
Unexpectedly, during the spring of that year representatives of the school were asked to appear before the City Council to answer questions about the suitability of our having a school in a shopping center. The council sent us to the Zoning Commission, which concluded that we had one year in which to find another site, as the occupancy permit would not be renewed. That "inspirational" experience renewed our energies and intentions. The Board of Trustees decided that we would have to find new quarters for the following school year instead - then about three months off.
David Martineau and Charles Burford emerged as leaders in the search. For a time, the search was discouraging, but finally the "ideal building" was located, the old Lovers Lane Methodist Church on Lovers Lane. To really know how ideal it was required much vision and imagination. But to Martineau, Burford and me, it looked great. With three and one-quarter acres of land, 60,000 square feet of space and a central location, it fit the needs outlined in our ten-year plan. On the negative side, it was in wretched condition - problems with the heating system and undetected problems with the cooling system, holes in the walls, in need of paint and other minor repairs. But the rooms in the main building were large and had thick walls that kept the sounds inside the classroom. There were two stories, a natural separation for the older and younger students. The former chapel was made-to-order for a preschool, and there was space for a future motor-training room, dining room, sports floor, a stage and more. We saw its potential, and we wanted it. One problem remained - how much would it cost and where would that money come from? Martineau, Burford and John Sterling investigated the price, the terms and the legal details.
Their research revealed that the non-negotiable price was $1.1 million, and $100,000 more would be needed to make the building usable. The zoning was right for our school, but the $75,000 contingency fund was barely adequate for the closing costs. Jim Smith, father of former students James and Campbell, began the repairs on barely a moment's notice. Without him, all would have been lost. He even found someone to donate all the carpeting. Although the opening date was delayed a few days, everything was moved in and in place for the 97 students who began that 1981-'82 school year. Only the courage and loyalty of the group of board members made it possible for the June Shelton School to have a permanent home at last. This was the biggest step we had ever taken, and, frankly, most of us were scared. However, throughout all this, the Board was led by Mr. David Martineau, who continued his chairmanship through 1983 and who currently (2006) remains a loyal board member.
Although no one looked forward to the hard work of moving again, the teachers were elated with the building and the prospect of never having to move again. The children had fun exploring and getting acquainted with the new school. It seemed to us that we would never be short of space again, a short-lived notion. Ninety-seven students began the 1981-'82 school year.
The Parents' Council was established that year with its president serving as non-voting representative on the Board of Trustees. Sharon Jeffries joined the staff as development director, responsible for getting our building paid for and the renovations and improvements made. Board emphasis that year was on fundraising, and our goal was $2.7 million in a three-phase plan. Although only $500,000 was raised that year, some of the needs listed in the plan were satisfied in small, but not unnoticed, ways. Before the school year was over, gifts in-kind and efforts by parents, board members and other friends had satisfied another million dollars' worth of improvements.
At first, we rattled around in our new building, but soon we began to expand to fill the available space. The children blossomed in our permanent home, and some of the teachers who had small children asked for and received space for a nursery.
The 1982-'83 school year started with an enrollment of 109 and staff of 33. Our first annual Grandparents' Day was held, with the grandparents invited for lunch with a visit and demonstration in their grandchild's classroom. The children whose grandparents could not attend were allowed to invite another favorite adult friend.
Under Sherrye Camp's direction, the school has become more "structured" each year. The procedure, rules, customs and responsibilities are clearer and thus become automatic - a matter of habit. Operation of the school is smoother, and the children's study habits have improved. The emphasis on study skills has really paid off, thanks to the influence of Beverly Dooley. A new emphasis is being put on social skills, and the curriculum is more formalized. Teaching the children why certain behaviors are useful, acceptable or appropriate is stressed, and the students learn to understand the effects of their behavior on others and practical ways of getting better responses from others.
During that year, an Athletic Association was formed by the Special Schools (a Dallas association of schools for learning-disabled children) to allow and encourage sports, competition and emphasize fair play and good sportsmanship.
The 1983-'84 school year began with an enrollment of 127. The Board of Trustees increased in number to 24; the chairman was Mr. Pete Winstead. Board members Don Houseman and Peggy Gottsacker led the annual fundraising campaign, raising over $100,000.
The 1984-'85 school year began with 138 students on board. The Board chairman was Mr. Jim Wood. We also welcomed a new development director, Bob Hopkins. He directed the annual support campaign, the capital improvement campaign and public relations efforts.
The spring of 1985 was very exciting as we realized that our dream of establishing a multipurpose activity center might become a reality. Mark Bramlett's father, James Bramlett, offered to coordinate and contract the construction of a center so it could be available for 1985-'86 school year, Mark's last year at Shelton. After careful consideration, the Board of Trustees decided to accept his offer and enter into a fund- raising campaign to try to raise $1.2 million. The money would pay for construction and renovation of the multipurpose activity center, additional classrooms, debt retirement, a business office, preschool classrooms and office space for Sherrye Camp's secretary. As in 1982, when we fell short of our lofty fundraising goals and efforts by the board, the school and the parent group helped us accomplish an additional million dollars' worth of improvements. 0ur progress toward the current goals is quite impressive, and all those who have played a role in this effort should be proud.
Dr. Jean Kennerly joined the staff in 1985 to replace me as director of the Evaluation Center. I will continue to do some evaluations, but Dr. Kennerly will be doing most of them and will handle all administrative duties for the Evaluation Center.
I announced my intentions to pass my administrative duties as executive director to Sherrye Camp beginning in the summer of 1985. The Board of Trustees accepted my resignation and gave me the title of Executive Director Emeritus. I will remain relatively active in board affairs and will serve as an advisor to anyone who will listen on the staff, faculty or board.
The 1985-'86 school year began with almost 200 students and 50 staff members. Mr. Bernie Kraft was the Board Chairman. Carole Hill, who will also serve as its director, started an Early Childhood Development program. The Board of Trustees increased its number to 29. An appreciation dinner was planned at the Dallas Country Club for October 3, followed by a student reunion October 4 in the Activities Center.
So much has been accomplished in the last nine years, thanks to the board members, hundreds of parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders - and especially those students for whom this school was built.
Shelton also divided its school population into two schools during the 1985-86 school year. The lower school included primer through fourth grade, and the middle school included fifth through eighth grade.
The 1986-'87 school year started with an enrollment of 230 students and a staff of 55. The Board Chairman was Mr. Doug Lattner, who served until 1988. This was the year Early Childhood, lower, middle and upper school divisions were made to better serve the need of our growing enrollment. The Early Childhood program served both preschool and kindergarten students and was led by Carole Hill. The lower school included children in kindergarten through third grade and was led by Alice Scarborough. The middle school, led by Carol Utay, consisted of fourth through sixth grade students; the upper school, seventh through eighth grade students. The upper school, seventh through eighth grade, began the year under the leadership of Beverly Dooley. By the middle of the year, Sherrye realized Beverly's talents in the area of teacher training were needed throughout the entire school. At that time, Lynn Nolen took over the duties of head of upper school, and Mrs. Dooley devoted her time to training teachers throughout the nation as well as the Shelton staff. Sandi O' Connor and Nancy Reddington were also active in training teachers and parents. Understanding the unique need of students who learn differently was important to teachers and parents alike.
Before the 1986-'87 year began, the middle school wing was added to accommodate Shelton's growing enrollment. An upstairs addition to "Fellowship Hall" gave our logical fourth, fifth and sixth graders an opportunity to discover why their second floor classrooms were numbered in the three hundreds. A preschool/lower school playground was added to our "front yard" to strengthen the large motor muscles of our younger population.
In 1987-'88 a portable building was added to our "back yard" and Sandi O'Conner and Debbie Pitman moved out back to educate the ninth grade. This addition of ninth grade had long been a request of concerned parents who wanted their children to transition smoothly into high school.
The student population during this year was at its highest level. Two hundred and fifty students were enrolled in preschool through ninth grade with 70 staff members.
In 1988-'89, the student enrollment remained at 250 with 71 staff members. This was the year the Dallas economy hit rock bottom. The Board of Trustees Chairman was Ric Middlekauff. The Parent Council remained strong and donated funds to begin a computer lab. During the year, other funds were secured from various grants that were written by our new development director, Diann Slaton, and the computer lab continued to grow.
The quality educational programs have remained strong with additional computer equipment and the latest technology to serve the need of learning different students. The lower school added an afternoon reading lab so that students would not only learn the decoding process in the morning class, but also practice comprehension skills in the afternoon. Project Wild, Project Heroes and Project Charlie are three other curricula added this year to enable our students to become more aware of their environment, themselves, their unique learning styles, their potential for success as adults, and their ability to make mature decisions based on facts.
Meeting the needs of the student who learns differently means staying in touch with current programs and technologies that allow each learner to reach his/her highest educational potential. Shelton School strives to help each learner discover how he/she learns best and how to be able to return to an educational environment that best suits his/her learning style.
In the spring of 1989, Sherrye Camp, Executive Director, announced her resignation, effective June 1989. She was marrying Kenneth Banks and moving to Schulenberg, Texas. The Board of Trustees hired the firm of Ward, Howell International to assist the school in seeking a new Executive Director. Given the lateness of the year, the board discussed whether or not it was feasible/possible to find a permanent director. With the assistance of Linc Eldredge, Consultant ( Ward, Howell International) the board interviewed a series of permanent director candidates as well as Dick Cadigan, an individual who indicated willingness to be Interim Head of Shelton for 1989-'90.
In July 1990, the board unanimously voted to offer the position of Interim Head to Dick Cadigan and to commence a nationwide search for a permanent Executive Director for 1990-91. Given the strong current academic leadership of the school under division heads Betty Glasheen (lower school) - pre-kindergarten to grade three); Alice Scarborough (grade four to grade six) and Lynn Nolen (upper school - grade seven to grade nine), the board felt confident that Dick Cadigan could manage the school on an interim basis. His background included extensive educational administrative experience, work in financial and people management, and a good understanding of people of all ages.
Enrollment stood at 204 on opening day with a projected deficit of $30,000. The Board had sufficient contingency funds to cover the deficit if it remained at the end of the year. However, in March 1990 enrollment stood at 215 and there was a projected fund balance of $25,000. The new Board of Trustees Chairman was Mr. James (Boots) Reeder, who led the Board until 1995, and continues as a board member to this day (2006).
The Parent Council experimented with a new format for its annual spring fundraiser and realized over $50,000 from its Spring Fling, which attracted over 400 Shelton parents and friends.
In February, 1990 the Shelton School Search Committee recommended to the Board of Trustees that Joyce Pickering of Louisville, Kentucky be appointed permanent Executive Director.
The trustees unanimously accepted the recommendation and Mrs. Pickering accepted. She had extensive experience in curriculum, administration, teaching and research in the field of "learning differences."
Shelton's History Continues
by Joyce S. Pickering, Hum.D., Jessica Newman,
Theresa M. Ball, and Anne Thomas
In July 1990, Joyce S. Pickering was named Executive Director, CEO, Head of School, and Board President of Shelton School.
Enrollment began at 175, and by the end of the year rose to 181 students. The Annual Giving Campaign was co-chaired by Steve Crowell and Rick Porter. The campaign's goal was $125,000. Vicki Mosely was named the Parents' Council President. The auction party's theme was "Shelton Express" and the net proceeds were $65,000. The Auction was co-chaired by Cindy Ward and Kathy Kincheloe. The Dads' Club was formed this year, and was an exciting new addition to Shelton. Carl Urban was named the first President, and the Dads' Club held its first annual cook out on Memorial Day for the whole school.
Shelton continued to grow this year. The Language and Speech Clinic and the Evaluation Center moved out of a house on Caillet to the first floor of the main building. The computer lab also moved into a larger room. Bob Pickering and the Board's Building and Grounds Committee studied the school's plan. In December 1990, Shelton received accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In January 1991, the Saturday Scholars Program began with 14 students.
1991-1992 was a very busy year at Shelton. Enrollment began at 170 and grew to 181 by the end of the school year. The Annual Giving Campaign goal was $125,000 and was co-chaired by Dr. Paul Neubach and Susan Eldredge. "Reach for the Stars" was the theme for the auction party. The net proceeds were $60,000 and was co-chaired by Diane Wallace and her father, Cloyde Pinson. The Dads' Club President this year was Carl Urban. In the summer of 1991, Shelton applied to the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) for accreditation and it was granted.
Expansion continued in 1991-1992. The Early Childhood Program for preschool through kindergarten (ages three to six) was reinstated. The first Capital Campaign began in November 1991, with a goal of three million dollars. The campaign was co-chaired by James (Boots) Reeder, Kenneth Hughes, and John Rauscher. The goals were to buy additional land around the school, build a new wing, build a sports field, and to add a porte-cochere at the west end of the building. One of these goals was recognized early with the purchase of 1.5 acres of land for the sports field on the west end of the school facing Lovers Lane. The groundbreaking ceremony for the field was held in the spring of 1992.
In 1991, additions were made to Shelton's programs and staff. The Choices Program was added to the daily curriculum. Auditory Discrimination and Memory curriculum was added to Language Therapy classes. In addition, three new coaches were added for sports. The first use of the title "The Horizon" for the school newsletter was added in March and April 1992.
The 1992-1993 school year opened with 217 students and closed with 241 students. The Annual Campaign goal was $125,000 and was co-chaired by George O'Reilly and Linda Kasmir. Lou Cagle was the Parents' Council President. The auction party's theme was "Shelton Stampede" and net proceeds were $62,000. The party was co-chaired by Vivienne Neubach and Ann Burbridge. The now famous Dixie Chicks provided the evening entertainment. The Dads' Club President was Carl Urban. The ninth grade was offered for the first time this school year. Shelton School students who wished to remain one more year before transitioning to other public schools could now do so.
Enrollment continued to increase in the 1993-1994 school year. Beginning enrollment was 257 and swelled to 282 by the end of the year. J.P. Pierce and Sharon Jobe co-chaired the Annual Campaign. The goal was $135,000. Vivienne Neubach took over as Parents' Council President and Suki Jarzemsky, Clyde Payne, and Mary Young co-chaired the Shelton auction party, the "Shelton Sh-boom." The net proceeds reached $60,000.00. Paul Neubach, M.D. was the Dads' Club President.
In December 1993, the second phase of the Capital Campaign began with a goal of $600,000. Susan Eldredge and Peggy Gottsacker Morgan co-chaired the campaign. The goals were six-fold:
Build a new wing with six classrooms (eventually called the Hillcrest Education Wing.) Groundbreaking for the new wing was in April 1994.Create an Art Center (Penson/Jarzemsky Fine Arts Center)Create Library Media Center (William C. Ward Library Media Center)Remodel the science lab and other spaces in the buildingBuild new parking lot, fences, and new gates
Dr. Susan Fleming became the Director of the Evaluation Center. In the summer of 1993, the first Montessori Applied to Children at Risk (MACAR) workshop was held, with 13 people participating. In the fall of 1993, the administration offices, Language/Speech Hearing Clinic, and Evaluation Center moved to the building across the street on the corner of Caillet and Lovers Lane.
The 1994-1995 school year saw enrollment beginning at 310 and ending at 335. A waiting list was started for admissions in for the 1995-1996 school year. Pam Waldron was the President of the Parents' Council and Vivienne Neubach and Win Padgett co-chaired the Annual Giving campaign. The goal was $150,000. "Shelton Swings" was the auction party theme and net proceeds were $68,000. The party was co-chaired by Suki Jarzemsky and Janice Ryan. The Dads' Club continued its Memorial Day cookout, and was led by President J.P. Pierce. In November 1994, a letter was mailed to parents to gauge interest in starting a high school. A feasibility study for a Shelton high school was planned. Dr. Hoyt Watson of the University of North Texas completed the study in May 1995. The study indicated the following:
Possibility of an addition of grades 10, 11, and12Recommended grades 7-12 be housed in a new facility in North DallasOne grade added per year$4,600,000 to $5,000,000 necessary to open a high school$3,000,000 needs to be raised before program viable
Enrollment began at 332 and ended at 344 in the 1995-1996 school year, with a waiting list for admissions. Ninety-three staff members were employed. The chairmanship of the Board became Mr. William C. Ward, who served in that capacity until 2002. The Annual Giving goal was $160,000 and was co-chaired by Mary Young and Jim Hodges. The Annual Giving amounts increased from $106,517 in 1990 to $158,128 in 1995-1996. The Parents' Council President was Suki Jarzemsky. The auction party was chaired by Debby Webb and Anne Smith. The theme was "Feast de Renaissance" and net proceeds were $69,000. This was the first year grandparents had their own section in the silent auction and the first year to offer a raffle for tuition. John Crank was the Dads' Club President. Five-year re-accreditation was received from SACS.
The Capital Campaign set a goal of raising $2,500,000. The Capital Campaign was co-chaired by Vivienne Neubach and Ann Burbridge. By November 1995, the Capital Campaign steering committee raised $1,693,800. The leadership gift in the campaign was from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Swift III. By May 1996, $2.5 million was reached. The Midway Baptist Church was purchased, and the campus was named The Swift Campus in honor of Tom and Dottie Swift and their children, Chauncey and Tom Swift IV. The plan included moving Early Childhood through fourth grade to that location, with grades five through nine remaining at the Lovers Lane location. It was hoped to open that site in the fall of 1996. A year was needed for the rezoning of the Midway property and for renovations of the site and buildings at the Swift Campus. April 2, 1996 brought the 20th year anniversary of the school's incorporation. Also in April 1996, a retreat was held to plan a high school and the Upper School staff was announced.
Prior to1995-1996, the benefits package for employees was a $2000 life insurance policy and a retirement plan without employer contribution. In 1995-96, the life insurance policy was changed to $10,000 and the school began a retirement plan contribution of a match of $300.00.
The 1996-1997 school year saw enrollment begin at 391 and swelled to 408 by the end of the year. The Annual Giving goal was $180,000 and was co-chaired by Bob and Pat Walker and Janice Ryan. "Shelton's Beach Bash" was the auction party theme, and the party was co-chaired by Pam Dealey and Susan Nahkunst. Net proceeds reached $59,000. Mary Young was the Parents' Council President, and Steve Manchester was the Dads' Club President. The summer of 1996 saw the first high school courses offered at Shelton during summer school. Ninth grade had 20 students, and the tenth grade was offered for the first time.
The Lower School moved in August 1996 to the Swift Campus on Midway Road. The first day of school for 1996-1997 occurred at two locations. The dedication of the Lower School Swift Campus took place October 7, 1996. Shelton's technology continued to grow with the addition of a web site and email capability.
The silent phase began of the third Capital Campaign. The goal to build a high school was set in 1996-1997. In the summer of 1996, the school logo transitioned from a child reading a book to the Shelton shield with the book, ribbon, and three stars.
Enrollment began at 443 and ended at 469 in the 1997-1998 school year. Cathy Bruff and Max and Sharon Gardner co-chaired the Annual Giving Campaign with a goal of $200,000. The name of the Parents' Council was changed to the Parents' Association. It was led by Janice Ryan. The auction party was co-chaired by Pam Dealey, Susan Nahkunst, and Marilyn Weber. The theme was "Beach Bash," and the net proceeds were $93,000. The Dads' Club President was Robert Walker. The third Capital Campaign kicked off on September 18, 1997 at the home of Howard Rachofsky, with a goal of $8.5 million. Mr. and Mrs. Keith Young, Mr. and Mrs. John Crank, and Dr. and Mrs. William Ryan were co-chairs. The William C. Ward Foundation gave the lead $1,000,000 gift. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Swift III presented their second major gift to the school. The fall of 1997 saw negotiations begin for the purchase of the Prestonwood Baptist Church property, on the corner of Hillcrest Road and Arapaho in north Dallas. There were also preparations for rezoning the property. The 11th grade was added this year, and Judy Browne was employed as the first Head of the Upper School. The first Upper School homecoming activities and dance took place in the fall of 1997, and the first Upper School Ethics Symposium was held in May 1998. Anne Wagner was hired as the Director of Public Relations. In addition, a new speech facility was added to the Swift Campus. In 1997-1998, major medical plan was added as an option to the benefits package.
The 1998-1999 school enrollment began at 522 and ended at 524. $260,000 was the Annual Giving goal and was co-chaired by Kevin and Connie Howe, and Don and Ellen Winspear. Jan Theilen was the President of the Parents' Council and the auction party was co-chaired by Cherry Chalker, Diann Abadie, and Terri Bennett. The theme of the party was "Shelton Sets Sail" and the net proceeds reached $56,000. Gary Webb was the Dads' Club President. The 12th annual golf tournament was held. Expansion continued of EC - 11th grade with the addition of the 12th grade. In addition, the acquisition of Prestonwood Baptist Church was finalized and the zoning change was accomplished. In the fall of 1998, a plan for renovation of the campus was announced. In May 1999, grades four through 12 moved to the new Ward Campus location. The dining hall in the new location was used to graduate the first class of four seniors in May 1999. Dr. June Shelton was in attendance and honored at this ceremony. In July 1999, the first summer school was held at the Ward Campus location.
Enrollment for the 1999-2000 school year began at 604 students and ended at 630. Co-chairmen Kevin and Connie Howe and Win and Lynn Bell reached an Annual Giving goal of $275,000. Sharon Gardner was the President of the Parents' Association. "Nuts and Bolts 2000" was the theme of the auction party held in the new Swift Athletic Center. The net proceeds reached $90,817, and was chaired by Terri Bennett. Gary Webb was the President of the Dads' Club.
Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA) shared the building with Shelton. PCA was housed on the first and second floors, and Shelton filled the rest of the space. Shelton's Lower School was still located at the Swift Campus on Midway Road. The Capital Campaign goal was changed from $8.5 million to $7.5 million after renegotiation by James B. Reeder with Prestonwood Baptist Church and an early pay off of the note with the church. Shelton continued to expand in many areas. In the spring of 2000, the Admissions and Development were divided into two separate departments, with Madeline Robison becoming the Director of Development and Diann Slaton remaining as Director of Admissions. Formerly, Diann Slaton headed both departments. In addition, Linda Kneese assumed the position of Director of the Outreach Department. February 2000 saw the first open house held by the Upper School for prospective students. Band was offered for the first time for students in the fourth through eighth grades.
In the spring of 2000, a new student database was put into use. In May 2000 Shelton graduated a class of 22 seniors. A Human Resources Department was added in June 2000. In the summer of 2000, Multisensory Structured Language Education Training Workshops for Teaching and Therapy Level were offered as part of teacher training in the Outreach Department. The courses were accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC).
The 2000-2001 school year started with 687 students and ended with 712. The Annual Giving goal was $400,000 and was co-chaired by Steve and Cindy Manchester and Dennis and Susan Houfek. Marilyn Weber was the President of the Parents' Association. Carol Blair chaired the auction party, "Under the Big Top," and net proceeds were $79,735. The Dads' Club President was John Neely. Shelton remained divided into two facilities, sharing the Ward Campus with PCA. As of October 2000, 199 staff members were employed. The year 2000-01 saw several anniversaries for Shelton. January marked the tenth year of Shelton's Saturday Scholars Program. Forty students were enrolled in that spring session. In addition, April 2nd was the 25th anniversary of the school's incorporation. Twenty-one seniors graduated in May 2001.
In the 2001-2002 school year enrollment began at 718 and ended at 729. Steve and Cindy Manchester and Howard and Dana Feldman co-chaired the Annual Giving with a goal of $425, 000. "April in Paris" was the theme of the auction party that netted $135,000. Carol Blair and Patti Emerson were the co-chairs of the auction party. John Neely held the Dads' Club presidency for a second year. Two hundred and five staff members were employed. PCA continued to occupy the first and second floors of the Ward Campus. PCA's lease ended in May 2002, and the Academy moved to their new Prestonwood Baptist Church campus. The Capital Campaign of $7.5 million was completed in February 2002. It was announced that the Lower School Campus (EC-2) would move to the Ward Campus in the summer of 2002. The Lower School Swift Campus was put on the market to sell. The Lower School portion of the Ward Campus was named the Swift Child Development Center to honor Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Swift, III. The fifth annual Ethics Symposium was held for the Upper School. In 2001-2002, long-term disability was provided to the employees' benefit package at no cost to the employee.
The first school-wide Mayfest was held on the Ward Campus. Shelton graduated 25 seniors in May 2002. In June 2001, the accreditation process began with submittal of Adherence to Standards documentation to the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS).
Enrollment for the 2002-2003 began at 753 and ended at 791. The new eleventh Chairman of the Board of Directors was Mr. Robert Walker. The Annual Giving goal was $425,000 and was co-chaired by Howard and Dana Feldman and David and Barbara Farmer. Anne Smith was the President of the Parents' Association and the auction party was chaired by Gay Rekerdres. The theme was "Growing Together," and the net proceeds reached $160,000. Steven Collins was the President of the Dads' Club.
Swift Campus for grades Early Childhood to third moved to the Ward Campus in June 2002. This school year was the first for all grade levels, Early Childhood through 12th, to be consolidated on one campus. The Swift Campus was sold in September 2002. In the summer 2002, the Shelton Scholars Program enrolled 71 students. The division of grades reconfigured as:
Lower School for grades Early Childhood through secondUpper Elementary for grades third through fifthMiddle School for grades sixth through eighthUpper School for grades ninth through twelfth
The planning phase began for the Endowment Campaign to assure the future of the school. The annual spring events of the Upper School Ethics Symposium and the Mayfest continued.
The 2003-2004 school year began with an enrollment of 799 and ended with 803. The Annual Giving goal was $445,000, which was surpassed by $39,510. The campaign was co-chaired by David and Barbara Farmer and Don and Deborah Dingwall. The silent phase of the Endowment Campaign was begun, led by Mr. Phillip Wiggins. The Parents' Association President was Donell Wiggins and the Dads' Club President was Robert Shrell. The auction party's theme was "Night Under the Stars." Chaired by Marvel Washington, the event netted $193,000. The accreditation process with Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) continued with its team site visit in October 2003. The school received accreditation in June 2004. An all-school volunteering effort was done to build a house for Habitat for Humanity, with the home being finished and dedicated in March 2004. In 2003-2004, the employee benefit package includes a $10,000 life insurance policy, a $1000 match in the retirement plan, a 125 plan, major medical, direct deposit, and long term disability. The seventh Upper School Ethics Symposium was held. The third all-school Mayfest was held in May 2004. In March 2004 Joyce Pickering announced that Suzanne Stell was named Assistant Head of School, beginning June 2004. A two-year pilot oral language-learning program was funded by a foundation. The Shelton Early Intervention Language Learning Program was created in two classrooms at the nearby All Saints Catholic Church School. There were 37 seniors who graduated.
The 2004-2005 school year began with an enrollment of 815 and ended with 810. Shelton employed 232 people this school year. In September a Memorial Service was held for the school's founder, Dr. June Ford Shelton, who has passed away during the summer. The Board of Directors was renamed Board of Trustees, and continued to be led by Mr. Robert Walker. In December 2004 the Board created the June F. Shelton Legacy Foundation, with endowment assets of $5,749,800; this foundation has its separate Board of Trustees. In February 2005, the Landmark Foundation was formed, also having its own Board of Trustees, with real estate assets of $13,288,000. The Annual Giving goal of $470,000 was exceeded with pledges totaling $512,078. The campaign was co-chaired by Don and Deborah Dingwall and Danya Casey. The Endowment Campaign's silent phase continued, being led by Mr. and Mrs. Phillip (Donell) Wiggins. The Parents' Association President was Barbara Farmer and the Dads' Club President was Robert Shrell. The auction party's theme was "Stepping Out for Shelton: A Broadway Revue." Chaired by Bridget Black, the event netted $148,000. This was the first year that new parents had to attend eight parent programs regarding learning differences and Shelton's academic programs. The school received a $150,000 grant from Hillcrest Foundation to launch a distance-learning program and offer workshops and courses via the Internet. A lease with Apple Corporation of Texas was finalized wherein in the fall 2005, students in the grades seven through twelve will be issued an Apple iBook (laptop). During the school year, the students will be able to use the laptop during the day and take them home. The laptops will be turned into the school each May. The eighth Upper School Ethics Symposium was held. The fourth all-school Mayfest was held in May 2005. The first year of the two-year pilot oral language-learning program, the Shelton Early Intervention Language Learning Program, was held in two classrooms at the nearby All Saints Catholic Church School. There were 37 seniors who graduated and they were accepted into 56 colleges and universities. Scholarships were offered in the amount of $344,000 to our seniors.
The 2005-2006 school year began with an enrollment of 824 and ended with 839. Shelton employed 236 people this school year. The Board of Trustees' new Chairman was Mr. Phillip Wiggins. The Annual Giving goal of $480,000 was exceeded with pledges for a total of $484,775. The campaign was co-chaired by Don and Deborah Dingwall and Ken and Paula Hughes. Led by Mr. and Mrs. Peter (Michelle) Collins the Endowment Campaign continued in its silent phase, having raised $3,794,000 by May 2006. The Parents' Association Co-Presidents were Rhonda Kelbeck and Jan Golden, and the Dads' Club President was Greg Mazyck. The auction party's theme was "Shelton Stampede," featuring singer Jerry Jeff Walker. Co-chaired by Susan Griffiths, Ruth Mitchell and Dee Velvin, the event netted $300,000. This was the second year that new parents had to attend eight parent programs regarding learning differences and Shelton's academic programs. Since 1994 the Outreach Department has continued to expand its workshop offerings to include: the Association Method; Gesell Developmental Assessment; Montessori Applied to Children At Risk, Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE)/Sequential English Education (SEE) Training at Teaching and Therapy Levels; Referral and Testing; Alphabetic Phonics courses; Montessori Elementary Level Training; Montessori Pre-Primary Level Training, and Saturday Seminars. In the fall 2005 the Outreach Department offered its first distance-learning program via the Internet, entitled "Dyslexia and Related Disorders" and in June 2006 "Choices" was launched. Outreach plans to launch a new program in the fall 2006, modeled after the Shelton Scholars program. It will offer evening classes for adults who need assistance in reading, writing, and spelling. In August 2005 the students in the grades seven through twelve were issued an Apple iBook (laptop). During the school year, the students were able to use the laptop during the day and take them home. The laptops will be turned into the school each May. The ninth Upper School Ethics Symposium was held. The fifth all-school Mayfest was held in May 2006. The two-year pilot oral language-learning program, the Shelton Early Intervention Language Learning Program, was in its second year in two classrooms at the nearby All Saints Catholic Church School. There were 44 seniors who graduated, and they were accepted into 77 colleges and universities. Scholarships were offered in the amount of $1,115,860 to our seniors, and they accepted a total of $241,960.