ANNOUNCING A DONATION OF $1.1 MILLION during the OPS Board of Education meeting Monday, April 23, members of the Cook family met in the OHS media center for the historic occasion. Gathered were (from left) Anna Owens, Tom Cook (Cook Family Foundation Executive Director), OPS Superintendent Dr. Andrea Tuttle, Jackie and Bruce Cook (Foundation President), and board president Tim Jenc.

   The donation is to support the performing arts by upgrading the pre-planned, multi-performance space that was approved during the passing of the November 2017 school bond, into a true auditorium at no further cost to taxpayers. Improvements will include an arbor pit, drapery, an orchestra pit, theatre rigging and lighting, an enhanced audio-visual system, and more.

   The donation will allow Owosso students a multitude of educational opportunities in relation to these upgrades, which ultimately will enhance collegiate and vocational placement.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)


The Cook Family Foundation formally announced a donation of $1.1 million during the OPS Board of Education meeting at the Owosso High School on Monday, April 23. The donation is to support the continuation of OPS performing arts by allowing for plans for a multi-purpose space in the new campus to become a true, fully equipped, modern auditorium: including theatre rigging, an arbor pit, drapery, an orchestra pit, lighting, and other enhancements. In short, the donation will allow for these major upgrades, at no additional cost to taxpayers, after favorable support in the November 2017 school bond. As stated in a release from Superintendent Dr. Andrea Tuttle, this will permit Owosso to “meet the high standard of performing arts excellence that students, staff, and the community have come to expect from Owosso Public Schools.”

The Cook Family Foundation has supported OPS for numerous years, including implementing the International Baccalaureate Programme, offering 150 University of Michigan scholarships to students, support of the Performing Arts Committee, and far more.

In her release, Tuttle went on to share that “with the conversion of the multi-purpose performing space to a true auditorium, Owosso students will have daily accessibility to a space that will foster cross-curricular learning and the development of real-life skills that enhance communication, technology, and public speaking skills.” The theatre will “afford Owosso students the chance to engage in theatre experiences while meeting state-wide academic standards for a variety of subject matters, such as construction trades, technology, engineering, and English.”

On a side note, Tuttle went on to talk about ongoing student personal projects (which can be viewed throughout the halls at OHS), the $25,000 fundraising profited for students from the recent dueling piano event, the Blue and Gold Banquet, career day at Bryant Elementary, the Lincoln High School Drug Alliance discussion, and other positive endeavors the district has been undertaking.

Tuttle also stated that the district is currently at the point where designs for updating current schools under the recent bond are going to be submitted for review to make certain the plans are achievable under budget parameters.

The Cook Family Foundation Donates $1.1 Million was last modified: April 30th, 2018 by Karen Elford