The Intelligencer

September 18, 2007 — Most young fans of TV scientist Bill Nye the Science Guy or Patch Adams — yes, the clown doctor made famous by the Robin Williams movie — won’t care who’s organizing their presentations at the Hatboro-Horsham High School auditorium this year.

Tell them they can thank the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization funded in part by donors who receive 75 percent o to 90 percent of their monetary gifts back as state tax credits. The state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program has created a “phenomenal win-win situation,” but one of the goals set out for the foundation’s 20th year is to expand its donor base, said new executive director Laurie Rossard.

“We don’t know what’s going to be around every year, but we’re looking to diversify,” Rossard said of state and private funding options at Monday’s school board meeting. Hatboro-Horsham School District alumni are one group the foundation may target, she said.

The foundation schedules programs designed to supplement district students’ educations by bringing educational speakers and performances into the classroom. Those performances are also made available to the public. This year’s six presentations include Bill Nye the Science Guy, Patch Adams and “The Nutcracker,” which will include a “ballerina tea” before the event.

Nonprofit organizations normally experience peaks and valleys, Hatboro-Horsham Superintendent William Lessa said at Monday’s meeting. This year, he said, is a peak.

“We are currently at just a very hot point with our educational foundation,” Lessa said. “This year promises to be a very strong year.”

The school board also discussed district enrollment figures at Monday’s meeting. On the seventh day of school, the district had 5371 students. That’s only nine off from the enrollment projection for this year calculated last March.

The district has stayed very stable when it comes to enrollment, Lessa said.

“We’re not growing. We’re dropping very little,” he said.

Annie Tasker can be reached at (215) 957-8167 or atasker@phillyBurbs.com.