After being named the executive director of the Dallas Education Foundation–the nonprofit and philanthropic arm of Dallas ISD–Mita Havlick started meeting with district leaders to determine how the foundation could raise money and support the district.
Prior to her start, the Dallas Education Foundation (DEF) in April was reestablished as a 501(c)(3), meaning the Internal Revenue Service approved DEF as an independent tax-exempt, charitable organization.
Just a few weeks into her position, Havlick and the foundation faced a defining moment when the Oct. 20 tornadoes severely damaged several district schools. DEF leapt into action by starting the Dallas ISD Tornado Relief Fund. Through the fund, DEF has compliantly received about $1.7 million in pledges to help the school communities impacted by the storm.
“The district is working on a post-disaster needs assessment, which is a fluid process and will take some time,” Havlick said. “As the district presents their needs to the foundation, the DEF will do its own assessment – including, but not limited to, understanding what is covered by insurance and what has the greatest impact. Our goal is to ensure that we disburse funds where the district needs it most.”
Prior to becoming executive director of DEF, Havlick was a strong proponent of equity and access who co-chaired the committee and spear-headed the effort that led to Dallas ISD being designated a District of Innovation. She has also worked tirelessly to increase public school funding. Havlick brings to the Dallas Education Foundation two decades of experience in science, technology, program management and non-profit.
In addition to helping in times of crisis, Havlick said she is excited how DEF will support Dallas ISD throughout the school year.
“The Dallas Education Foundation is here to stay, and we look forward to accelerating the district’s mission of preparing all students for success,” Havlick said.