Northcutt will step down as DCSF president

Published 11:28 am Wednesday, March 19, 2014

John Northcutt will step down in September after six years as president of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation.

Northcutt, who been on the Foundation’s board of directors since its founding 20 years ago, announced his plans to retire Tuesday.

“I thought it was a good time to step down as president,” Northcutt said. “They say step down at a time when things are going great, and I couldn’t imagine the Foundation being in better shape.”

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Foundation supporters have called 2014 a “million-dollar” year.

If all goes according to plan, this will be the year that the nonprofit’s endowment passes $1 million, and, by next fall, the Foundation will have likely given out more than $1 million in classroom grants.

“I would love to retire on a million-dollar goal,” Northcutt said.

Back in November, DCSF endowment campaign chairman Pete Reynolds of Robertson Banking Company announced two substantial pledges.

A $50,000 pledge from J.R. Rivas and a $25,000 pledge from May Lane Caldwell pushed the Foundation’s endowment to $825,000.

During the past four months, the endowment has grown to $860,000, about $140,000 from goal.

Once the $1 million goal is meet, earnings from the endowment will be put back into classroom grants, potentially increasing the amount awarded each year by tens of thousands of dollars.

During the past 20 years, all endowment earnings were saved as that fund continued to grow.

The Foundation has put more than $950,000 into classrooms since its founding. The last few years, classroom grants have averaged approximately $50,000.

Being able to award that same amount this fall, will push grants over $1 million.

“That is an amazing accomplishment for any community, but particularly for a community of 8,000 people,” said DCSF executive director Amanda Barnes.

The Foundation elects new officers annually in September but Barnes expects the nominating committee will have news about Northcutt’s successor by May’s meeting.