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New Faces In Tarrytown: Kelly Finds Outside Money

The following is part of a series of introductions to new teachers and administrators in the Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns. For the entire series, see our New Faces at TUFSD page.

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Tina Kelly's business card could read “Show me the money.”

Her job as grant funded programs coordinator for the Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns means that she's there to make sure existing grants are being used as efficiently as possible and to find new funding opportunities for the school district through local, state and federal grants.

Kelly said grants are very important for a school district, especially in today's economic climate.

“I think that grants are becoming increasingly important,” she said, as well as being “able to spend the dollars wisely in the grants as well.”

In the hunt for funds, Kelly said she hasn't seen a lot of available grants. While she doesn't know if it's worse than last year, she said going back in recent years there are “definitely not as many opportunities.”

“I don't think there are nearly as many opportunities like an organization giving a large amount of money to a nonprofit or a school district—that seems to have dried up lately,” she said. “Also, it's getting slimmer and slimmer on the state and federal level. So it makes it more competitive. There's only a pool of money and so many people want it.”

Kelly's job is to coordinate current grants, making sure that the school district is using its resources effectively to achieve the goal of the grant. She also deals with the mountain of paperwork that can come with grants and makes sure appropriate reports are filed correctly. When searching for new funding, Kelly looks for grants that align with the district's vision.

Kelly's job is funded mostly by grants as well.

Kelly has had a variety of jobs in her career. However she said she knew from an early age that she wanted to work in education someday.

She worked in a grant-funded at-risk youth program at a community college, then became a teacher in Orange County. While teaching, Kelly said she caught the administration bug. She later worked as a director at a private school.

“I've done a few different things that all kind of culminate into being a grant writer,” she said.

Kelly hopes she can be present in the community.

“I hope to be very involved with parents,” she said. “They're our stakeholders in this.”

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