First Commonwealth presents check to Elk County Community Foundation

Recently First Commonwealth Bank presented a check to the Elk County Community Foundation. These funds will be included in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC) which then will make grants available to area public schools to support innovative educational programs that do not fall within the typical academic program.

The funds for the technology are administered and distributed through the foundation, which has been designated to serve as an Educational Improvement Organization by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. In 2007, through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program and the Elk County Community Foundation, St. Marys, Johnsonburg and Ridgway Area School Districts were able to apply for grants for programming. All three districts used the funds to enhance their digital streaming video resources for daily instruction and remediation of students. The digital streaming video presents an innovative way to bring quality, up to date learning tools to rural Pennsylvania classrooms.

Ridgway Area School District installed a dedicated server for the digital streaming clips, while Johnsonburg Area School District purchased new equipment for the Elementary School that includes a Smart Board for the 5th grade classes. St. Marys Area School District continues to grow the number of units available for classrooms with some special attention given to the Middle and Elementary Schools.
Any entity authorized to conduct business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and subject to certain taxes is eligible to apply. Tax credits are limited to 75 percent of the business’ contribution with a maximum of $100,000 annually. If a business agrees to make the same contribution for two consecutive years, it may receive tax credit equal to 90 percent of its contribution.

Interested participants must submit a brief application to the DCED. The application can be found at The foundation also has applications and further information available to assist with the business application process.

Newly established memorial fund and art scholarship to benefit residents and students

Area non-profit organizations and art students are among the entities, which will benefit from two newly established funds through the Elk County Community Foundation.

A Donor Advised Fund, honoring Charles and Doris (Gardner) Schloder, was established by Betsy (Schloder) Roberts and her brother Dr. John E. Schloder. As part of the fund, the family will make annual recommendations for distributions to various non-profit, community groups and organizations.

While Betsy and John were contemplating the details of their parents fund, Betsy proceeded to create a second fund thus establishing the Dr. John E. Schloder Scholarship Fund for the Arts.
“Betsy decided to honor her brothers accomplishment, in the field of Art, with this gift,” commented Paula Fritz Eddy, executive director of the foundation.

The scholarship bearing John’s name will be open to students graduating from either St. Marys Area or Elk County Catholic High Schools, that are pursuing a degree in Art with first preference given to the visual or performing arts, art history, art education or museum studies.
After marrying in 1936, Chuck and Doris Schloder, lived most of their lives in St. Marys, except for a brief period in 1940 when they resided in Washington, D.C., where Chuck worked in the Naval Yard during World War II. Upon their return to St. Marys, the Schloders became one of three founding partners in Bosco Tool and Manufacturing Company and a partner in Quality Components, Inc. in Daguscahonda. Chuck retired in 1992 after both companies were sold.

The late Chuck and Doris Schloder had three children; Norma, Elizabeth “Betsy”, and John. Chuck was the son of Leo and Mamerta Schloder and attended St. Marys Parochial and Central Catholic High School. He went on to graduate from Penn State University and later became a machinist. Doris hailed from Johnsonburg, the daughter of Russell and Irene Gardner. She attended Elk County schools and graduated from St. Marys Public High School.

The couple attended St. Marys Catholic Church and were members of the St. Marys County Club for over 50 years. Charles died in 2003 at the age of 86 while Doris died in 2007 at 89 years of age.

As a native of St. Marys, John Schloder is a graduate of St. Marys Parochial and Elk County Christian High School. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Duquense University, his master’s degree from Columbia University in New York City and his doctorate from the Institute of Art and Archaeology at the University of Paris-Sorbonne.

Dr. Schloder began his career in the Paintings Department of the Musee du Louvre, specializing in 16th and 17th century French art. He later worked in the Antiquities Department where he earned his doctorate.

Upon returning to the U.S., Dr. Schloder’s first position was at The Cleveland Museum of Art, where he became the Assistant Director in charge of education and public programs. Since then he has served as the Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Director of Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE and the Director of the Naples (Florida) Museum of Art. He is presently the Director of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, FL.

Throughout his 36-year career, Dr. Schloder has published and lectured widely and has won numerous awards and fellowships. He is extremely active in professional organizations such as the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Association of Museums.
In his spare time Dr. Schloder works with the Literacy Volunteers of America, tutoring English as a second language (ESL) and visiting inner-city schools to promote the reading.

Scholarship applications are available at both SMAHS and ECCHS Guidance Offices or the Elk County Community Foundation office by calling 834-2125 or visiting