Foundation News: Spring 2009

The Montgomery Blair High School Magnet Foundation, Inc. is a public charity incorporated in the state of Maryland that is exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  It was founded in May 2008 by a group of concerned parents, teachers, students, administrators, and alumni.  Read more in the Founding a Foundation feature in this newsletter.

In January 2009, the Foundation approved grants for two Magnet activities:
  • Up to $3,000 to support the ACSL All-Star Team
  • $1,000 to support the Montgomery ARML Team
The deadline for new grant applications is March 31st. Apply online here.

In February, the Foundation published a brochure (pdf).

The Foundation is led by a Board of Directors composed of former teachers, parents, and alumni:
  • Ralph Bunday, President - Mr. Bunday was one of the most beloved teachers in the magnet before retiring in 2008.  He taught freshman physics, thermodynamics, quantum physics, and many other classes over his two decades at Blair, but he always found time to sponsor a variety of student activities from the physics team to the breakdancing club.  He was the face of the magnet for many years, he is now the face of the Foundation.
  • Eileen Steinkraus, Vice-President - Ms. Steinkraus was one of the first magnet teachers before being named the magnet coordinator in 1992.  During the fourteen years she led the magnet, the program grew to national prominence and became a model for schools across the country.  In her retirement, she continues to consult with other schools in Montgomery County on various administrative issues.  As the Foundation's Vice-President, she keeps idealistic students and teachers focused on the task at hand, just as she did as the Magnet Coordinator for many years.
  • Ted Jou, Secretary - Mr. Jou graduated from the magnet in 1999 and went to Caltech, where he majored in Applied Math and Business Economics.  After college, he went to law school at the University of Virginia, and he currently works as a lawyer for a large law firm in Washington, DC.  As the Foundation's Secretary, he keeps records of all Foundation meetings.  He also maintains the Foundation website.
  • Dan Shepherdson, Treasurer - Mr. Shepherdson is the father of two magnet students and has been active as a member of the magnet parents' advisory group.  He is a government lawyer in Washington, DC.  As the Foundation's Treasurer, he maintains the Foundation's accounts and handles all donations and grants.
  • Nannette Dyas - Ms. Dyas was one of the original magnet teachers hired in 1985, and she taught many different math courses over the years, with Functions, Analysis I, and Linear Algebra becoming her primary focus.  She retired in 2008 and now teaches part-time at Montgomery College, occasionally works as a substitute for for Magnet teachers, and spends the rest of her time traveling and relaxing with her dog Sophie.  As a member of the Foundation Board, she helps to network with alumni and teachers and shares her wisdom learned over two decades in the magnet.
  • Emily Yanisko - Ms. Yanisko graduated from the magnet in 1998 and went to Binghamton University, where she majored in Math, Music, and Computer Science.  She then earned a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Maryland and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. while teaching math at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, MD.  As a member of the Foundation Board, she helps to network with alumni and to develop programs to support magnet teachers.
  • Beth Kaufman, General Counsel - Ms. Kaufman is the mother of two magnet students and one alumna, and she has been active with the magnet parents' advisory group.  She works as a trust and estates lawyer for a firm in Washington, DC.  As the Foundation's General Counsel, she drafted the legal documents that incorporated the Foundation and she also helps communicate with administrators and other parents.
You can contact the Board at