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Hampton Education Foundation receives $160,000 gift from Sentara Health in honor of Superintendent’s leadership 


Sentara Health, an integrated, not-for-profit health care delivery system, with more than 130 years in pursuit of its mission invested $160,000 to the Hampton Education Foundation that directly supports Hampton City Schools. 


Hampton, VA –The Hampton Education Foundation (HEF) has announced that they have received a $160,000 gift from Sentara Health. This gift joins the recent funding from the Hampton School Board, also for $160,000, to establish funds in the Next Generation Endowment, a permanent endowment for the benefit of Hampton City Schools. 


Sentara focused their support on the most impactful ways to empower the community to invest in high-quality teachers, fuel engaged learning, and strengthen support for students and their families.  

The announcement of Sentara’s gift on June 3, 2023, was part of the celebration for Dr. Jeffery O. Smith, the retiring superintendent of Hampton City Schools. Under his leadership as superintendent, Hampton City Schools experienced its highest academic success in decades and a regional leader in public education statewide. For the first time in the school division’s history, all 32 schools and centers became fully accredited without conditions in 2019 and 97.64% for on-time graduation rates – the highest school division in the region. 


According to the foundation, the endowment will provide new resources for extensive financial support, including the School Board fund that will go to scholarships to HCS graduates who pursue their undergraduate degrees and agree to return to teach in Hampton City Schools. The additional funding from Sentara recognizes that Hampton is a leader in public education with strong community partnerships. HCS and Sentara will work to fund educators and students during their time in HCS to inspire student achievements throughout the division. 


Dennis Matheis, president and chief executive officer for Sentara, shared “Our support of the Next Generation Endowment is an opportunity for us to invest in the talented educators in our community who ensure the skills needed to be college-and-career ready in the 21st century. Our investment today will help develop the future leaders of tomorrow.” 


The Hampton Education Foundation, founded in 2001, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to driving innovation, encouraging creativity, expanding student opportunities, and empowering educators to strengthen teaching and learning in the Hampton City Schools, where the gift of Benjamin Syms in 1634 established the first free public school.