The Jackson Local Schools Foundation

The Jackson Local Schools Foundation (JLSF) is an independent organization of local volunteers that works to promote educational achievement, encourage instructional innovation and create excitement about learning. The JLSF is a non-profit, charitable organization that seeks tax-deductible donations from citizens, businesses and organizations to further the excellence in Jackson Local Schools. 

JLSF runs two main fundraising events - The Polar Bear Plunge and The Jackson Polar Bear Chip-In. We have a classroom grant program that puts money directly back into our schools, The Polar Bear Pledge to grow our endowment, a partnership with Stark State College Foundation - The Polar Bear Promise - to award an annual scholarship to Stark State College students who are Jackson High School graduates, and we recently merged with the Jackson Alumni Association.

Board of Directors

JLSF is managed by an independent, volunteer Board of Directors.


Board of Directors

  • Paula Blangger

  • Jon Basso - Treasurer

  • Jim Camp - Past President

  • Kody Gonzalez - 1st Vice President

  • Rita Haines

  • Justin Hardesty - President

  • Jennifer Jones - Secretary

  • Jill Kaempf

  • Jeff Kracker

  • Marian Manns

  • Barry Mason

  • Rob Molnar - 2nd Vice President

  • Tim Moore

  • Eric Smer

Jim Camp Visionary Leader Award

2021 - Marian Manns

2020 - Jim Camp

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President, Justin Hardesty

Why a Foundation?


In the U.S. there are 6,500 school foundations in over 14,500 school districts. Most Stark County school districts have had foundations for decades. A growing group of Jackson citizens is passionate about building an endowment for Jackson that perpetuates the excellence and provides educational promise beyond what the school district can provide.