End of Year Report 2016

2016 End-of-Year Report

2016 has been a year of milestones for the Partners In Excellence (PIE) Scholarship Program.  This year marked the 20th Anniversary of PIE, which Cardinal William Keeler founded with the goal of removing the financial barriers of a Catholic school education for lower-income families in Baltimore.  Cardinal Keeler understood the importance of a quality education for these families and their children, and twenty years later we are proudly fulfilling his vision and continuing his legacy.

Another milestone reached this year was the awarding of our 25,000th PIE Scholarship.  This is a number that could never have been reached without broad, consistent and generous support from our Partners.  It is a number that contains so many stories, so many hopes and dreams.  We’ve been able to give some glimpses at these stories over the years and we hope to bring more to you in the future!

Finally, PIE has been blessed to count some of Baltimore’s biggest corporations as Partners, and it was in early September this year that perhaps the biggest name in Baltimore business became a Partner In Excellence.  Kevin Plank (Under Armour, The Cupid Foundation) made a generous $1 million pledge to PIE, citing how he seeks to invest in programs that work.

Please take the opportunity to read this End-of-Year report, and know that none of this could have been done without your support.  We are deeply grateful for your Partnership and look forward to continuing this important work in 2017 and beyond!


PIE Scholarship Awards

Several years ago, in collaboration with the PIE Advisory Board, we identified two key goals for the program.

  1. Increase the average annual PIE award to $2,500.
  2. Increase the number PIE Scholars each year to 1,000 students.

Cardinal Keeler did not start PIE to get families to enroll their children in a Catholic school just to see them leave within a year or two.  Rather, he wanted them to stay in our Catholic schools until each student graduated.  He understood what we’ve all come to understand: the longer a child stays in a Catholic school, the better he or she does academically.

For so many of the families we serve, an award of $1,000 or $1,500 may have been enough for them to ‘try out’ a Catholic school for a year – maybe two.  But the personal financial sacrifices it takes to make this happen each year is just not sustainable.  With this understanding, we have worked on steadily increasing the average PIE award to a level that relieves a larger amount of the longer-term financial burden of our families, allowing them to do just as Cardinal Keeler intended – stay in our schools for as long as they can.

We are happy to report that, for this school year, the average PIE award is now over $2,250.  This marks an increase of 13% from last year’s average of $1,991.  With the average tuition at our Community Schools now at $5,300, PIE is able to cover more than 40% of the tuition cost for our most financially-strapped families.

The average PIE Scholarship has increased 74% over the past 6 years!

Additionally, we are moving closer to our goal of funding 1,000 students each year.  This 1,000-student goal is based on the demand we have seen in the application process and the capacity of our Community Schools – the primary enrollees of PIE Scholars.

This school year, there are 716 PIE Scholars, ranging from Kindergarten through 12th grade.  This represents a nearly 20% increase from last year’s figure of 600 PIE Scholars.

The 116 PIE Scholarship increase is the largest jump in years!

We are thrilled to be able to make strong progress towards our goals and are deeply grateful for ongoing support of our funding Partners.

2016-2017 PIE Award Summary

PIE Scholars PIE Funding Ave. Scholarship
Overall (23 schools) 716 $1,616,325 $2,257
Archdiocesan Community Schools (4) 498 $1,169,425 $2,348
Archbishop Borders School 106 $322,125 $3,039
Cardinal Shehan Catholic School 159 $284,800 $1,791
Holy Angels Catholic School 135 $314,000 $2,326
Ss. James and John 98 $248,500 $2,536
Baltimore Archdiocesan High Schools (2) 104 $262,500 $2,524
The Seton Keough High School 34 $131,000 $3,853
Archbishop Curley High School 70 $131,500 $1,879

*If you have additional questions about the PIE Award breakout for the year, please let us know.


New and Growing Partnerships

Over the past several years, PIE has created Partnerships between our Community Schools and Corporate and Institutional Partners within our Community.  Some examples of this include:

  • M&T Bank and Holy Angels Catholic School – PIE Scholarships, STEM Program funding, Financial Literacy Program.


  • Constellation and Cardinal Shehan Catholic School – PIE Scholarships and mentoring programs for middle school girls and boys.


  • Loyola University Maryland and the Community Schools – Urban Education Institute & Faculty-in-Residence, Clinical Services.

These Partnerships, and others, have strengthened and enriched the quality of education our schools are able to offer students.  With the hope of establishing distinct Partnerships at each Community School and beyond, we are in conversation with several other Corporate and Institutional Partners about creating more formal Partnerships with our schools in the coming year.


Additional PIE News


  • In April, the BOOST (Broadening Options & Opportunities for Students Today) legislation was signed into law, marking the first time that state funding has been used to support students who wish to attend a non-public school. With a 6-week window to apply for funding from a $5 million allocation from the state, our Catholic schools did a wonderful job in promoting this opportunity to the families within their respective communities. As a result, $1.5 million was allocated to students attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.  Students at our 4 Community Schools were awarded approximately $350,000 of these funds.  We recently received news that the Governor intends to increase this budget allocation to $10 million by the 2019-20 school year!


  • On September 7th, we formally celebrated the 20th Anniversary of PIE at our 4th Annual Back-To-School Breakfast. Held at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, the morning event featured the Cardinal Shehan Choir, a wonderful speech by PIE Scholar Ryan Cooper and the presentation of the Cardinal William H. Keeler Partners In Excellence Award to Raymond “Chip” Mason – the founding Chair of PIE.


  • It was also at the Back-To-School Breakfast that we announced that Kevin Plank would be joining us as a Partner with a gift of $1 million from his Cupid Foundation. Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries, attended the breakfast and made the announcement for Mr. Plank, who was travelling abroad. This school year, there are 85 Plank Scholars within our 4 Community Schools.


  • As if the 20th Anniversary celebration and the announcement of a $1 million gift wasn’t enough for one day, we also held our 2nd Annual Giving Day on September 7th. We raised nearly $70,000 in this effort, which will create about 30 new PIE scholarships for next school year. Thank you so much for those of you who participated!


  • This October, it was announced that, as a part of a long-term strategic plan for our Catholic schools, three schools will be closing at the end of this school year: Seton Keough High School, St. Thomas Aquinas and John Paul Regional. Within these schools, there are 64 PIE Scholars. Fourteen (14) of these Scholars will be graduating this year (8th or 12th grade), leaving 50 PIE Scholars who will need to find a new school.  PIE has committed to following these students if they enroll in another Catholic school in the Archdiocese.


  • There are some new faces on the PIE team this year! This summer, Chelsea Lupo joined the PIE staff as Program Coordinator. Chelsea is a graduate of UM College Park (Go Terps!).  The PIE Board of Advisors welcomed two new board members, as well.  Tamla Olivier (BG&E Home) and John von Paris (Von Paris Moving & Storage) have rolled up their sleeves to help raise funds for and awareness of PIE.


*We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Martin Proctor (Constellation) who retires from Constellation and the PIE Board this December.  Martin has served on the PIE Board for 7 years, including a 2-year term as Chair of the Board.  Thank you, Martin!


  • Finally, we are thrilled to let you know that we are about to launch a new website for PIE! We have been working on this project all fall, and we expect to go live any day now! (It may be live by the time to read this!) Please check out pieschools.org and let us know what you think.


2016 was a year of growth in many ways for the PIE Scholarship Program.  We were able to increase our outreach within the community which resulted in an increased impact with our students and schools.  Enrollment at our Community Schools is now above 1,000 students for the first time.  Because of PIE’s commitment to following our PIE Scholars – and giving them larger awards – we are seeing an increasing number of families who are able to keep their students in our schools for 5 years or longer.  This is what Cardinal Keeler envisioned 20 years ago.  Thank you for helping to make it a reality!