LDI Grant Honors Robbinsdale Cooper Educator
Date : 12/05/2012
New Hope, Minn. – Liberty Diversified International (LDI) recently honored retired Cooper High School Business Teacher Howard Schwartz with a $19,000 grant that will fund the newly created Cooper High School Business Club. The club, which launched its inaugural year this fall, is open to students in all grades at Cooper.
Headquartered in New Hope, Minn., the LDI, a family-owned, values-based company partnered with Schwartz for many years. Each winter, students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate class in Business and Management visit the LDI campus and get an insider’s look at what skills are required to be successful in today’s business world.
During their visit in 2012, LDI Chairman and CEO Michael Fiterman invited the students to create a fitting tribute to recognize the contribution the then-retiring Schwartz made to building Cooper’s outstanding business and marketing education program.
Several months later, class members Casey Anderson, Katie Bowden, Kendra Pust, and Kirsten White presented Fiterman with a funding proposal designed to create and sustain the new Business Club.
“We want these funds to continue Mr. Schwartz’s legacy as well as promote and support the Business Education department,” said Bowden.
Impressed with the students’ work, Fiterman agreed to provide the first year’s commitment of $8,000. As in the business world, the students will be held accountable for achieving the goals they set for themselves. For the next two years, they will present their year-end results and annual goals to Fiterman and other members of the LDI Team.
“It is clear from their proposal that the students understand LDI’s commitment to caring, innovation, trust, and excellence. The Legacy Project clearly reflects these values and provides a fitting legacy for Mr. Schwartz’s forward-thinking contributions to business education,” Fiterman said. “Based on the students’ annual results, LDI will consider continuing to support this initiative for at least the next two years for an additional $11,000.”
According to their mission statement, the students are creating an organization that will provide students with a diversified and in-depth extracurricular education in business while maintaining a fun and exciting after-school environment. Anderson added, “We believe that advancing knowledge and immersion of students in business activities will benefit all students as they go into college or the workforce, whether they continue in business or not.”
Pust added that LDI’s financial support will go a long way toward funding experiential opportunities, like field trips and annual activities such as Career Day and Business Week, activities not currently available to students. “We need to promote educational activities focused on college and job readiness, interviewing for part-time work during college, and pursuing a wide range of post-secondary business programs. Business Club members could also provide other students taking business classes with homework assistance.”
According to White, LDI support would allow students to build on Mr. Schwartz’s legacy by providing funding for scholarships, meetings with companies, web site development, and a display case that would house a variety of business department trophies and promote Business Club activities.
Current there are 20 students participating in the Cooper High School Business Club, which is under the direction of Business teacher and department chairperson Julie Cooley.
Headquartered in New Hope, Minn., LDI is a privately-held family of companies with nearly 1,400 employees operating in the paper and packaging, office products, building products and precision machining markets. With roots in the corrugated fiberboard business, the company was founded in 1918. To learn more, visit www.libertydiversified.com
About Robbinsdale Area Schools
The mission of Robbinsdale Area Schools is to inspire and educate all learners to discover their potential and positively contribute to their community. Robbinsdale Area Schools serves approximately 12,000 students in seven communities in the northwest Twin Cities area, including Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.