on coding and technology.
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“While the board is deserving of your criticism, Mr. Schwarzman is deserving of our thanks,” board President Raymond McGarry said in prepared remarks at Tuesday’s meeting. “His only desire in making this gift was to do something wonderful for the community he grew up in and the high school he attended.”
For about 15 months, Schwarzman had met off and on with district Superintendent Amy Sichel to work out a major gift that would involve renovating the school that he graduated from in 1965, as well as constructing a new building and revamping curriculum with a focus on coding and technology.
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Schwarzman announced his gift at a national conference of school superintendents in mid-February, about a month and a half before the agreement was approved by the school board. He advised the superintendents that they should seek individual donations, and set up a foundation to do so. Abington had created a foundation to take in such major gifts, Sichel said in an interview with Bloomberg at the time, separate from the foundation that takes smaller contributions from parents and the community.