Dwight Johnson, President of the Verne C. Johnson Family Foundation, surprised the Fountain Hills Unified School District Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) Board of Directors with a donation check in the amount of $20,000 to kick off the 2021-22 school year.

Johnson attended the April PTO board meeting and shared the Foundation’s 24-year history, highlighting his father as founder and solitary donor.

“We are pleased to serve as the PTO Title Sponsor for the past nine years,” Johnson said. “The PTO is at its strongest point in 17 years and our Foundation wanted to reward that stellar effort with an increased donation from $15,000 last year.

“Our Foundation rewards organizations who have demonstrated strong growth, outreach, diversity and remain focused on their mission. Each nonprofit we fund must continue to reflect superior performance every year to receive renewed funding.”

According to PTO President Shawn Uphoff, the organization is excited to return to some of the more fun, in-person fundraising events that were nonexistent the past year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“The Verne C. Johnson Family Foundation’s generosity ensures that the PTO can continue its mission to assist Fountain Hills schools, teachers and students with programs such as The Librarian Expansion Program, $200 to every Pre-K through 8th grade teacher, technology, homework labs, teacher/staff appreciation events/luncheons, STEAM, PBIS and scholarships,” she said. “These programs are just the tip of the iceberg.”

To learn more about the PTO’s current initiatives, visit