About The Mustard Seed Education Foundation

The Mustard Seed Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity helping families send their kids to Catholic grade schools.

Our Founders, Dan and Tammi, are the products of Catholic Education.  Dan attended St. Agnes School in Toledo, Ohio and Tammi attended St. Anthony School in Temperance, Michigan. They both went on to attend Toledo Catholic high schools. Demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural trends changed the landscape of Toledo, many of the Catholic Schools have closed or merged, just as St. Agnes and St. Anthony have.

There are still many great parishes in Toledo. Our current parish is Most Blessed Sacrament where we sent our three daughters. It is a great school and our daughters grew academically and spiritually during their time there.

 

Catholic Schools teach kids, not only about science and math, but about growing in The Faith. It is this combination of teaching the knowledge for the mind and teaching the knowledge for the soul that makes Catholic schools so special.

Unfortunately, though, many Catholic schools face tough times due to rising costs and declining enrollment. So many families would love to send their children to Catholic schools but are unable to because of the tuition. Sending children to Catholic schools is a sacrifice. For some, the sacrifice is just too great. For many years, more parents have made the difficult choice of forgoing Catholic schools for the children because of economic reasons.

 

Blessed Sacrament Parish Festival
Most Blessed Sacrament School

We want to change that.

Although it’s too late to bring back the schools from the old days there are plenty of parents who still want to send their children to Catholic schools like Blessed Sacrament, Regina Coeli, OLPH, St. Rose, and others; but just need a little help to be able to do it.

It is with this thought in mind that we have co-founded The Mustard Seed Education Foundation. We want to help ensure that the Catholic school system flourishes well into the future. We want to do that by helping families achieve their dream of sending their children to Catholic schools.

We ask for your help in shaping the hearts, minds, and souls of our future.

 

Partner Catholic Schools Mustard Seed Education Foundation

Why “Mustard Seed?”

We’re named after the Parable of The Mustard Seed in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
The parable has two meanings for us.
First, our organization helps to plant the seeds of Faith in children by helping to send them to Catholic elementary school. That seed of Faith will grow in the child and help them to know God throughout their lives.
Second, our organization is tiny in comparison to other philanthropic groups. In the world of philanthropy, we are the size of the Mustard Seed. But our message is strong and it will take root and grow.

 

Board of Trustees

Dan Nester

Daniel Nester

President

Dan founded The Mustard Seed Education Foundation in 2018. He is a parishioner of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish. He attended St. Agnes in Toledo and Central Catholic High School. Dan believes that Catholic education is important because “it provides a strong foundation of faith that will stay with you and guide you the rest of your life.”

Tammi Nester

Tammi Nester

Treasurer

Tammi co-founded The Mustard Seed Education Foundation in 2018 with her husband Dan. She is a parishioner of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish. She attended St. Anthony’s in Temperance and Notre Dame Academy. Tammi was a Catholic school educator for many years, teaching at St. Pius X, Regina Coeli, and Most Blessed Sacrament. Tammi believes that Catholic education is important because she loves “that we can include God and our faith as part of our everyday conversations in the classroom.”

Katie Sliwinski-Mundrick

Katie Sliwinski-Mundrick

Trustee

Katie has been apart of The Mustard Seed since the beginning. She is a parishioner of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish. She attended St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Ursula Academy. Katie believes that Catholic education is important because it “provides a foundation for life. Catholic Education fosters cura personalis; care for the entire person mentally, socially, spiritually and academically. It allows children to grow closer to God and their community as they learn how He works throughout all aspects of our lives.”

Advisory Council

Kim Grilliot

Kim Grilliot

President at Notre Dame Academy

Kim is a parishioner of Corpus Christi University Parish. She attended Immaculate Conception School in Port Clinton, OH. Kim believes that Catholic education is important because “Catholic Education allows us to share the Gospel with our students and gives us the opportunity to educate young people in the Catholic tradition and principles. It is simply what we are called to do as Catholics in today’s society.”

Melissa Empie

Melissa Empie

Principal at Most Blessed Sacrament School

Melissa is a parishioner of St. John XXIII Parish. She attended All Saints Grade School and Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School. She has been a Catholic school educator for many years and is now principal at Most Blessed Sacrament School. Melissa believes that Catholic education is important because “it allows me to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ while also modeling the faith to the students I teach.”

Kevin Devine

Kevin Devine

Blessed Sacrament Parish

Kevin has been a part of the Mustard Seed since the beginning. He is a parishioner of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish. He attended Most Blessed Sacrament Grade School and St. Francis De Sales High School.

Mary Devine

Mary Devine

Most Blessed Sacrament Parish

Mary has been a part of Mustard Seed since the beginning. She is a parishioner of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish. She attended Central Catholic High School.

Marty Lahey

Marty Lahey

St. Patrick’s Historic Parish

Marty is owner of Manhattan’s Pub ‘N Cheer in Downtown Toledo. He is a parishioner of St. Patrick’s Historic Parish. Marty attended St. Rose Grade School, and he graduated high school from Divine Word Seminary. 

Michelle Bissell

Michelle Bissell

Gesu  Parish

Michelle has been a part of the Mustard Seed since the beginning. She is a parishioner of Gesu Parish. Michelle attended Notre Dame Academy.

Greg Skibinski

Greg Skibinski

Regina Coeli Parish

Greg is a parishioner of Regina Coeli Parish. He attended St. Agnes in Toledo and St. Francis de Sales High School. Greg believes that Catholic education is important because “Catholic schools educate to develop the whole child. The ability to be immersed in an environment that is focused and centered around cultivating the whole person, through filling the need for physical, mental, social and spiritual development is uniquely met by Catholic education. It is vitally important to be able to provide families with an option for a this type of education and experience.”

Mark Meyer

Mark Meyer

Most Blessed Sacrament Parish

Mark is a parishioner of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish. He is a retired controller from Shrader Tire.

Tricia Dunn

Tricia Dunn

CFO at Notre Dame Academy

Tricia is new to our board at the Mustard Seed. She is a parishioner of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish. Tricia works at Notre Dame Academy as the CFO.

With your help, we can shape the hearts, minds, and souls of the future.

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