As a nonprofit organization, the Friends of Bache-Martin is charged with meeting the fundraising needs of Bache Martin School on a larger scale through grant writing and soliciting the financial support of foundations, corporations and individuals. We exist for the sole purpose of enhancing the educational opportunities offered by the school not funded by the School District of Philadelphia


With the Bache-Martin Home & School Association targeting student and family-centered activities and engagement, the Friends of Bache-Martin is focused on supporting school-wide initiatives that positively impact the educational trajectory and achievement of all current and future students.


The Friends of Bache-Martin is comprised of board members that hail from the community, school administration and faculty and parents of current students. We are dedicated to engaging the broader community in Philadelphia and beyond, to bring much needed resources to Bache-Martin.

About the Friends of Bache-Martin


Friends of Bache-Martin provides financial resources and facilitates community engagement to enhance the educational opportunities offered by the school.  Friends of Bache-Martin cooperates with the Bache-Martin school administration to create a community of lifelong learners, and to support the school’s mission, vision, and values.


Bache-Martin is a public neighborhood K-8 elementary school that offers student-centered academic programming in a caring, energetic, and inclusive environment.  Through innovative teaching, committed leadership, and effective community partnerships, Bache-Martin students will grow to be creative, critical, and civic-minded thinkers who are confident and well-prepared to achieve as they continue on their educational pathway from high school to college, to career, and beyond.

Board Members

To ensure the continuity of Friends of Bache-Martin as a community organization working hand in hand with the school leadership, our bylaws require that 40% of our board seats be filled by community members who do not have a child at the school. The bylaws also require that a board seat is filled by the Bache-Martin Principal (or his or her designee).

Jerilyn Dressler

Jerilyn Dressler


Jerilyn is an associate at Your Part-Time Controller, where she does accounting and financial consulting for non-profits. Originally from Queens, NY, she has lived in Fairmount for over 10 years, and parent of a kindergarten student at Bache-Martin. Jerilyn also chairs the IT Committee.

Greg Vincent

Greg Vincent

Vice President

Greg is a Partner at TNTP, a national education non-profit, and oversees teacher and school leader development initiatives with school districts across the country. Prior to joining TNTP, Greg taught high school math and science in New York City. Greg is a Fairmount resident, and father to a future Bache-Martin student. Greg also co-chairs the Education/Curriculum Committee.

Sharon DeSalvo

Sharon DeSalvo


Sharon teaches kindergarten at Bache Martin, and has been a member of the staff since 2008. She is a member of the school leadership team, and is the school partnership liaison. Sharon resides in Fairmount and enjoys her active role in school-community relations. Sharon also co-chairs the Community Partnerships Committee.

Nina Liou

Nina Liou


Nina is a Senior Associate with EJP Consulting Group that specializes in strategic planning and advisory services focused on affordable housing development and neighborhood revitalization. Nina, a parent of a 3rd grader at Bache-Martin, is the Past President of the Bache-Martin Home and School Association, a role in which she served for 4 years. Nina also co-chairs the Marketing and Communications Committee.

Mark Vitvitsky

Mark Vitvitsky

Bache-Martin Principal

Mark is the Principal of Bache-Martin Elementary School. He is in his third year at the school and has been an educator in Philadelphia since 2007. During his time in Philadelphia, he has served as a teacher, instructional coach and principal.

Janet Carter

Janet Carter

Community Member

Janet is a longtime resident of Francisville, a Bache-Martin Elementary School Alumni, and has three great grandchildren that currently attend Bache-Martin Elementary school. Janet retired from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 2006 after 17 years of service as a garden coordinator. She is currently a Legislative Assistant for State Representative Donna Bullock.

Janice Hunt

Janice Hunt

Community Member

Janice has 25+ years experience in Sales, Sales Leadership, Marketing and Consulting in IT for fortune 500 size companies. Janice has volunteered for many organizations over the years primarily focused on her now grown children’s school, sports and music activities. Janice moved to Philadelphia from the suburbs in 2014 and became involved in the Fairmount community. Janice also co-chairs the Grants Committee.

Thomas Young

Thomas Young

Community Member

Thomas is the Chief of Staff for State Representative Donna Bullock, whose 195th district includes Bache-Martin. He is a Bache-Martin Alumni and longtime resident of the Fairmount/Francisville area. His responsibilities on the board include establishing relationships with alumni, local businesses, universities and government.

Thomas Rethage

Thomas Rethage

Community Member

Tom is a Senior Trial Attorney with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Originally from Pittsburgh, Tom has lived in the Fairmount neighborhood and Bache-Martin catchment for more than 10 years. Tom co-chairs the Community Partnerships Committee.



Bache-Martin Elementary School has a long history of serving students both in the Fairmount/Francisville/Spring Garden communities as well as the city as a whole.  The Alexander Dallas Bache School was constructed in 1905.  Bache was a professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, the first president of the National Academy of Sciences, the first principal and founder of the nation’s second public high school (Central High School in Philadelphia), and great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin.  The Willis and Elizabeth Martin Orthopedic School was constructed in 1936 with WPA funding.  The Martin school was the first one in Philadelphia designed specifically for teaching physically handicapped students, and was named after the handicapped Philadelphia jurist and health care reformer and his philanthropist wife.  In 1943, the school became a center for deaf, severely hard of hearing and partially signed classes.  Both schools are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Today, Bache-Martin is a K-8 neighborhood elementary school serving approximately 450 students.  The school is slightly less diverse than the School District of Philadelphia’s (SDP) overall student demographics, with a higher percentage of African-American students.  Of note is that the percentage of students with disabilities is twice that of the SDP average.  Founded as a school serving students with disabilities, Bache-Martin continues that tradition today and houses several self-contained special education classrooms for students requiring autistic or life skills supports.

Over the last 15 years, as the SDP has found itself in increasing financial turmoil and as a result, fewer resources available at the school level, Bache-Martin has worked diligently to supplement the educational environment at the school through the establishment of partnerships with local and city-wide organizations.  Currently, Bache-Martin has in place a number of in-school and afterschool programs to provide value-added educational opportunities for its students, the most long-standing of which is the Philadelphia Reads program that has been a partner of the school since 1998.

Working hand-in-hand with the school are the parents of students, and the school enjoys a very active Home and School Association (HSA).  Over the last four years, the Bache-Martin HSA has raised in excess of $100,000 to pay for the Playworks program for the school’s students.  More recently, over 100 community and school members collaborated to raise $10,000 to fund a new K-4 science curriculum at the school. Classroom teachers have also individually successfully crowdfunded for books, materials, technology, and field trips over the years.  In the 2015-2016 school year alone, teachers have raised over $5,500 for the benefit of their students.

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Our Core Challenges


new standards have raised the bar for instruction and our teachers and students need support in order to realize their full potential,


students need more regular exposure to content that helps them build knowledge about the world and support in using that knowledge to think critically,


technology limitations make individualized learning challenging and the development of 21st century skills near-impossible.


we have come a long way thanks to the efforts of the School’s committed staff, families and community partners, yet we still have a long way to go.

Our Theory of Action

When we…

provide teachers with standards-aligned curriculum,


support teachers to deliver curriculum to students effectively,


work to retain teachers who are able to make the needed instructional shifts,


over time, we will transform outcomes for our students and become the school that they deserve.

Our Fundraising Priorities

We are working on…

Greater Teacher Effectiveness

  • Increase teacher coaching
  • Support ongoing professional development
  • Recruitment support to create a pool of talented teachers to fill vacant positions

Richer Learning Experiences

  • Implement a new recess / play program
  • Strengthen music program by replacing musical instruments at the end of their useful life and providing additional musical equipment to expand our music education program.

AmazonSmile Donations

AmazonSmile is a program by which Amazon makes donations to non-profits based on the selections of its customers. You can use your existing Amazon.com account on AmazonSmile.

When you shop through Amazon and choose our school as your non-profit, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. There is no cost to you, Amazon makes the donation!

How to do it?

1) Use this link:  http://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-3625107 and
2) You will see that “Friends of Bache Martin” is populated automatically as your charity-of-choice.
3) Shop!

Order, Eat, Donate through Caviar

Friends of Bache-Martin has partnered with Caviar to bring you this fundraiser.

Order from your favorite local restaurants, enjoy meals delivered to your home or office, and get 10% of every order donated to Friends of Bache-Martin. Click on this link to start your order: http://friendsofbachemartin.withcaviar.com/

To send in your donation by mail:

Friends of Bache-Martin
PO Box 15032
Philadelphia, PA 19130

As a 501(c)(3), donations are tax deductible to the amount allowed by law. 

In the News

Here’s some background on our GoFundMe campaign this summer: Science Kits

This article appeared in the Philadelphia Tribune about Bache Martin’s objective of lifelong learning: Tribune

Here is a link to the Bache Martin Home & School Association website: HSA

Friends of Bache-Martin: Creating Community and Educational Enrichment in Fairmount: Spirit News

Bache-Martin Elementary is excited to return to the Spark program for its 7th grade students. Spark brings together schools, businesses and individuals to create career exploration and self-discovery experiences for middle school students. This was possible through a grant from the Alston-Beech Foundation via the Friends of Bache-Martin. Cecil B Moore Community Newsletter

Where to find us

Get in touch

Find us:
Friends of Bache-Martin
PO Box 15032
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Email us:

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Governing documents, conflict of interest policy, and financial statements are available upon request.

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