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John K. Niparko Endowment

Established by The River School Board of Trustees, the Niparko Endowment is intended to strengthen our ability to ensure extraordinary teaching, learning and the capacity to pursue the school's strategic goals. As of August 31, 2023, the Niparko Endowment combined with the endowed Jill Bailey Chenet Scholarship Fund reached $3,617,401.

Our most pressing strategic goal is financial sustainability. Of all the goals outlined in The River School’s Strategic Plan and The River School Pillars – to remain leaders in social-emotional learning, and language and literacy, to improve our current facility and explore new options, and to expand accessibility for students from a diversity of backgrounds,  financial sustainability is the one upon which all the others depend. A robust endowment will safeguard the school through trying economic conditions and enable us to innovate and grow in good times.

The annual income and security provided by an endowment can:

  • reduce our dependence on tuition
  • finance our long-term, multiyear  goals
  • sustain our programs in the event of an economic downturn
  • enhance our ability to attract and retain the best teachers with excellent salaries and benefits
  • safeguard our commitment to providing top-quartile financial aid.

If you would like to make a lasting investment in The River School's future, email Jen Lynch,  Director of Institutional Advancement for more information  or call 202-380-9208.


Dr. John K. Niparko was a founding board member of The River School and a world-class surgeon, researcher and scientist, who directly touched the lives of thousands of children here and around the world. Our entire community was deeply saddened by his passing in spring 2016.

It was through his leadership and generosity that our Endowment Fund was established in 2011. Dr. Niparko was its first and largest donor, and the biggest contributor to The River School at that time. To that end, The River School’s Endowment Fund was named the John K. Niparko Endowment Fund in his memory.

He believed when it was just the seed of an idea that The River School would succeed. He believed children with cochlear implants needed support, not just surgery. He believed all children could benefit from the nurturing and care that a tight-knit, mission-focused community offers. He believed in our future and invested in it.

With the John K. Niparko Endowment, we hold close all that we admired in Dr. Niparko – his kindness, his generosity of spirit, his dedication to his patients and his commitment to improving lives. We will remember him with every step we take in the work we started together.

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