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Life Lessons a Part of the Equation

John and Barbara Students form only one part of the equation that makes a high school; the second half is comprised of teachers. Ask alumni what they remember most from their days at St. Pius X High School, and you will frequently hear the name of a faculty member among their top three memories. For older alums it is often a Dominican Sister. For many of those from the 1990's and early 2000's, it is John McMahon.

Having retired from a successful career as a senior executive in the legal department for Shell Oil, John became a member of the SPX faculty in 1992. He was joined by his wife Barbara, who became a librarian on staff at SPX. As a teacher, John McMahon was acclaimed not only for the lessons he taught from the curriculum, but also for the life lessons he instilled in his students. He was also known for his unorthodox teaching methods and unwavering faith in his students. In recognition of his impact on them, in 1996 and again in two succeeding years, John was nominated by his students and later selected for "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" for being a teacher of merit who made a difference in the life of a student, and recognized for excellence as a distinguished educator.

John retired in 2005, and Barbara a few years later. In 2007, wishing to honor John and provide a permanent symbol of his impact as a teacher, friends and associates established the John T. McMahon Endowed Teaching Chair at St. Pius X. The McMahon Teaching Chair is bestowed annually on faculty member who, like John, teaches beyond the curriculum and helps form those values in students to prepare them for life beyond the walls of St. Pius X.

The highest honor awarded to a faculty member at SPX, the McMahon Teaching Chair not only provides motivation to established teachers to raise their level of teaching, but it also provides tangible evidence of the school's commitment to excellence in teaching.

John and Barbara will continue to influence teachers for generations to come. The McMahon's have included St. Pius X High School in their estate planning through a special bequest that will benefit the Teaching Chair, along with the general operations of the school. "We have lived the good that St. Pius X does," John reflects. "Through our work there and our continued contacts with students-now alumni-we have seen the difference SPX can make in a life."

Learn How You Can Help
If you would like to give back to SPX with a planned gift, contact Monica E. Clem at 713.579.7500 or clemm@stpiusx.org. We would be happy to help you find the gift that's right for you, at no obligation.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to St. Pius X High School a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the St. Pius X High School Foundation [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for [stated purpose]."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to SPX or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SPX as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SPX as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and SPX where you agree to make a gift to SPX and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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