Kalispell Education Foundation Announces Largest Giving Cycle

Thirteen teachers and organizations receive grants from nonprofit supporting Kalispell public schools, reception planned for Nov. 13

By Beacon Staff

On Nov. 6, a nonprofit that strives to “enrich, enhance and support efforts” of Kalispell Public Schools announced the largest giving cycle, totaling more than $20,000, in its 12-year history.

The Kalispell Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt philanthropic organization of local citizens independent of the Kalispell public school district. It distributes the funds it raises to various teachers and programs throughout Kalispell’s schools.

The recent giving cycle’s funds were awarded to 13 different teachers and organizations, including grants to introduce robotic programming to kindergartners, teach physics principles of rocketry to fifth-graders and show high school students how to run a successful coffee shop. The maximum grant for each recipient is $2,000.

The foundation’s mission is to “encourage academic excellence in Kalispell Public Schools by providing funding not available through traditional local, state, and federal sources; invest in programs and practices that have a positive impact on student success; provide opportunities for teachers and staff to develop innovative projects through grants; seek and cultivate private and corporate funding sources.”

Grantees for this cycle will be recognized at a Nov. 13 reception at Bonjour Bakery & Bistro in Kalispell from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The grants were buoyed by an investment from Anna Marie Bailey, a longtime public school advocate, Kalispell Education Foundation board member and Kalispell School District 5 board member.

“She has provided a leadership gift to advance the KEF mission and propel it to a new level in the coming years,” a press release stated.

List of Grantees

-Jessica Louk and Brooke Samson, Bridging the iPad Gap, Rankin Elementary

-Nicole Capser, Learning Journeys, Rankin Elementary

-Brad Holloway, Collaborative Dry-Erase Wall, Glacier High School

-Michael Sherman, Students Assisting Students – SAS Support Groups, Flathead High School

-Marti Paugh, Southside Coffee, Flathead High School

-Kathleen Ryan, Making the Visible Fun, Edgerton Elementary School

-Wendy Putzler, Making Magic Happen, Flathead High School

-Mike Kelly, Pursuing the Trades, Flathead High School

-Karen Strong, Sew Electric, Kalispell Middle School

-Tracy Scott, Prom Salon, District Office

-Kim Wakefield, Building Fluency and Numeracy Routines Through Systematic, Purposeful Play, Edgerton Elementary School

-Shay LaCasse, Blast Off!, Peterson Elementary School

-Makayla Darrow, STEAMing into Robotics, Peterson Elementary School