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WEF Awards Over $35,000 to School District of Waukesha Educators

Even a pandemic, closed schools and staff working from their homes wasn’t going to stop the Waukesha Education Foundation, Inc. from surprising this year’s grant recipients. 

Throughout the year, the Waukesha Education Foundation, Inc. (WEF) raises funds through community events to be awarded as annual grants. Each spring, teachers and staff throughout the School District of Waukesha may submit grant proposals to the foundation, requesting support for unique teaching opportunities or innovative programs that normally wouldn’t be funded by the school district. 

This year, with the current world health crisis, the foundation was unsure if teachers would even have the time or capacity to put together collaborative grant proposals. But as usual, staff in the Waukesha School District did not disappoint. Although the number of applicants decreased greatly, the quality of the applications did not. The WEF was able to award 30 grants, totaling just under $36,000. A group of volunteers from the foundation’s board set out to deliver socially distanced grant notifications with novelty checks, prizes, and good news on Wednesday, and hosted a virtual celebration online Wednesday evening. 

“Our Foundation team really came together during a very challenging time. Our grant team had to review and virtually discuss each application, and then come up with a notification plan. We had to reach out to all of our applicants to ask how they wanted to be notified of our decision, as we wanted to respect their privacy and their time. Then, we had to pull a plan together to get these items delivered to places all over the metro area and then figure out a way to bring everyone together virtually to formally announce the winners.  We work really hard year round, and this, by far, is our favorite day of the year. Even COVID-19 was not going to stop us from celebrating these great educators,” said Lynnette Kalmadge, Executive Director of the Waukesha Education Foundation. “I am so appreciative of our entire team for helping to make this happen. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it when you see the winners’ excitement.” 

“We work within our community to raise dollars to fund our endowment. We do this by holding special events such as our August 4  Golf Outing and our Evening for Education that is currently scheduled for October 29. We rely on business and community support alike through a variety of sponsorship opportunities, donation opportunities, partnerships and generous individual donors. Without this support, we could not fund these awesome programs,” said Kalmadge. 

Grants awarded this year included a variety of great projects: funding for the District’s FeMade program, interactive displays at the Horwitz-DeRemer Planetarium, a variety of supplemental tools for social-emotional learning, a variety of business and coding simulation software programs, a community service club at Meadowbrook Elementary, tools that assist in virtual learning for teachers and students alike, and many other innovative programs. 

“In today’s challenging learning environment, we were so pleased to receive all of these applications and were even more pleased to be able to say yes to so many educators, “ said Kalmadge. “We hope that the surprise deliveries brought a little joy to a very stressful end of the school year.”

Congratulations to our 2020 Grant Winners. You can check out photos of our 2020 Winners here!

2020 Grant Awards


Project Title




High Altitude Balloon - Circumnavigating the World

Brian Cieslak

 $      525.00

Elementary Choral Program

Waukesha Sings!

Erica Cosson, Aimee Hyland, McKenna Rakestraw, Jared Ziegler

 $   1,140.00

STEM: Randall Campus

Coding Our Way Through Learning

Deanna Day, Mary Kuhnert and Erin Gokey

 $   1,269.85


Hadfield Cafe

Shelly Dohlby, Lisa Rousseau and Kathy Kussow

 $      650.75

Rose Glen

Classroom Tools to Support Social Emotional Learning

Heidi Edwards and Katie Czarnecki

 $   1,000.00

South HS

Blackshirts Read--Project LIT

Gretchen Egner

 $      720.00


Exploring the World through Spanish Literature!

Marlene Figueroa and Julie Jordan

 $   1,000.00


Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Allyson Gonzalez

 $      388.48


Heyer School wide Zones of Regulation

Mary Green

 $   1,374.45

STEM: Randall Campus

Outdoor Classroom

Kaitlyn Hansen and Garren Johnson

 $   1,200.00

SDW CTE (Technical Education)

FeMade: Encouraging females to explore non-traditional career pathways

Mollie Haubenschild

 $   1,500.00

STEM: Saratoga Campus

CNC Milling Software

Matthew Heuser

 $   1,995.00

Env Ed

From Learning to Engaging - Explorative Tools for the Fox River Sanctuary

Emma Koeppel

 $   2,000.00

Multiple Libraiies

Making Library Books Easier to Find

Malena Koplin

 $   1,800.00

North HS

Fun Friday Games to Increase Healthy Relationships

Edna Maldonado and Geidy Colón

 $      600.00

South HS

Corona classroom: Online virtualization of the face-to-face classroom experience

Timothy Melk

 $      715.09

Summit View

 Enhancing and Supplementing Universal Social-Emotional Instruction

Stephanie Merrill and Amanda Desua

 $      361.00

STEM: Saratoga Campus

Angling 101

Dwight Osmon

 $   1,290.90

Bilingual/ESL Program

Truth and Choices (La verdad y las opciones)

Maria Pieters and Leticia Campos

 $      450.00

South HS

Modern Teaching and Learning with 21st Century Skills

Mitchell Propson

 $   2,563.28

North HS

SWIVL for Distance Learning

John  Ricciardi

 $   1,262.00

STEM: Saratoga Campus

SIM Virtual Businesses

Colleen Rosengarten

 $   3,590.00


Meadowbrook’s Justice Service League

Amanda Shaske

 $   1,400.00

Les Paul MS

Reigniting the Joy of Reading with a Culturally Representative Classroom Library

Kayla Shimel, Ann Zindler and Alda McFarlin

 $   1,200.00


Let's Think Socially

Emily Sowinski

 $      553.91


Horwitz-DeRemer Planetarium Interactive Displays for Lobby Remodel

Lisa Swaney

 $   2,448.00

Butler MS

Building a Bridge: Connecting Two Campuses Through a Community of Literacy

Sara Vanden Heuvel and Cindy Wanie

 $      170.00


Breaking Out - From Chaos to Discovery!

Andrea Weber

 $      800.00


Another 4K at Lowell--Hooray!

Maria Zagorski

 $      489.00

SDW 4K Program

Family Engagement: You Can Do Math Too!!

Nicole Zeroth

 $      900.00




Total 2020 Grants


 $ 35,356.71