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Waukesha Education Foundation, Inc. Award Recipients to be Honored October 21

The Waukesha Education Foundation, Inc. (WEF) is pleased to announce the recipients of the annual Waukesha Education Foundation Awards for both 2020 and 2021. Both groups will be recognized at the 2021 Evening for Education event, being held on October 21 at the Milwaukee Marriott - West (Waukesha). 

The recipients of the WEF Corporate Partner Awards are Meijer--Waukesha (2020) and Delzer Lithograph Company (2021) 

  • Meijer joined our Waukesha community in August of 2016.  In just a few short years, Meijer has stepped up as a partner in our community to support our schools and classrooms throughout the district. A dozen nominators shared many examples of Meijer’s generous contributions to our elementary, middle, and high school programs in the School District of Waukesha with gift cards and donated school supplies to athletic and playground equipment and even support after a flood! Meijer has become the kind of corporate neighbor that any community would be thrilled to have.  
  • Delzer Lithograph Company has been a part of the Waukesha MADE (Manufacturing*Automotive* Design*Engineering) program from the start, being a sounding board for curriculum and equipment, advocating for career and technical education, opening its doors to our students and families, and creating real world projects that students complete as part of various courses. They have contributed financially to support our technical education programs and MADE scholarships. In addition, Delzer has become a printing partner to the school district, the planetarium, and the WEF.

The recipients of the WEF Community Partner Awards are Eras Senior Network (2020) and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (2021) 

  • Eras Senior Network has increased intergenerational role modeling and academic support for students within the School District of Waukesha (SDW) since 2007. They have placed an average of 150 volunteers in our schools per year since 2007, for a total of 34,709 hours of volunteer service over the twelve-year partnership. The program started with reading support activities, and expanded to include pen pal programs, Intergenerational Heritage Fairs, Readers Cafes, high school history programs, and middle school reading nights. These volunteers in 12 schools and 48 classrooms have helped to support school staff and give desired 1-on-1 attention to support students' academic success. 
  • As St. Luke's Lutheran Church celebrates 100 years of serving the Waukesha  community, they are also proud to have served working families for 25 years with their Child Life Ministries (CLM) program. St. Luke's CLM provides infant and toddler care, preschool, before- and after- school care and transportation to elementary schools, and their 4K program is a SDW community partner.  The transportation and wrap-around care is a significant benefit for many families. In 2008, members volunteered at Saratoga in an After-School Homework Club and with the VEX Robotics team. St. Luke’s partnered with the Salvation Army to distribute food-filled backpacks every weekend. That partnership moved to Whittier in 2010, and St. Luke's continues to support the students, staff, and families at Whittier Elementary in many ways. In response to the pandemic, St. Luke’s provided 140  food packs every weekend to Whittier students through Blessings in a Backpack.

The recipients of the Sally Jo Michalko Lifetime Excellence in Education Award are Dr. Todd Gray (2020) and Diane Voit (2021)    

  • Dr. Gray served as Superintendent of the School District of Waukesha (SDW) for 12 years, retiring in 2020. When Dr. Gray assumed the role, SDW was facing challenging financial and funding issues. He utilized his background in finance to develop a solid foundation for the future financial stability of the district earning an impressive AA (Standard and Poor’s) bond rating. He and his team were instrumental in developing a plan that led to the successful passage of a referendum in 2019. Dr. Gray was very forward thinking when developing and implementing curriculum for the skills today’s students will need to be successful in tomorrow’s workplace. He also implemented the “Casual for a Cause” Campaign, which has raised thousands of dollars for the WEF grant program  each year. 
  • Diane Voit has dedicated her life to supporting high-quality educational opportunities in the SDW since 1976. For 38 years, she taught Business Education and Special Education at North High School & eAchieve. For decades, she collaborated with local employers as the Business Co-Op Coordinator, placing high school seniors in work experiences which provided valuable skills while earning wages and credits. She has also been a dedicated volunteer and leader for the WEF since 2013, chairing committees, serving on the Board of Directors, creating two legacy scholarships among other things. Mrs. Voit also served on the SDW Board of Education from 2018-2021.  

All six award recognitions will occur at the Evening for Education to be held at the Milwaukee Marriott-West (Waukesha). The community is invited to this popular event which celebrates education in Waukesha. Tickets are now on sale, with sponsorship opportunities still available. Please visit http://sdwone.us/eveningforeducation to order tickets or explore sponsorships. Since its inception, WEF has awarded over $600,000 to support projects and initiatives that directly benefit the students of the School District of Waukesha through their grant program and scholarship programs. WEF relies on donations from the community to further the educational experiences of Waukesha students. Event and organization information can be found at their website: www.waukeshaeducationfoundation.org.