Celebrate Education to recognize community’s educators, volunteers - March 28 2014

OSHKOSH, WI - More than $40,000 in grants will be awarded to educators from public and private schools in Oshkosh during Celebrate Education, an evening that recognizes and honors educators, administrators and volunteers who enrich the lives of students in our community.

See a photo gallery from the event

The event will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 31, at the Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. Main St. The presentation will begin at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Please call the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation at 920-426-3993 to reserve a seat.

The event will recognize 23 educators with classroom and professional development grants. Other honors include school technology grants, community partner and volunteer recognition and the Oshkosh Area School District's employees of the year.

"Celebrate Education is a perennial favorite in our community as we come together - public and private schools, donors, teachers, administrators, the business community and volunteers - all with the same agenda, to celebrate education," said Karlene Grabner, Director of Donor Services for the Foundation.

"Quality education is so important to our youth and this is a special night to reward those teachers who go above and beyond for their students. We also salute community partners who support education in their work. It truly takes a village to raise a child and this is an opportunity to recognize the many people who make a difference."

The event is sponsored by the Foundation, Oshkosh Area School District, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis and Wisconsin Public Service, with support from Oshkosh Rotary Southwest.

The following grants and awards will be presented:

Spirit of Education Award
Financial educator Jeff Kemps will receive the Oshkosh Area School District's Spirit of Education Award. The honor is presented to an individual, group or business that provides exceptional service to the school and community, expresses a passion for learning, inspires others and serves as a role model for school and community partnerships.

Dr. Stanley Spanbauer Education and Leadership Award
The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce will be presented with the Dr. Stanley Spanbauer Education and Leadership Award from Lourdes Academy of Oshkosh. The award recognizes an individual or group that has demonstrated a long-term commitment to Lourdes Academy and its mission.

Rudoy Awards for Teaching Excellence
Each year, the Edward and Belle Rudoy Fund selects an educator from each middle school or high school who were nominated by their principal to receive a grant for classroom supplies or professional development. The 2014 awards focus on high school teachers. The Rudoy Awards for Teaching Excellence, established in 1996, aim to support teachers in their efforts to provide the best possible education for children.

Heather Ponschock
Oshkosh North High School
Family and Consumer Science

Cindy Suess
Oshkosh North High School
Physical education/adaptive physical education

Chris Arps
Oshkosh West High School
Technology Education

Kristi Levy
Oshkosh West High School

Michelle Sorenson
Lourdes Academy of Oshkosh

Jennifer Pollack
Lourdes Academy of Oshkosh

The Ed and Belle Rudoy Fund also will provide $17,000 in grants to several Oshkosh schools to support technology projects. Those grant recipients will be announced during Monday's event.

Celebrate Education Grants
These grants assist teachers in bringing new and innovative programs to their classrooms. They are funded by the Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis and the Zmolek Family Education Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.

Erin Nugent
Lourdes Academy of Oshkosh
Project: "Meet, Learn and Create like a Famous Artist"

Karen Coats
Lourdes Academy of Oshkosh
Project: "Keeping Connected with our Community"

Mary Beschta
Lourdes Academy of Oshkosh
Project: "Look, Listen and Learn"

Jennifer Wolff
Smith Elementary School
Project: "Book Cart Reading Project"

Jan Wagner
Emmeline Cook/Smith Elementary School
Project: "Math Backpack"

Emily Sopata
Carl Traeger Elementary School
Project: "National Holiday Classroom Books"

Jamie Parma
Read Elementary School
Project: "Traveling Classroom Libraries"

Lynda Wiedenhaupt
Valley Christian School
Project: "Author's Café: An Author's Journey from Reading to Publishing"

Jonathan Peterson
Merrill Middle School
Project: "Merrill P.A.C.E."

Nick Mees
Merrill Middle School
Project: "Landscaping Merrill Middle School for a Greener Tomorrow"

Katie Mammel
Lourdes Academy of Oshkosh
Project: "Having Fun with Math Skills"

Shane Obrigewitch
Lourdes Academy of Oshkosh
Project: "Forces, Motion, and Rockets"

Angie Pflaum-Kese
Webster Stanley Middle School
Project: "Benefit from Reading Together"

Erin Duwell
Traeger Middle School
Project: "A New Musical"

Martha Wahl
Valley Christian School
Project: "Cat Dissection"

Jill Williams
Oshkosh North High School
Project: "Little Free Libraries"

LeeAnn Morrill
Oshkosh North High School
Project: "Media Center Renovation"

More than $44,000 in proposals for Celebrate Education grants were submitted to the Foundation during a competitive process earlier this year.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.

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