Overview: What We Do
- Twice-annual Gold Star Grants to spur classroom innovation, plus a new monthly opportunity for funding through the Rapid Response Grants program. Many programs are supported through endowment funds established by visionary community leaders and individuals with a passion for public education.
- Support for staff development and teacher excellence.
- Random Acts of Kindness funds to remove obstacles facing individual students.
- Thank a Teacher Day and other community activity that increases support for public education and teachers.
Read about recent grants awarded by LPEF:
Grant recipients, community supporters honored at January 14, 2022 Grants Award Program
A virtual Grants Award program on January 14, 2022 honored over 60 recipients of Gold Star Grants awarded in 2021, plus recognizing others who have made a difference in the
La Crosse public schools. All told, LPEF provided about $350,000 in support to the District in 2021, including almost $91,000 in Gold Star Grants, plus $30,000 for Random Acts of Kindness.
LPEF also raised over $500,000 through generous community gifts and pledges to fund Random Acts of Kindness – forever. The RAK Forever Fund will continue to provide basic needs of clothing, school supplies, eyeglasses, hygiene supplies or help affording fees for field trips, for students in need.
To see the complete list of grant recipients honored at this year’s ceremony, download a PDF of the event program here. See below for a complete list of sponsors of this year’s event – with proceeds going to support the ongoing awards of Gold Star Grants.
This year’s award winners were:
Corporate Partner in Education Award – Altra Federal Credit Union
For its deep commitment to public education and support of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation and many organizations throughout the region, Altra is being honored as LPEF’s 2022 Corporate Partner in Education.
As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, Altra believes in the positive impact of investing in the community, with a focus on three key areas: financial literacy, community development and cultural enrichment. They support this commitment through financial education, volunteering, and corporate funding. Altra and the Altra Foundation provide direct financial support and other in-kind contributions to many organizations throughout the communities it serves.
Altra has supported the La Crosse Public Education Foundation for many years as a corporate investor, sponsor of the grants award luncheon and in the Adopt-a-School program for Northside Elementary.
Margaret Dihlmann-Malzer Distinguished Service Award – Rochelle Nicks
Rochelle Nicks has served with distinction for six years as a member of the Board of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation. For her service to LPEF and for passionate support of La Crosse public schools, Rochelle is this year’s winner of the Margaret Dihlmann-Malzer Distinguished Service Award. As a past president, vice president and secretary for LPEF, Rochelle has been a leader and tireless volunteer during a time of growth for the organization.
Rochelle serves as the Director of Mission Advancement for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. She is a graduate of UW-La Crosse with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Public Administration. She earned her master’s degree in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Rochelle and her husband, Aaron, own Independent Cycle and ATV and support LPEF through a Foundation of Learning corporate sponsorship. Aaron and Rochelle both graduated from Central High School (‘91 and ‘98). They have two children in the District, Oliver, an eighth grader at Lincoln Middle School, and Edison, a fourth grader at Emerson Elementary.
Richard Swantz Leadership Award – Lisa Schreiner
Lisa Schreiner is being honored with the Richard Swantz Leadership award in recognition of strong leadership in La Crosse schools as a teacher, administrator, mentor and leader.
Lisa is the Principal at Southern Bluffs Elementary School, and prior to that she was the Associate Principal at Logan Middle School. She also served as the teacher of students with cognitive disabilities for fourteen years at Spence Elementary and Logan High School. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in special education/elementary education from UW – Eau Claire, and a master’s in special education from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. She received her principal licensure at Viterbo University.
Lisa and her husband, Kevin, also a teacher, have two children. Ryan is a technology education teacher at Logan High School. Mitchell is a Process Engineer for Neenah, Inc.
Salute to Educators Sponsor
Fowler & Hammer
Named Grant Sponsors/Corporate Investors
Altra Federal Credit Union
Gillette & Associates CPAs
Independent Cycle & ATV
Mayo Clinic Health System
Modern Crane Service
Named Grant Sponsors
Dairyland Power Cooperative
Gundersen Health System
LHI, part of OptumServe
Grant Sponsors/Corporate Investors
The Insurance Center
The Potato King
La Crosse Education Association
Board of Education
La Crosse Tribune
2021 Grants Award Luncheon
2020 Grants Award Luncheon
“Teachers Inspire” was the theme of the 2020 Grants Award Luncheon, held on Jan. 21, 2020. Read more, link to a list of grants and link to a photo gallery here.
2019 Grants Award Luncheon
“Building a Brighter Future Together” was the theme of the 2019 Grants Award Luncheon, held on Jan. 18, 2019. Read more, link to a list of grants and link to a photo gallery here.
2018 Grants Award Luncheon
“Community Schools: Engaging Families, Meeting Needs” was the theme of the 2018 Grants Award Luncheon, held on Jan. 22, 2018. Read more, link to a list of grants and link to a photo gallery here.
2017 Grants Award Luncheon
“Excellence and Equity in our Schools” was the theme of the 2017 Grants Award Luncheon, held Jan. 16, 2017. Read more, link to a list of grants and link to a photo gallery here.
2016 Grants Award Luncheon
“Strong Schools, Strong Community” was the theme of the 2016 Grants Award Luncheon, held Jan. 18, 2016. Read more, link to a list of grants and link to a photo gallery here.
2015 Grants Award Luncheon
2013-14 School Year Grants
See a list of grants awarded during the 2013-14 year.