David Stoeffler, executive director of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, is resigning from his position, effective Sept. 30, 2021. A search for his successor will begin immediately.
Stoeffler will be leaving La Crosse to become the Chief Executive Officer of a new nonprofit being formed in Springfield, Missouri, where he was executive editor of the local newspaper from 2010 to 2014, prior to becoming executive director of LPEF.
The name and mission of the new Springfield nonprofit have not yet been announced.
“David’s enthusiasm for developing and supporting educational initiatives has been instrumental in LPEF’s growth and success over the past seven years,” said Anna Prinsen, LPEF Board president and owner of Modern Crane Service. “He has been a leader for LPEF, our schools and our community. David has touched many lives and will be greatly missed.”
Stoeffler joined LPEF in June 2014 after a nearly 35 year career in the newspaper business. Among his jobs, he was a reporter at the La Crosse Tribune from 1979-1981, and returned as the Tribune editor in 1995-97. As editor of the Tribune, Stoeffler was a co-founder of the Extra Effort Awards, which continue to provide annual recognition for area high school seniors who have overcome obstacles.
During his time as editor of the Springfield newspaper, Stoeffler was active in several local organizations, and he built a reputation as a trusted partner and friend of the community. Most notably, he was a co-founder of the Every Child Promise, which initially raised $1 million to fund pilot projects as part of a long-range plan “so that every child age birth to 6 has the opportunity to enter our schools ready to learn.” In 2019, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks announced creation of an endowed fund, the David Stoeffler Every Child Promise Fund for Early Childhood Education, which provides scholarships for children to help families afford quality pre-school programs.
LPEF has grown significantly in Stoeffler’s seven years. Among the key accomplishments:
- Increased overall visibility and community awareness of LPEF and its mission, including adding annual events such as Thank a Teacher Day and recognition for retiring educators.
- More than doubled the regular annual impact of LPEF financial support for the School District of La Crosse. Various distributions, including pass-through grants, to the District rose from a total of $67,000 in 2013 to $330,000 in 2020.
- Doubled the amount of grant funding made available to teachers and schools, from $43,000 in 2013-14 to almost $90,000 in 2020-21.
- Increased the availability of Random Acts of Kindness spending to address the needs of students in schools — from an average of less than $23,000 to an average of $34,000.
- Doubled the number of endowment and major funds supporting LPEF, specific grant programs and various School District of La Crosse needs – from 11 in 2014 to 22 in 2021. Investments in those funds grew from about $1.3 million to $2.3 million.
- Helped lead the largest-ever fundraising campaign in LPEF history with the completion of the $500,000 campaign for the RAK Forever Fund.
- Provided support for community fundraising efforts, such as Solar on La Crosse Schools.
- Helped demonstrate LPEF’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion efforts through fundraising programs and grants to educators.
- Built a strong, financially healthy organization headed by a dedicated Board of Directors.
LPEF expects to provide about $350,000 in support to the La Crosse schools this year, including more than $80,000 in Gold Star Grants to encourage innovation in classrooms. LPEF provides other programs to enhance learning opportunities for students, including Random Acts of Kindness to meet needs of students in areas such as nutrition, hygiene, clothing, and transportation.
The LPEF Board is accepting applications for the full-time Executive Director position. For more information, go to the job posting.
To apply, send a resume and a letter explaining your interest, relevant skills and passion for public schools to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.