Maggie Mae Concert Tickets Going Fast!

Over 300 tickets have already been sold to the Maggie Mae Concert being held on April 18, 2015 to honor Rod “Peanuts” Esser.  In addition, nearly 20 area businesses have also agreed to sponsor the event, including Madison Community Foundation, Wagner Insurance, St. Francis Xavier School, Main Street Lanes, Sauk Plains Plumbing, Crossroads Coffeehouse, Century 21, All-American Liquor, Hellenbrand Water Center, TA Miller Electric, Lawns Unlimited, Plastic Ingenuity, Kalscheur Implement, Cross Plains Motors, Tax Solutions. and True Value Hardware in Cross Plains.

“I am bringing my good friend Maggie Mae to our PAC for an evening of wonderful music and showmanship,” Esser told staff. “It’s part of my celebration of gratefulness for working more than 50 years as custodian at Park School.”


The concert to honor Esser will be held at the Middleton Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 18, and proceeds will benefit the MCPASD Education Foundation. Esser has seen Mae perform in person more than a dozen times, including throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and even in Branson, Missouri. He plans to see her again on December 7, just a few days before his 75th birthday.

“I am honored and humbled that everyone is making such a fuss over this,’’ said Esser, who for most of his time with the District has worked as the custodian at Park Elementary in Cross Plains. “I love Maggie’s concerts. Everyone who comes will have a great time. She provides good, wholesome entertainment.’’

Tickets for the show, which begins at 7 p.m., are $26 for orchestra seating and $21 for mezzanine seating. All seats are reserved. More than 200 seats have already been sold. Tickets can be purchased through the Brown Paper Tickets website or by calling 1-800-838-3006. The PAC has more than 550 orchestra seats and nearly 350 mezzanine seats.

The Lions Club of Cross Plains, the Cross Plains Optimist Club, the Park PTO and St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church will sell food, beverages and dessert before the concert. The PAC will open at 5 p.m. and Mae and Esser will be available to meet with people before and after the show. A short tribute to Esser will begin at 6:45 p.m.

Mae, a home-grown talented country singer and Nashville recording artist from Oxford, Wisconsin, has become one of the biggest Midwestern names in pure country music. She is a favorite performer on RFD TV’s “Midwest Country Show” on Saturday nights, which has made her a familiar face in millions of homes across the country. She also makes appearances on The Virginia Dreams Center Stage Show and the Shotgun Red Variety Show on RFD TV.

In 2012 her gospel album “Walking in the Son’s Light” received a Grammy nomination. She has recorded seven albums and has sang with such greats as The Riders in the Sky and recorded a duet with country great Doug Stone as well as opened up shows for many artists.  In 2011 Maggie’s album “Cooking Up Country’’ won the Rural Roots Music Commissions pick for Contemporary Country CD of the Year Award.

She is accompanied by the Heartland Country Band, which includes Eric Nofsinger (fiddle), Steve Nelson (lead guitar), James Lau (bass), Ray Chambers (drums), Loren Nelson (steel guitar) and Stuart Thayer (piano).

Mae and her husband, Roger Hilliard, own and operate Maggie Mae’s Café in Oxford. She regularly performs the “Maggie Mae Barn Dance/Dinner Shows” that are held on her farm in Oxford, too.

“Every day there are so many folks that travel from states and cities away to my café in Oxford or attend some of my other shows across the state,’’ she said. “I love seeing the smiles on fans’ faces.”


UPS Store Partnership

Do you plan to ship any packages before the holidays? Would you like to help the MCPASD Education Foundation at the same time? If so, then we have a deal for you.
Keith Johnston, the owner of The UPS Store, 6907 University Ave., Middleton, and his new second store at 2858 University Ave. in Shorewood Hills, will donate $1 to the Education Foundation for every package shipped on the first three Fridays in December (Dec. 5, 12 and 19).  The store will double the donation to $2 per package for any current or former District employees.
This is the second year The UPS Store has supported a grant through the Education Foundation. Last year’s grant went to Emily Brucker, a 4K teacher at Pooh Bear Preschool, to purchase mentor texts to support the 4K curriculum.
The Education Foundation has given nearly $13,000 in grants since 2012, impacting more than 4,000 students. All 10 District schools, along with Pooh Bear Preschool, have received at least one grant. The Foundation plans to hand out more than $7,500 in grants later this month.

Brick Campaign Contributors to Date

We are approaching the end of the Bricks to Build a Strong Foundation campaign. The deadline to order a brick is October 15 and bricks are expected to be installed no later than November 30 near the main entrances at Glacier Creek and Kromrey middle schools.

Bricks come in three sizes – 4×8, 8×8 and 12×12 – and cost $100, $200 or $400.

Organizations and individuals who have purchased a brick as of October 2, 2014 include:

10-2 Donors JPG

If you are interested in purchasing a brick, please print out the order form, which can be found on this website. If you have questions, please check out the Frequently Asked Questions document on this site. Some engraving examples are also available. You can pay by check or credit card. If you prefer to pay by credit card, please find the PayPal option at the bottom of the right side on the Foundation website’s front page.

The Foundation was formed in 2011 and has raised nearly $150,000 for its endowment fund, which will provide inspiring experiences for District students for generations to come. The Foundation has also handed out 22 grants totaling nearly $13,000 to District teachers since 2013. Every school, along with Pooh Bear Preschool,  has received at least one grant.


Mural at Sunset Ridge Celebrates World Cultures

Sunset Ridge Elementary has a new addition to its school, one of many projects made possible by generous contributors to the MCPASD Education Foundation.

A new mural in the school, funded by a $400 Foundation grant, was painted by Bilingual Resource Teacher Roberto Moreno Diaz, counselor Sara Reeves-Metz and ESL/Bilingual para-educator Elsa Morrick. It celebrates the countries and world cultures represented by the students at Sunset Ridge.

It includes a map of the world, surrounded by flags, Moreno said. There are flags for 33 countries, representing the diverse world cultures of the students at Sunset Ridge.

Mural (1)

“The mural is amazing,’’ Sunset Ridge reading specialist Jessica Block said.

Moreno Diaz shared that he hopes that the mural will remind the Sunset Ridge community that the different world cultures and countries represented in the school are all valuable to the school community, and that diversity should be celebrated.

The grant was one of 10 the Education Foundation awarded in Spring 2014.


District Wins Berbee Derby Technology Grants

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District learned on Sunday night that it won a $6,000 grant from the Berbee Derby Technology Education Foundation.


The grant was written by Education Foundation board member Tom Kobinsky earlier this summer, and will be used to purchase more Chromebooks as part of the District’s Access for All Program, Director of Technology Jim Blodgett said.

This is the third grant the District has received from the Berbee Derby TEF. In 2012, Elm Lawn Elementary received a $5,000 grant for a new computer lab. In 2011, Northside Elementary received a $2,730 grant to purchase six document cameras to be used with SMART boards already in the classrooms.

“It’s exciting to win a grant like this for our students,” Kobinksky said. “Technology is such an important part of a solid education. It’s an unfortunate fact that many district families simply cannot afford to buy their children these tools when food, housing and other needs are higher priorities. I’m so happy Berbee’s Technology Education Foundation recognized our district’s needs.”

This is the second grant the Foundation has earned for the District in the past two years. Last summer, Sauk Trail Elementary received an $8,000 grant from the American Girl Fund for Children so that fourth-graders could work with senior citizens on an inter-generational art to protect nature project.

The District has distributed more than 200 Chromebooks the past two years through its Technology Access for All program, Blodgett said. Students who are eligible for the free and reduced program can receive a scholarship and purchase a Chromebook for $40, while other students can get one for $265.

Students in grades 8-12 can participate in the program again this year.

“We are very excited by and appreciative of the support that the Berbee Derby Technology Education Foundation has shown the MCPASD Technology Access for All Program with this award,” Blodgett said.

“The goal of Technology Access for All is to reduce the digital divide in our student population by providing equitable access to educational tools. This award will allow us to expand the reach of the program by more than 20 percent. We are very proud of the success of this program and look forward to the increased impact it will now have.”

The Berbee Derby was founded in 1993 by Madison native Jim Berbee and hosts 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer runs on Thanksgiving. Since 2004, money raised from the runs has been used to award technology grants to schools and other educational organizations in southern Wisconsin.

Nearly 70 grants have been handed out by the Berbee Derby TEF since 2004, including 14 grants worth almost $75,000 in 2013.


Bricks to Build a Strong Foundation Campaign Begins!

The MCPASD Education Foundation launched its Bricks to Build a Strong Foundation campaign on Aug. 1, 2014 and invites all staff, students, families and businesses to purchase an engraved brick at Glacier Creek and/or Kromrey middle schools.

There are approximately 800 spaces available at Glacier Creek and another 800 spaces available at Kromrey. The campaign will run until Oct. 15 or when all of the spaces are sold, whichever comes first. The bricks are expected to be installed no later than Nov. 30.

mcpasdbrickposter“This is a wonderful fundraising project for our Foundation, allowing individuals and businesses to show their support of students in our District in a very tangible way,” said Foundation Board Chair Courtney Ward-Reichard. “The funds raised will be used to provide further inspiring experiences to kids throughout our schools,” she said.

The bricks comes in three sizes (filling 1, 2 or 4 of our available spaces), and cost $100, $200 or $400. Please print out an order form using the link below to learn more. You can pay for your brick using any credit card through the Paypal link below.  Please note, however, that we require an order form also so that we can receive your inscription.

Education Foundation board members along with other volunteers will be available at all of the our school Information Days in mid-August to answer questions and take orders. Check out the District, Glacier Creek and Kromrey websites for regular updates on how many bricks have been sold.


“We are very excited to offer this special opportunity,” Foundation executive director Perry Hibner said. “This is a great opportunity for individuals, families or businesses to honor loved ones or friends or thank a teacher or an entire group of teachers. We also think the timing is ideal, with both middle school projects going on.”


Sauk Trail Students’ Concern for Nature Featured in Traveling Intergenerational Art Show, Funded by the American Girl Fund for Children

Viewing student artAfter learning from senior citizens about the importance of preserving local nature, 4th grade students at Sauk Trail Elementary created more than 60 pieces of art demonstrating their concern.

The works are now proudly on display, and in coming weeks will travel to several locations for public viewing.

The project, Students Intergenerational Art to Protect Nature, began by observing and discussing nature, wildlife, and habitats seen at Pheasant Branch Conservancy and behind their Branch Street school. The students then spent an afternoon interviewing senior citizens at Middleton Glen Retirement Community, Heritage Senior Living, and Middleton Senior Center to hear what the environment was like when the seniors were 4th graders.


Back in the classroom, students discussed what they learned about long-ago times, along with what has changed in nature, the environment, and in life. They agreed there is a strong need to protect natural resources for future generations.

As a class, students in each of the three 4th grade rooms created a booklet, drawing a scene from nature for each letter of the alphabet and writing about it.

Then it was into the Art Room where students and art teacher Anne Gustafson discussed what each would create to represent their observation of nature with connections to the seniors’ tales.

They chose from media such as clay, watercolors, acrylic paints, pencil, and plaster to create their art. Several seniors the students had befriended came to observe the creative process. A few picked up brushes of their own to help.

Gustafson and Tom Kobinsky, a board member of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District’s Education Foundation, created a souvenir booklet where each artist describes his/her creation beside a photo of the art. Other photos in the 36-page booklet show students talking with seniors, exploring local nature, and working in the art room.


John Daly of Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy and Rita Shimniok from Covenant Creations lent their time and talents to the project. Classroom teachers Wendy Coyne, Sue Porter and Katie Parsons, with student teacher Sammi Van Ess and principal Chris Dahlk, contributed valuable assistance along the way.

A generous grant from American Girl’s Fund for Children provided funding to support and encourage the project.

On July 22, the exhibit opened for a week’s run at Middleton Glen Retirement Community with a reception for the artists and hosted by the senior citizens. More than three dozen parents, teachers, Foundation members, seniors, and Friends of Pheasant Branch attended.

Other scheduled showings are at Heritage Middleton Assisted Living, 6206 Maywood Ave., Aug. 4 – 15; Middleton Senior Citizen Center, 7448 Hubbard Ave., Aug. 18 – 29; Rosemary Garfoot Public Library, Cross Plains, Sept. 3 – 13.


Foundation Awards Spring 2014 Teacher Grants

The MCPASD Education Foundation handed out 10 grants to seven schools as part of its second spring bus tour on Tuesday.

Staff members to receive grants included Northside’s Ami Schmidt, Kari Brezenski and Beth Bergman-Kessenich; Sunset Ridge’s Sara Reeves-Metz and Roberto Moreno; Glacier Creek’s Jason Needham and Marilyn Bowers; Park’s Amy Callies, Jodi Klare and Julie Gibbs-Soeteber; Pooh Bear 4K MCPASD community site’s Emily Brucker; Sauk Trail’s Paige Bessick and Jeanette Wiederhoft; and Kromrey’s Fred Bartman, Darlayne Coughlin and Kimberly Chapman.

2014 Spring Grant Bus Tour 042

The Foundation handed out more than $5,200 as part of its spring cycle. That total included two $500 grants sponsored by Galin Education, a $500 go-green grant sponsored by an anonymous donor and a $250 grant sponsored by The UPS Store of Middleton. The Foundation plans to hand out at least $5,000 again in the fall.

The Foundation has handed out nearly $12,500 since it begin issuing grants in 2013. Since its inception in 2011, the Foundation has also raised more than $130,000 for its endowment fund though Madison Community Foundation.

The 2-hour yellow bus tour included stops at all of the schools. More than 20 MHS band members played “On Wisconsin” in each of the schools before chair Courtney Ward-Reichard presented each recipient with flowers donated by Copps and a certificate.


“Our bus tour to announce our teacher grants is always an amazing experience, and this year was no exception,” Ward-Reichard said. “We are thrilled to be able to help our wonderful teachers to transform their innovative and creative ideas into real-life ‘inspiring experiences’ for our students with a grant from the Foundation.”

Other Foundation board members who attended part or all of the celebration included Don Johnson, Ellen Lindgren, Stephanie Moen-Mueller, John Selbo, Shawna Bertalot, Bill Reis, Zach Galin and Charlie Saeman. UPS Store owner Keith Johnston was also on hand for the presentation of his grant.

Emily Brucker, a 4K teacher, will receive $300 to purchase mentor texts to support the 4K curriculum, including fiction and nonfiction books, poems, songs, class-made stories, and social stories. This grant was funded by The UPS Store of Middleton.

“I am so appreciative of the grant I received from UPS Store of Middleton and the MCPASD Education Foundation,” she said. “This grant will help me to put mentor texts into the hands of my 4K students and will help prepare them to be successful readers and writers. This was my first time writing a grant and I am so honored that my classroom was chosen.”

Added 4K principal Kari Gault: “The kids were so excited and Emily was on cloud nine.”

“We at the UPS Store of Middleton are passionate about supporting our schools, staff and students,” Johnston said. “We are so pleased to support early childhood teachers like Emily Brucker with a grant because Emily and her colleagues start kids on a positive path of lifetime learning.”

Beth Bergman-Kessenich and Colleen Young will receive a grant of $880 to purchase supplies and materials for summer learning sessions held at an apartment complex. The program is designed to reach at-risk students in their home environment to support their educational needs in the summer.

“We would like to say thank you to the Education Foundation for this wonderful grant that will help so many of our Northside families this summer,” Bergman-Kessenich said. “Summer sessions at Arbor Lakes not only provide students with a needed academic boost, but it also helps us connect with parents.

“We want to increase access to parents who want to be involved. The activities and materials purchased will be shared with parents so they can continue to be an integral part of their child’s learning.”

A total of $1,000 from the Foundation will be used to purchase Buddy Benches at two schools to help foster friendships and encourage inclusion on the playground. The projects are led by Ami Schmidt and Kari Brezenski at Northside, and Julie Gibbs-Soeteber at Park.

“Thank you for this award on behalf of all students and staff at Park,” Gibbs-Soeteber said. “The Buddy Benches will support our Act Now! Bullying Prevention Program and help build more friendships. We are thrilled!”

Added Schmidt: “On behalf of the entire Northside Community, I want to thank the Education Foundation for awarding us funds to purchase a Buddy Bench for our playground. We are so excited for this addition to our playground. We look forward to having our entire school community be involved with the implementation of the Buddy Bench. The Buddy Bench will help create a playground culture of caring and inclusion.”

A grant of $500 will be used to improve signage and access to the school forest located near Park, to encourage school and community use of the forest. The grant was awarded to Amy Callies and Jodi Klare, and was funded by an anonymous donor as a “Go Green” grant to promote environmental awareness.

Sauk Trail’s Paige Bessick and Jeanette Wiederhoeft will receive a grant of $300 to purchase cameras for students to document life experiences through written and visual representations in scrapbooks. The grant will also be used for supplies and materials.

“We are honored that our project was chosen to receive a grant,” Bessick said. “We are so excited to be able to share our love of writing and scrapbooking with Sauk Trail students and families. The addition of the cameras will help us do just that.”

Sara Reeves-Metz and Roberto Moreno will receive a grant of $400 to create a mural at the Sunset Ridge. The mural will include the world, surrounded by 33 flags representing the diverse heritage and nationalities of the school’s students.

“I am thrilled that Sunset Ridge will have this opportunity to show its appreciation for the many, many different nationalities represented in our student population,” Reeves-Metz said. “Our diversity truly strengthens and empowers our students and staff to grow into a globally responsive community.”

Counselors Jason Needham and Marilyn Bowers will receive a grant of $500 to support the Where Everybody Belongs program. WEB trains mentors from the eighth-grade class, who younger students transition to middle school. This grant was funded by Galin Education.

“We were so surprised and overwhelmed when the Education Foundation members and the MHS band students came here,” Needham said. “What an honor to be selected to receive a grant for our future WEB program. We greatly appreciate the funding from Galin Education that made the grant possible and the time and effort that the Education Foundation members give to make these grants possible.”

Kromrey counselor Fred Bartman will receive a grant of $500 to support a mentoring program, which seeks to improve reading and math scores for students of color by connecting them with an adult mentor. This grant was also funded by Galin Education.

“I am trilled to receive funding for our new mentoring program,” he said. “Our pilot year has been a huge success. Students and mentors have both gotten a lot out of their time together.

“The challenge we face next year is increasing the number of adult mentors for the program. We plan to do a lot of advertising and recruiting throughout the community. We know there are so many wonderful individuals within the Middleton area who have a lot to offer, and the students we are targeting are craving positive adult connections.

“Thanks to the grant from the Education Foundation sponsored by Galin Education we look forward to increasing our numbers next year so that the program can have an even larger impact within the Kromrey community.”

Kromrey band directors Darlayne Coughlin and Kimberly Chapman will receive a grant of $864 to purchase two iPads that will be used by students to compose music to learn and demonstrate knowledge of form, tonality and meter/rhythm.

In all, the grants should impact more than 1,500 students in the district. Last year’s grants impacted more than 3,000 students, Hibner said.


Sauk Trail wins $8,000 American Girl art grant

A new art project for fourth-graders at Sauk Trail Elementary School has won a funding grant from the American Girl Fund for Children. Read More


Education Foundation’s Fall 2013 Grants

With a light blanket of snow on the ground, it almost felt like Christmas for a number of Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District students and staff when teachers at six schools – Clark Street, Elm Lawn, Glacier Creek, Kromrey, Park and Sauk Trail — received grants worth nearly $4,500 from the MCPASD Education Foundation.

Fall Grant Tour

To see more photos from Monday’s event, please visit the District’s Facebook page.

The nearly 2-hour yellow bus tour included stops at all six of the schools. The Foundation held its first bus tour in the spring when it handed out more than $3,200 in grants. Fourteen MHS band members played “On Wisconsin” in each of the schools before chair Courtney Ward-Reichard presented each recipient with flowers donated by Copps and a certificate.

“These are very special days,’’ Ward-Reichard said. “We love seeing the looks on the faces of all the students and staff when we announce they have won a grant.’’

Other Foundation board members who attended part or all of the celebration included Don Johnson, Tom Kobinsky, Stephanie Moen-Mueller, John Selbo, Bill Reis, Brenda Delabarre, Kathy Nieber-Lathrop and Charlie Saeman. Other community members who attended included Middleton Chamber of Commerce executive director Van Nutt, State Bank of Cross Plains vice president Dawn Ferguson and Aleta Kaplan of BMO Harris.

The Foundation was formed in 2011 to provide inspiring experiences for students and staff in the District. The Foundation has partnered with Madison Community Foundation and has raised nearly $120,000 for its endowment fund thanks to contributions from J.H. Findorff & Son, BMO Harris, HR Imaging, the MGE Foundation, District staff and individuals in the community.

Next month, the Foundation will also unveil more than a dozen signs recognizing contributions of area businesses and individuals, and displayed in District schools.

“We’ve come so far in such a short period of time,’’ Kobinsky said. “It’s amazing to see the difference the Foundation is making for the students in our District. … I’m also excited that eight of the 10 schools in the District have received a grant in just the first year.’’

There were 24 submissions during the fall grant cycle, Education Foundation Specialist Perry Hibner said. That’s a 60 percent increase over the number received in the spring.

“To get that many in the fall considering how busy it is was amazing,’’ he said. “We expect that number to continue to grow as more staff see the kinds of initiatives being funded.’’

Clark Street Community School teacher Jason Pertzborn received a $1,250 grant funded by the State Bank of Cross Plains to help his students learn about tax preparation, insurance, investment and savings, budgeting and managing credit.

“I just want to thank the State Bank of Cross Plains and the Education Foundation,” he said. “This allows my students some amazing opportunities for learning and also giving back. My goal is to be as real world as we can in the classroom and community, a grant like this allows us to move forward in that direction for bigger and better experiences!”

The Foundation was also excited that elementary students will benefit from the program because CSCS students will lead Junior Achievement activities at other MCPASD schools.

”The State Bank of Cross Plains is excited to be able to work with MCPASD Education Foundation and provide an opportunity to a deserving teacher and classroom for an extended learning program,” vice president Dawn Ferguson said. “CSCS and teacher Jason Pertzborn were a perfect match for our grant. We look forward to working with other schools and teachers in our district in the future.”

Chris Conohan, a fourth-grade teacher at Elm Lawn, will receive a grant of $950 to purchase an two Google Nexus 10s that he plans to have his Journalism Club students use to write stories, collect digital imagery and produce videos.

“These grants validate every student’s work and shows that their work is important and valuable,’’ he said. “Each grant is truly a credit to the students, staff, family and community members who have worked with each student now and in the past. It takes a village, and our students are so fortunate to have had such incredible teachers, families and community members to help them get to the point that they can actively use these grants. Thank you!’’

Jenniper Hylbert received a $440 grant to purchase an iPad that her fifth-grade students will use for reading, writing, blogging and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support programs.

“Applying and receiving the grant is worth it, when students congratulate you and hug you for all your hard work,” Hylbert said. “Now, my students can see how I use technology in the classroom. Tracking their progress is an important tool for me and an important conferencing and behavioral tool for them.”

Sauk Trail music teacher John Becker received a $400 grant to hire four experienced professional jazz musicians to work all with every student in the school while they learn about musical, cultural and dance traditions in jazz around the world.

“I really wish to personally thank the Education Foundation, as well as express our appreciation on behalf of our Sauk Trail students and families,” he said. “This grant will give our children the chance to not only hear and see professional jazz artists, but also to experience performing with them and sharing their learning in music class. This has now been made possible by our awesome Education Foundation and a matching grant from the Madison Jazz Society.”

Holly Reardon and the other Block 6W teachers at Glacier Creek received a grant of $750 to purchase three Google Chromebooks. The Chromebooks will be used by all sixth-graders, but especially struggling readers and writing workshop participants. The grant was made possible by a donation from Monsanto, Hibner said.

“I am so thrilled and honored that our team was selected to receive an Education Foundation grant,” Reardon said. “We can’t wait to get the technology into our students’ hands! So many exciting learning opportunities are now possible.”

Kromrey counselor Fred Bartman wrote a grant for $500, which will allow the school to begin a new transition program for students entering the middle schools. The year-long program trains eighth-graders to help younger students with their transition to a new building and to mentor them throughout the year.

In all, the Foundation’s first year of grants should impact approximately 4,000 students in the district, Hibner said. To learn more about the Foundation and how to support similar grants in the future, please visit Foundation’s website.


Foundation Awards Initial Grants

In May 2013, the MCPASD Education Foundation awarded over $3,000 in grants to programs in our schools. Grants ranged from supporting art programs, to puchasing a classroom iPad to buying tools for a program at Clark Street School. The recipients were informed during surprise visits from Board members and members of the Middleton High School marching band during school. The Foundation is excited to award its next round of grants this Fall.


MCPASD Education Foundation reaches goal to receive $35,000 grant from Madison Community Foundation

The MCPASD Education Foundation met its goal of reaching $70,000 in contributions to its endowment fund and as a result has received a $35,000 grant from Madison Community Foundation.

“The existence of MCF’s generous matching grant has been a huge asset in our fundraising efforts,’’ Foundation board chair Courtney Ward-Reichard said. “Now that we have reached our goal, these funds will allow us to expand our grants in coming years.’’

The Foundation partnered with MCF in 2011. MCF handles the Foundation’s endowment fund and finances, which allows board members to spend more time meeting with potential contributors, raising funds and evaluating possible grants.

“The MCPASD Education Foundation is a leader in Dane County, not only strengthening the schools with annual grant-making but also ensuring that innovative teaching will go on for generations,’’ said Tom Linfield, MCF vice president of grant-making and community relations. “Their successful endowment challenge campaign has raised more than $100,000 that will serve school students in perpetuity. The Madison Community Foundation is proud to support this rich, forward-thinking initiative.’’

About half of the money was raised thanks to the efforts of three corporate partners: J.H. Findorff & Son, BMO Harris and HR Imaging. In addition, the MGE Foundation provided a substantial contribution to the endowment fund.

“We are extremely grateful for all of the support we have received,’’ Education Foundation Specialist Perry Hibner said. “We believe this is just the start of something special.’’

The Education Foundation was a Community Impact Challenge Grant from the MCF in October 2011. It was a 2-for-1 match with the maximum grant at $35,000.

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District is located in south central Wisconsin and encompasses 68 square miles and eight municipalities. There are 10 schools, a 4K program and more than 6,500 students in the district.

The Madison Community Foundation has been serving individuals and non-profit institutions for 69 years. The MCF trust has more than $130 million in total assets. Bob Sorge was named MCF’s president He replaced Kathleen Woit, who retired.



Foundation Appreciates Staff Generosity

Donations from staff are helping our district’s Education Foundation endowment fund grow so much that the Foundation’s first grants will be awarded in 2013.

Right now, MCPASD staff are donating more than $450 per pay period to the MCPASD Education Foundation via automatic payroll deductions. These donations, combined with more than $40,000 in donations from various corporate partners and families, have allowed the Foundation to make substantial progress toward the creation of a lasting endowment that will allow us to fund inspiring experiences for our students far into the future, such as enrichment grants to teachers and support for unique learning experiences for our student populations.

“We’re thrilled to have so many employees who are making these payroll deductions,” says Courtney Ward-Reichard, a parent of two Northside students and the Foundation board chair. “Staff contributions are just one component of our overall fundraising strategy. However, it is a critical component — showing staff support for our mission helps tremendously in making the case for the Foundation from other sources.”


Friends Plan Gift

MHS physical education teacher Tom Kaufman plans to retire at the end of the 2012-13 school year after 17 years of service to the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District and his friends have come up with a very special way of honoring him.

Tom’s friends would like to raise $2,500 so a donor recognition plaque can be placed in his name at MHS.

“We need some help from you to pull it off. Tom feels that a donation to this organization would be a meaningful way to honor his commitment to the students and the school he has served over the years,” said John Selbo, a friend, runner and member of the Education Foundation board.

They are asking runners, skiers, friends and teaching colleagues to make a small donation of $50. Please mail your contribution to John Selbo, 6831 Erdman Blvd., Middleton, WI 53562 no later than April 1. All contributions are tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for your taxes.

“We would love to have a long list of names on the retirement card that Tom receives,” Selbo said. “We want to send him off at top speed. This should be a great way to do that.”


First Teacher Grants to be Issued in Spring

The MCPASD Education Foundation Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that its first grants will be issued in the spring of 2013.

The grants committee will be meeting later this month to determine the process that will be used. Discussions have focused on developing a simple application process that can be done online.

“We don’t want this to be difficult or time-consuming,” said Community Relations-Education Foundation Specialist Perry Hibner, who said he hoped the application wouldn’t take more than 45 minutes to complete.

The Foundation plans to have two grant cycles each year. The Foundation hopes to have $2,000 to $3,000 to hand out in grants in the spring and a similar in the fall. The challenging part in 2013 is that the interest generated from the endowment fund established with Madison Community Foundation isn’t available until early 2014.

The size of the grants will be determined in the near-future. The low end is likely to be $250.


Education Foundation Honored at Homecoming Game

Members of the Foundation Board of Directors are introduced to the crowd at halftime

The MCPASD Education Foundation recognized several key donors to its endowment fund along with its Board of Directors at a special presentation during Friday night’s Homecoming football game.

During the recognition at halftime, J.H. Findorff & Son, HR Imaging, the MGE Foundation and BMO Harris were  honored for making significant financial contributions to the fund, which, beginning in 2013, will offer student and staff learning enrichment opportunities and scholarships to graduating seniors.

“These generous supporters are helping us build the framework of what will be an ongoing way to support our school district’s enrichment programs far beyond the usual classroom experiences,” said Courtney Ward-Reichard, chair of the Foundation’s  board. “Their donations also seed scholarships to students who otherwise may not have the opportunity to advance their education beyond high school.”

These donations, plus gifts from school district staff, come at an important time as Madison Community Foundation has pledged to match money raised up to $70,000 by the end of the year. The fund has nearly $50,000 pledged to it by the end of 2012 in cash gifts from MCPASD staff and local organizations, with another $80,000 already pledged over the next five years.

To make a tax-deductible gift, visit the Foundation’s website.

Last week, board members toured Middleton High School’s new STEM learning facilities in an effort to develop ways to help enhance learning outreach opportunities there, as well as involve community support of its programs.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors is composed of community volunteers, Board of Education members and current and retired school district staff. They are: Courtney Ward-Reichard, Shawna Bertalot, Anjie Harris-Ostrem, Gene Kussart, Tom Kobinsky, Steph Mueller, Superintendent Don Johnson, Bill Reis, Brenda Delabarre, Charlie Saeman, Leeanne Hallquist, Ellen Lindgren, Tim Statz and John Selbo. Foundation Specialist Perry Hibner provides support and guidance to the Foundation as part of his duties with the MCPASD.

To see more photos from the event, please visit the district’s Facebook page.


Education Foundation appears at Get Moving Middleton

MCPASD Education Foundation board member Shawna Bertalot addressed members of the Middleton Chamber of Commerce at its monthly Get Moving Middleton morning breakfast on Thursday, June 14 at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Bertalot told chamber members about the foundation’s mission, programs and financial goals. Her six-slide presentation also focused on the positive benefits of partnerships between local businesses and the foundation.

The foundation’s brochure and a two-page flyer that compared the demographics of the school district with those of the community were available to the more than 150 people who attended the meeting. Attendees also received a half-page feedback form.

The Education Foundation was established in 2011 and is made up of community members and district representatives. Eleven of the 13 board members attended the breakfast. The foundation has already received more than $20,000 in pledges from area businesses and approximately another $20,000 from staff members.

The foundation also was awarded a Community Impact Challenge Grant from Madison Community Foundation.  The grant is a 2-for-1 match. The school district has until Dec. 31 to raise $70,000. If it does, MCF will provide a $35,000 grant to the MCPASD Education Foundation endowment fund.

The Middleton Chamber of Commerce is the second biggest one in Dane County with more than 600 members.

To see more photos from the June 14 meeting, please visit our Facebook page.


Why is this foundation vital?

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District is an award-winning school district.  So why do we need a Foundation?

It’s simple, really — so we can make our great schools even better. Cuts in funding have made it more difficult to maintain and expand programs, let alone add new ones. New, innovative ideas need another source of funding to bring them to life.

An endowed foundation will help us maintain, bring back or add programs we might otherwise not have and give our students more inspiring experiences.



The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District is in the initial stages of launching an education foundation, with the goal of developing additional financial resources to support the educational mission of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District.

With the formation of its foundation, MCPASD will join more than 5,000 other public schools and school districts nationwide – including several local districts – that have formed education foundations, which work both to augment programs and activities currently provided by the district, and to keep local communities informed on the strengths, challenges and needs of its schools.

MCPASD has established an affiliation with the Madison Community Foundation, which will provide the necessary administrative and investment expertise for building a successful, permanent foundation.

In October 2011, the MCPASD Education Foundation was awarded a Community Impact Challenge Grant from the Madison Community Foundation. The foundation has to raise $70,000 by Dec. 31, 2012. If it does, the Madison Community Foundation will provide a $35,000 grant to the endowment established by the MCPASD Education Foundation.

The Madison Community Foundation also recently made a $1,250 contribution to Kromrey Middle School to help cover the costs of its Youth Frontiers Retreat,.  The program, which benefits all seventh-graders, is in its third year and has been well received by students, staff and parents, Kromrey Principal Steve Soeteber said. The grant previously used to fund the program is no longer available, Soeteber said.


More great news for Education Foundation

The MCPASD Education Foundation has received two significant pledges in the past two months.

On Tuesday, the Education Foundation learned the Madison Gas and Electric Company Foundation has pledged $10,000 over the next two years to its endowment fund. MGE contributed $5,000 to the endowment this year, and will contribute $5,000 more in May 2013, according to Lynn Hobbie, a senior vice president and a director on the MGE Foundation board.

In late March, HR Imaging pledged to give the Education Foundation $6,000 a year for a minimum of three years and up to five years. The first donation will be given in September. HR Imaging is based out of Ottawa, Ill., and handles student photography services for the school district.

In October 2011, the Education Foundation was awarded a Community Impact Challenge Grant from the Madison Community Foundation.  The grant is a 2-for-1 match. The school district has until Dec. 31, 2012, to raise $70,000. If it does, MCF will provide a $35,000 grant to the MCPASD Education Foundation endowment fund.

“The support of the MGE Foundation, as well as many other businesses and donors from both Middleton and Cross Plains, is a direct reflection of the credibility the MCPASD endowment is building,” said Bob Sorge, a vice president for strategic partnerships with Madison Community Foundation. “The endowment is becoming a terrific, permanent school district asset that will enhance the education of children for generations-to-come.  We are honored to be part of this effort.”


Sauk Trail PTA donates to Education Foundation

Recognizing the value of seeding an endowment fund for future learning enrichment, Sauk Trail’s PTA  became the first district parents organization to make a donation to the MCPASD Education Foundation.

“This year we’ve donated money for playground equipment to build strong bodies, now we’re giving funding to provide strong minds,” said Carmen Bauer, Sauk Trail PTA president. “We’re please to make this gift and are excited about the Foundation with its many possibilities for unique learning opportunities for future classes.”

The PTA made the donation at their board meeting in mid-April.

Board of Education president Ellen Lindgren excitedly welcomed the donation.

“This is wonderful,” she said. “It shows how our parents really understand the value of having this endowment in our district. With generosity like this, our foundation will truly be able to fulfill its mission of enriching the experiences of our students and staff. The school board joins me in gratitude for their gift.”

In October 2011, the Education Foundation was awarded a Community Impact Challenge Grant from the Madison Community Foundation. The foundation has to raise $70,000 by Dec. 31, 2012. If it does, the Madison Community Foundation will provide a $35,000 grant to the endowment established by the MCPASD Education Foundation.

“Sauk Trail’s PTA actually increased their gift, as Madison Community Foundation will match this amount, and any amount other PTAs, staff and retirees donate to the endowment fund,” Lindgren added.

— By Tom Kobinsky

Editor’s note: The artwork accompanying this story is the new MCPASD Education Foundation logo. The winner was selected earlier this year in a contest after nearly 50 entries were submitted.


Warholic wins Education Foundation logo contest

Jason Warholic was named the winner of the MCPASD Education Foundation Logo Contest.

Warholic will receive a check for $500 for his winning entry. His design will be used as the foundation’s logo on brochures and letterhead and in any branding the organization does, Education Foundation Specialist Perry Hibner said.

A crowd of nearly 30, including many of the Education Foundation board of directors, attended a reception on Thursday night at Electronic Theatre Controls, 3031 Pleasant View Road. Pictures from the reception are available on the district’s Facebook page.

Hibner was hoping for a slightly bigger crowd. He heard from a number of people who wanted to attend, but weren’t able to make it because of the UW-Syracuse men’s basketball game that started around the same time.

“The next time I see Bo Ryan I’m going to give him a hard time,” Hibner said with a laugh.

Nearly 50 entries were submitted for the contest. Five board members reviewed the entries and picked three finalists. The other finalists were Christopher Hillebrand and Joel Siebold. A three-person panel, including the owner of a local graphic design firm, then picked the winner.

“I’ve seen hundreds of education foundation logos and I really feel like Jason’s rendition is a cut above the others,” Hibner said. “It incorporates many of the images you think of regarding education but in a unique way. It is truly special and we are fortunate to have it as our logo.”

Each of the final entries is available here.

“It certainly wasn’t easy narrowing it down,” Hibner said. “We felt there there were a lot of winning entries sent in.”

The contest began on Jan. 1 and lasted for a month.

In mid-October, the Education Foundation was awarded a Community Impact Challenge Grant from the Madison Community Foundation. The grant is a 2-for-1 match. The school district has until Dec. 31, 2012, to raise $70,000. If it does, MCF will provide a $35,000 grant to the MCPASD Education Foundation.

Below is an edited version of Hibner’s speech at the reception:

“Welcome and thank you for attending this celebration. Not only is this a night where we unveil the winner of our logo contest but it is an opportunity for us to share with all of you the vision and mission of the MCPASD Education Foundation.

“The foundation was started a year ago. We wanted to strengthen the already strong partnerships that exist between the schools and our community. Strong foundations get buy-in from stakeholders and our task as an organization in the coming months is to inform students, staff, parents, community members and businesses what programs we will support and what needs to happen to make it grow.

“The mission statement we adopted a few months ago is supporting innovation and excellence in learning by building partnerships with our communities. This reception is just the beginning. We want to bring business leaders into our schools to learn more about how the district is preparing students to compete in the 21st century. We want to develop partnerships between our business community and our students. We want their ideas and we need their support.

“Our schools and staff have always provided wonderful opportunities for our students, hence our tagline: Inspiring Experiences. The foundation’s board of directors has identified three programs that we believe will resonate with potential donors: mini-grants for staff with innovative ideas; scholarships for graduating seniors, students who want to travel abroad and students participating in enrichment programs; and, finally, increased assess to technology, especially for our low-income students. Like many districts an opportunity gap exists between our most affluent and poorest students. We must close that gap and we believe providing subsidized computers and internet access to our low-income students will help achieve that goal.

“We currently have nine members on our board and many of them are here tonight. Let me take a minute to introduce the ones who are here: Ellen Lindgren, Don Johnson, Leeanne Hallquist, Steph Mueller-Moen and Shawna Bertalot. Four others, Anjie Harris-Ostrem, Tom Kobinsky, Charlie Saeman and Brenda Delabarre, couldn’t be here tonight.

“I also want to thank our partner, Madison Community Foundation. MCF collects and handles our monies. The organization, and particularly Bob Sorge, has provided us with valuable resources and information these past few months.

“Our staff giving campaign begins right after spring break. Our goal is to get 75 percent participation, which is about 25 percent above a regular giving campaign. We need to raise $70,000 to receive a $35,000 matching grant from MCF. It is my honor to announce tonight that HR Imaging has pledged to give the foundation $6,000 a year for a minimum of three years and up to five years. We believe other district vendors will also be contributing to the foundation in the coming months.

“Thank you again for attending tonight’s reception and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want more information about the foundation or the school district.”


Education Foundation receives two gifts

The MCPASD Education Foundation recently received two financial gifts.

The Norweb Foundation provided a $250 check to the foundation in December. The gift was solicited by Elizabeth Norweb Greer. Her husband, Jim, is a Board of Education member in Area I who was elected to the Board in 2010.

Greer presented an oversized version of the check to Superintendent Don Johnson at the Jan. 9 School Board meeting.

Summit Credit Union donated $100 to the foundation in late December through its Pay It Forward Program, which has contributed more than $21,000 to the community.

The Norweb Foundation is a private foundation located in Cleveland, Ohio.


MSCASD Foundation receives Madison Community Grant

NOV. 23, 2011: The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District Education Foundation was awarded a Community Impact Challenge Grant from the Madison Community Foundation on Friday, Oct. 18.

The grant is a 2-for-1 match. The school district has until Dec. 31, 2012 to raise $70,000. If it does, the Madison Community Foundation will provide a $35,000 grant to the MCPASD Education Foundation.

“We have an incredible opportunity to partner with parents, community members, businesses, alumni and others through this grant,’’ MCPASD Superintendent Don Johnson said. “The Education Foundation is a fabulous organization to tap into resources and enhance and expand opportunities for our children.

“It won’t come without effort, but we’re excited to work with our staff and community to generate ideas about how to best utilize the foundation.’’

Nine projects were funded this fall, said Tom Linfield, vice president for grantmaking and community initiatives for the Madison Community Foundation. The MCPASD Education Foundation received the only endowment challenge grant, he said.

MCF awarded more than $1.2 million in grants this fall. More information on all of the grants is available in the MCF November online newsletter.

A Steering Committee met this week to continue work on the mission and vision along with potential programs and priorities for the district’s Education Foundation. A staff and retiree giving campaign is expected to begin early in 2012.

The MCPASD Education Foundation submitted its grant proposal in early September.

“This is great news and should generate excitement within our staff and in our community,’’ said Perry Hibner, the district’s Education Foundation and Community Relations specialist. “We want to continue to provide amazing experiences for children, parents and staff in our district and this will only help.’’

The honor is also garnering media attention. An article was in the Oct. 27 edition of the Middleton Times-Tribune and there was a story on the Channel 3000 Middleton Community page.

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District is located in south central Wisconsin and encompasses 68 square miles and eight municipalities. There are 10 schools, a newly formed 4K program and more than 6,000 students in the district.

The Madison Community Foundation has been serving individuals and non-profit institutions for 69 years. The MCF trust has more than $130 million in total assets.

“Excellence in schools is the foundation of excellence in the community, and this endowment will facilitate extra-curricular programs essential in providing the highest standard of education,” Madison Community Foundation President Kathleen Woit said.