About Us

Our Mission

The Onalaska Education Foundation was established in 1998 to strengthen community participation in Onalaska, Wisconsin public and private schools. The Foundation provides financial support for extra programs and projects that inspire teachers and students in Onalaska to achieve educational excellence. In many cases, these extra programs would not be possible without our support.

Our mission is to support educators in their quest to develop innovative opportunities for students, promote the incorporation of emerging technologies within the curriculum, facilitate business and private sector contributions to our schools, and encourage outstanding academic achievement among all Onalaska students.

Our Board of Directors

Traci Breit- President
Heather Chial- Interim Vice President
Kristin Born- Secretary
Angie Mutch- Treasurer
Benjamin Bain
Supriya Daithankar
Melissa de Boer
Kent Ellickson
Fayme Evenson
Debbie Hosch
Angela Koblitz
RJ Oschner
Ryan Sherry
Patricia Stelflue

Our History

The idea for establishing an educational foundation in Onalaska started with discussions between Board of Education members and school administrators during Board development sessions in 1996. At their last session in December, the Board stated the desire to support community efforts to establish an Onalaska educational foundation. The purpose would be to enhance the educational enterprise within the Onalaska community. They directed Larry Dalton, Director of Finance, to seek detailed information for start-up from the Wisconsin Educational Foundation Network, (WEFNET). December 12, 1996, Mr. Dalton reported to the Board the following suggestions:

  1. A Board motion in support of the establishment of a local foundation would empower the administration to facilitate the process.
  2. They would need to establish a steering committee of citizens with a wide range of skills. This committee would conduct work sessions over a period of 4 to 6 months to arrive at a statement of mission for the foundation, to develop a profile for members of the Board of Directors, and to develop the by-laws and articles of incorporation.
  3. The Board of Education should underwrite only the minimum start-up cost.

January 1997, the Board and administration completed a list of names for the foundation steering committee. The committee was formed and proceeded to hold informational sessions during the 1997 year. Several members attended the WEFNET conference in Madison November 14, 1997. Following their return, the steering committee met on December 8, 1997 to set forth the process and procedures needed to establish the Onalaska Educational Foundation. January to June 1998, the full committee and sub-groups met several times. The Steering Committee developed the necessary policies and procedures for governance of a foundation as required by Wisconsin Statute Chapter 181 and Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 

The first official meeting of the Onalaska Foundation For Educational Excellence Inc. was held in the School Board Room at Onalaska High School June 11, 1998. Twelve charter members were installed and four officers were elected. Thus, the Onalaska Foundation For Educational Excellence, Inc. was established for the specific purpose set forth in Article 3 of Incorporation.

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