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OCONOMOWOC, WI., May 19, 2015 -- The Oconomowoc Public Education Foundation (OPEF), today awarded $30,286 in grant project funding for the school year 2015-2016. Community support of OPEF, a charitable foundation created to support innovative and expansive curricular programming, comes through direct donations to the foundation and funds raised through its signature events: Haunted High/Terror @ 212 and the Annual Ball Masquerade, as well as other fundraising programs.

"We are pleased to be able to partner with the OASD to support and enhance the innovative learning our students experience through the continued support of OPEF grants,"  said Deanna Marincic, OPEF Co-President. "We are also excited to announce that we have contributed $40,000 to our growing endowment fund so we may continue to support and grow in the future."

Fourteen applications were reviewed by the OPEF Grants Committee and Board. The 2015 grant recipients, along with the grant titles and brief descriptions, are listed below.


Jennifer Bukosky Memorial Grant Award, Presented to Lisa Dawes and Scott Bakkum

Oconomowoc High School/ Silver Lake Intermediate School/Nature Hill Intermediate School

For “Drug Testing as Prevention Tool”

The OASD will conduct a program of random drug testing of student participants meaning those involved in athletics, co/extracurricular activities and parking privileges at the high school and intermediate school level in grades 7 and 8. The funding of this grant will support testing approximately 10% of the students as one tool toward prevention/intervention in drug use/abuse.


Jennifer Bukosky Memorial Grant Award, Presented to Katie Westerman


For “Get Connected Parent Education Series”

The Oconomowoc Parent Education Network (OPEN) began with the purpose of providing information, resources and support to Oconomowoc families in order to help strengthen communication patterns at home; to help parents gain awareness of the challenges faced by today’s youth; to help parents learn to identify and deal with risky behaviors and to provide parents with the tools to help their children make good decisions.  


Educational Grant Award, Presented to Sheila Clark

Meadow View Elementary School

For “The Inside Music Project”

The Inside Music Project is an online-based music composition program that integrates short how-to-lessons on composing music for the first time, then provides an online setting that allows students to compose their own music while at school, at home, at any location where they are able to access the internet. The Inside Music online program allows student-composers to create up to 200 of their own compositions under their own username and password via the Inside Music website.


Educational Grant Award, Presented to Sheila Homberg

Meadow View Elementary School

For “Creating a Library to Explore”

Creating a Library to Explore will give the Meadow View library an opportunity to become an interactive digital hub for students to research online, utilize video and camera tools, and search online databases that the district currently owns.


Educational Grant Award, Presented to Jill LaGrange, Wendy Harrop, Alyssa Voigt and Jodie Jens

Summit Elementary School

For “Makerspace on the Move”

This project will expand the scale and advance the integration of the Summit Elementary School Makerspace Learning Suite (MSLS). Deployment of mobile maker carts will have a twofold benefit of expanding maker learning at Summit and will provide a second model for other schools to emulate.


Educational Grant Award, Presented to Matthew Howe

Silver Lake Intermediate

For “Fitness through Pedometers”

Pedometers would allow the SLI students to track their fitness progress throughout the Physical Education unites. Student would be able to self-assess and monitor their own fitness output and then make changes to their fitness activity that would provide more success with their fitness programs.


Educational Grant Award, Presented to Kelly Holtzman and Lucas Jensen

Oconomowoc High School

For “Plastic Bottle Reduction Project”

The OHS Ecology Club will replace the “expired” water fountains with more innovative and rewarding water fountain and filling stations at OHS.


Educational Grant Award, Presented to Eric Darnell

Nature Hill and Silver Lake Intermediate Schools

For “UDL Classroom”

The small public address (PA) system for the classroom will create confidence and assist with student reading fluency. “Open Mic Fridays” will allow student time to read poems, sing, read picture books and many other types of performance to help with reading fluency and presenting skills.


OPEF is a charitable foundation created in 2007 to allow for private, tax-deductible contributions in support of the Oconomowoc Area School District and to encourage innovative educational opportunities in the public schools. OPEF currently oversees two funds: the OPEF Education Grants Fund, which awards teacher’s grants annually and the Jennifer Bukosky Memorial Fund, which supports alcohol and drug abuse prevention in honor of past OHS associate principal Jennifer Bukosky.  OPEF has contributed nearly $324,000 in grants since 2009, as well as $500,000 to the Oconomowoc Area School District as the Performing Arts Center Enhancement (PACE) Fund, completed in 2013.

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