Nov 04

Nearly $30,000 in Classroom Grants Awarded by SW Schools Foundation


SWSF_Nov_1South Whidbey Schools Foundation awarded nearly $30,000 – a new record for the nonprofit organization – to fund 26 classroom projects for the 2015/16 school year.

The projects include robotic kits for second-graders to learn engineering and programming using Legos, an aquaponics and an aeroponics chamber, growing salmon in the classroom, a sound recording studio, exploring watershed science, and atomic modeling at the high school. Of the $29,780 awarded, $17,800 was for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) projects.

Retired educator and SWSF Board Member Jean Shaw went to all four schools November 2, presenting teachers with funding letters and balloons, frequently receiving hugs from the educators and applause from students.

The Schools Foundation raises money through an annual Spring Gala, the local Dine-Out Wednesdays for SW Schools program, a March talent show, and an annual appeal drive.  All these efforts, however, were not enough to cover the $42,922 in requests that it received this year.

“We had to make some difficult choices,” said SWSF Board President Chris Gibson, “but we did our best to fund or partially fund 22 projects right away and have committed to funding four more early in 2016 after our annual fund drive. We’re also looking to develop an “Adopt-a-Grant” program and just had our first donors step up to fully fund a project which we could only partially fund,” he said.

Since its inception in 1994, the Schools Foundation has funded more than $225,000 in teacher-requested projects and materials to enhance educational excellence, projects which the school district is unable to fund due to tight budgets.

A full listing of classroom grants is available on the Foundation’s grants page at



Oct 24

Help Us Fund More Classroom Project Requests

SW Record articleDid you read the article about the Foundation in Saturday’s South Whidbey Record?


This note is from Board Member Susie Richards:

Dear Friends – check out the story in today’s South Whidbey Record on the  South Whidbey Schools Foundation. We have received over $40,000 in requests from teachers in our district to fund amazing, creative and meaningful learning opportunities for students (that can’t be funded through the regular school budget . . ) and have only $25,000 of funding to provide.

We’re meeting today and have some hard decisions to make – but hoping that the community can step up and help us to fund ALL of the requests that have been made! We As we think about ways to provide direct support to our local schools, teachers and students – this is one very real, direct and powerful way to do so! Please go to the website and make your donation today . . . whatever amount you can share will make a difference!!! Here is a link to the Foundation website where you can make a PayPal donation today.
Thank you!!!

Oct 05

Dine Out Wednesdays in October to Support Our Schools!

It’s Back! Our popular DINE OUT WEDNESDAYS FOR SOUTH WHIDBEY SCHOOLS program. Every Wednesday in October when you eat out at one of the following local restaurants, a portion of that day’s receipts will be donated to the Schools Foundation to fund innovative classroom learning projects, special equipment, and field trips.

Participating restaurants include:

  • Useless Bay Coffee Company,
  • Glass Alley Cafe,
  • Freeland Cafe,
  • Charmers Bistro,
  • Hong Kong Gardens,
  • Patron Mexican Restaurant, or
  • El Corral Mexican Restaurant.

Please let your server know that you are there as part of the Dine Out program. (Take-out meals also count.)

Thank you!

JPEG for Drewslist

Sep 28

Make reservations now for Oct. 2 Dine Out Kickoff at Prima Bistro

Wed Oct Take Home TuesdayTo kick off our October Dine out for SW Schools restaurant program, Prima Bistro in Langley is donating a portion of this Friday’s receipts to the Schools Foundation. So make reservations now for this Friday, October 2 at Prima Bistro by calling 360.221.4060. Let them know you are there as part of the Dine Out for SW Schools program.

Aug 29

2nd Alumni Profile video features Zora Lungren, actress

We’re starting a video page which provides a brief profile of notable South Whidbey School District alumni.
Our latest video profile: Zora Lungren, an actress, and a 2009 SWHS graduate.

Jul 04

SWSF Marches in the Maxwelton Independence Day Parade

Thanks to everyone who marched with the South Whidbey Schools Foundation, and for those who cheered us on, in this historic Maxwelton Independence Day Parade today!

FullSizeRender IMG_4717 IMG_4718 IMG_4720 IMG_4721 IMG_4722

Jun 04

Chad Felgar and Charlie Davies Receive SWSF’s Faculty Recognition Awards at June 4 Senior Farewell Assembly

Fulgar and Davies

Chad Felgar and Charlie Davies who teach at South Whidbey High School were this year’s recipients of the Foundation’s annual faculty recognition awards. Felgar received the Mentorship Award Davies received the Extra-Mile Award.

The South Whidbey Schools Foundation wrapped up the 2014-15 school year with two awards for outstanding SW School District faculty.

The Extra-Mile Award acknowledges and honors a current South Whidbey School District teacher for having gone the proverbial “extra-mile” in terms of service to students and faculty.  This year’s recipient is Charlie Davies, a South Whidbey graduate and the special education and work-based learning teacher at South Whidbey High School.  Davies’ nomination was endorsed by more than 25 district faculty and staff.

Charlie Davis

Charlie Davies accepting the Extra-Mile Award from Jean Shaw, SWSF Community Liaison.

As Davies’ colleagues explained:

“I have seen Charlie be a teacher first, but also a mentor, adviser, coach, trainer, disciplinarian, and someone who the students look up to and strive to be like. He can take a bad situation and turn it into a great positive learning lesson for the students. He amazes us every day. I can go on and on about the respect I have for this man. He gives everyone around him the feeling of wanting to do their best,” wrote one colleague.

“He goes above and beyond to make sure he has given our students every opportunity to succeed,” wrote another.

The award, which includes a cash stipend, was presented to Davies at the Senior Farewell Assembly for the Class of 2015.



SWSF’s annual Mentorship Award recognizes teachers, principals and other school-based staff who exemplify the kind of commitment to students that creates exceptional results. Graduating seniors nominate a teacher who has had a lasting positive impact on their lives.  This year there were 21 nominations for 13 different teachers.

Leading the nominations and this year’s recipient is Chad Felgar, also a South Whidbey alum and currently the high school shop and agriculture teacher.

Felgarn nominating Felgar, graduating seniors had this to say;

“He always keeps students busy with new, fun projects,” wrote one senior.

“Mr. Felgar has influenced me to be the best I could possibly be.  He has given me the confidence to be who I am,” wrote another student.

“(Mr.) Felgar showed me what it is like to have a job, good work ethic and to be a leader,” commented another student.

“He’s pretty chill, he does all types of classes and he does them well,” wrote another senior.

Felgar, who will be leaving the district next year, received the award and the accompanying cash stipend at the Farewell assembly to resounding applause from the senior class.

The award was established by Steve Shapiro, MD, and his wife, Debora Valis, for students in the community to acknowledge and honor the leadership, mentorship and inspiration of specific teachers who have unlocked the doors to the future for their children.

There are eight years of funds remaining for each award. The South Whidbey Schools Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to teachers and students in the South Whidbey public schools.

More information about the awards, the Foundation’s activities and how to make a charitable tax-deductible donation can be found on various pages of this website.

May 20

Thanks to all who attended and supported the Dinner Gala

Thank you to all the people who attended the 2015 Dinner Gala and Auction and to all the sponsors and businesses who donated to the event.

Thanks to you, approximately $14,000 will be added to the amount to be used for teacher-requested classroom grants for the 2015/16 school year.

Additional thanks to Jim Freeman, our emcee for the evening, the SWHS Jazz Band combo, the SWHS Music in Motion Choir, the SWA Robotics Team, SWSD Superintendent Dr. Jo Moccia for leading the medallion game, and Betty Bond, the SWSF Board member who organized the event.

Special thanks to the businesses and individuals who donated goods and services for the auction and our two Gala sponsors, Whidbey Island Bank (a division of Heritage Bank) and Nichols Brothers Boat Builders. Additional thanks to Whidbey Telecom for promoting the Gala on WhidbeyTV and on the locally produced show, “Life’s Better Here,” and to the South Whidbey Record for covering the schools so well in general and providing its readers with advance notice of the Gala.

Thanks also to the students and teachers demonstrating Foundation-funded projects involving the SWA Underwater Robotics Team, the SWSD Farm and Garden (Cary Peterson), and outdoor expeditions at the Elementary School (SWES teacher Bruce Callahan).

Hats off to emcee and auctioneer Jim Freeman for an evening filled with his quick wit and charm. Superintendent Jo Moccia deserves a medal for conducting the “Medallion Game,” which involves eliminating medallion holders until the last one standing wins half the medallion sales.  Special thanks to Shelly Ackerman, who won the game a second year in a row and promptly donated her entire $1,000 winnings back (a second time) to the Foundation!

Extra-mile gratitude to the principals at South Whidbey Academy (David Pfeiffer), South Whidbey Elementary (Jeff Cravy) and Langley Middle School (Eric Nerison) on the impact that Foundation-funded projects had on their schools and to SWHS English teacher Jennifer Gandarias who spoke about a Foundation-funded professional development program for teachers which she spearheaded.  Long-distance thanks to Gavin Imes, a South Whidbey High School graduate and former Foundation board student representative, who told how Foundation-funded projects helped enrich his education and continue to influence his college activities at Gonzaga University.

Listen to what Gavin  had to say about the Foundation and the effect it has had on his life.


Applause to the South Whidbey High School jazz combo and to the Music in Motion SWHS Choir (under the direction of Paula Ludtke) whose members provided entertainment.

Music in Motion Performers at the SWSF dinner: Cory Ackerman, Maddie Barker, McKenzie Chapman, Kelsey Coutts, Lauren Damerau, Emily Davies, Bayley Gochanour, Elizabeth Hanzelka, Chloe Huffman, Julia Lowe, Aria Ludtke, Ashley Lyons, Autumn Mackie-Timmerman, Rubie Maltbie, Leah Merrow, Sarah Merrow, Sarah Parker, Amandalyn Petticlerc, Kyra Reafs, Alexander Reitz, Marina Schulz, Taylor Tangeman, Emily Turpin, and Olivia Zuver

Thank You,

The South Whidbey Schools Foundation Board; Betty Bond, Chris Gibson, Jo Moccia, David Pfeiffer, Linda Racicot, Susie Richards, John Riley, Jean Shaw, Sophia Stoughton, Tom Walker and Bob & Kay Wiley

Apr 20

Ever wonder how your donations help local students?

Among the 22 classroom projects which the Foundation is funding this school year are several field trips for students to learn about our local marine and forest  environments. You can read more about the latest funded field trip in Saturday’s South Whidbey Record article linked below.

The fifth-grade field trips were funded by a $1,400 grant from the non-profit South Whidbey Schools Foundation. The foundation also funded four other field trips for fifth graders during the 2014-15 school year. The Langley Middle School seventh-grade oceanography program was also funded by South Whidbey Schools Foundation with a grant of $1,280. Your donations, and attendance at our annual Gala Dinner (May 16 this year) make it all possible. 

Apr 03

Buy tickets now for May 16 Gala

Mark your calendars for this year’s annual SWSF Gala Dinner at Useless Bay Golf & Country Club on Saturday, May 16.

Come and enjoy a fine dinner, meet students and teachers who benefited from the Foundation’s classroom grants, and have a fun time full of entertainment and a lively after-dinner auction.

Tickets are available online at:


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