The Annabell Benson Endowment Fund

The Austin Public Education Foundation would like to announce the establishment of a new educational grant to benefit instructional staff for Austin Public Schools District #492.

Annabell Mae Benson was born July 7, 1930, in Blackduck, Minnesota to Frederick William and Anna Cecilia (Sorberg) Benson.  She graduated from Blackduck High School and went on to earn her teaching degree from Bemidji State.  Her entire teaching career has been in Minnesota public education.  She began in Williams, MN, and then later taught in Litchfield and Hutchinson, MN, completing her career teaching at Neveln Elementary School in Austin, MN.   Annabell Benson passed away on Friday, October 8, 2021. A portion of her estate was left to the Austin Public Education Foundation.

As a teacher, Annabell’s lifelong passion has been the education of children. She had a particular passion for mentoring new teachers as she became a veteran in the classroom. For this reason, the funds from Annabell’s estate that were left to the foundation will be used for new licensed instructors to Austin Public Schools with setting up their classrooms.

 Grants will fall into one of two categories:

  • First Year Teachers: First Year Teachers have significant needs to set up their classrooms for the first time. If a new instructional staff member is a first-year teacher, they are eligible to receive $400 towards resources to help set up their first classroom.
  • Experienced Teachers New to Austin: Often the school district hires teachers with experience who are new to the district. These teachers are eligible to receive $200 towards resources to help set up their classroom.

In alignment with the bylaws for the Austin Public Education Foundation, grant monies may not be used for salary, professional development, curriculum, or consumable resources.

We are excited for the opportunity to provide this grant to new teachers in the district. We know that teachers spend a significant amount of their own funds to enhance the learning experience for their students. This is our way of saying, “Welcome to Austin Public Schools on behalf of your Austin Public Education Foundation. Let us help you get started.”

-Carolyn Dubé, President

APEF ANOUCEMENTS!

Grant Committee Meets to Award Staff!

Thanks to the continued generosity of the Austin Community, including the Hirsch Foundation and Alumni of Austin Public Schools, the APE Foundation was able to fund 43 instructional staff grants at $40,127.79 and 7 building grants at $44,453.45 for a combined total of 50 grants and $84,581.24!

We at Austin Public Education Foundation are very excited to continue to see our vision of enhancing education for the students of Austin Public Schools be successful!

PACKER CLASSIC!

Our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Packer Classic, will be held on Monday, July 18th, 2022 at the Austin Country Club. After having a modified classic the last two years, we are very excited to be back with a day full of golf, contests, awards, food and fun! If your are interested in being a sponsor or putting a 4 person team together, you can click on the link above or contact Jennifer Boysen at apef.director@austin.k12.mn.us.

Grant Application Extended! Deadline is Now March 21st, 2022

Austin Public Education Foundation Grant Process Information

Eligibility

The APE Foundation is pleased to consider applications that benefit the students of the Austin Public Schools. Please review the attached district goals when submitting your grant.

The foundation does not provide grants for the following:

  • Salary or fringe benefits for school district employees
  • Continuing education
  • Student fees and/or rentals normally paid by parents or guardians
  • Curriculum
  • Clothing
  • Field trips
  • Smartboards
  • iPads
  • Batteries
  • Food or snacks

If you are requesting an item that will require the district’s support, please talk to your principal to see if it can be supported.   

Timelines

Applications are due March 21st, 2022 for projects to be funded for the 2022-2023 school year.

The grant committee will notify you if your grant was selected, by March 31st, 2022. If your grant is accepted, give your purchase order to your principal stating it is for the APE Foundation, prior to the last day of school.  For building administrators, submit purchase orders as normal with a notation that funding is provided by the APEF grant. Your order will be made after July 1st, 2022 and you should have your items in time for the 2022-2023 school year.

Access a Word document version of Instructional Staff Grants here.

Access a Word document version of Building Administrator Grants here.

Two Grants, One Submission Process

As of the 2021 grants are available to both instructional staff and building administrators. Instructional Staff grants will continue to be funded through the Huntting and Packer Endowments. Building Administrator grants will be funded through APEF grants from the Hirsh Foundation.

Application Guidelines

  • Your grant should not be more than 1-2 word processed pages. Refer to the sample grants below for guidance.
  • Submit FOUR PAPER COPIES of your grant to Jennifer Boysen, Executive Director, at the APEF Office located in the High School.  Emailed grants will not be considered.

Your grant needs to contain the following information:

  • Date, project title, school, applicant name(s), signature(s) and contact phone and e-mail information.
  • A brief description of the objectives or purpose of the grant request, including the number and description of the people who will be served by the grant.
  • A detailed description of item(s requested with estimated costs. 
  • List each item separately; it is beneficial to prioritize your items and attach pictures.

Welcome, Lindsay!

We at the Austin Public Education Foundation would like to officially welcome Lindsay Bires a new Director on the APE Foundation Board.

Lindsay is originally from Windom, MN. She moved to Austin in 2009.  Her husband Toren works at Hormel, she has an American Family Insurance agency on Oakland, and they have three children.  Ashlyn is in 1st grade (7), Brielle is in Kindergarten (5) and Brayden is in daycare (2).  I enjoy shopping, cooking/baking, and hanging out with family and friends.  

IT’S TIME! APEF GRANTS APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED

It is an annual tradition for the Austin Public Education Foundation to provide grants to instructional staff within Austin Public School District support and enhance learning. Since 1992, the Huntting and Packer Endowments have made these grants possible, growing from a single $500 grant that first year to 55 grants totaling $45,588.20 in 2021!

Austin Public Education Foundation Grant Process Information

Eligibility

The APE Foundation is pleased to consider applications that benefit the students of the Austin Public Schools. Please review the attached district goals when submitting your grant.

The foundation does not provide grants for the following:

  • Salary or fringe benefits for school district employees
  • Continuing education
  • Student fees and/or rentals normally paid by parents or guardians
  • Curriculum
  • Clothing
  • Field trips
  • Smartboards
  • iPads
  • Batteries
  • Food or snacks

If you are requesting an item that will require the district’s support, please talk to your principal to see if it can be supported.   

Two Grants, One Submission Process

As of the 2021 grants are available to both instructional staff and building administrators. Instructional Staff grants will continue to be funded through the Huntting and Packer Endowments. Building Administrator grants will be funded through APEF grants from the Hirsh Foundation.

Application Guidelines

  • Your grant should not be more than 1-2 word processed pages. Refer to the sample grants below for guidance.
  • Submit FOUR PAPER COPIES of your grant to Jennifer Boysen, Executive Director, at the APEF Office located in the High School.  Emailed grants will not be considered.

Your grant needs to contain the following information:

  • Date, project title, school, applicant name(s), signature(s) and contact phone and e-mail information.
  • A brief description of the objectives or purpose of the grant request, including the number and description of the people who will be served by the grant.
  • A detailed description of item(s requested with estimated costs. 
  • List each item separately; it is beneficial to prioritize your items and attach pictures.

Reward Instructions

  • If a grant is awarded, approval is given only for item(s) and dollar amount described.
  • The foundation board must approve any changes prior to purchase.
  • For Instructional Staff grants, email your administrator detailing your grant request. This will keep principals informed of the number and objectives of grant requests generated by their staff. 

Timelines

Applications are due March 4th, 2022 for projects to be funded for the 2022-2023 school year.

The grant committee will notify you if your grant was selected, by March 31st, 2022. If your grant is accepted, give your purchase order to your principal stating it is for the APE Foundation, prior to the last day of school.  For building administrators, submit purchase orders as normal with a notation that funding is provided by the APEF grant. Your order will be made after July 1st, 2022 and you should have your items in time for the 2022-2023 school year.

Access a Word document version of Instructional Staff Grants here.

Access a Word document version of Building Administrator Grants here.

Instructional Staff Grant Sample:
2/2/22     3rd Grade Listening Center Materials

Dear Austin Public Education Foundation,
I am writing to request a grant for the 3rd grade at Wood Creek  Elementary School. We currently have 125 children in the 3rd grade at Wood Creek. This number does fluctuate each year. 

Our district started a new reading series this year called Happy Readers. With Happy Readers, everything that the children do during reading time is leveled. One of the activities, that Happy Readers suggests, is a listening center. Because of this, we would like  to have listening materials at a variety of reading levels. We have very little resources for listening center materials in our building. There  are 10 books with CD’s available to check out  in the library.  All of the 3rd grade teachers have CD players  in their classrooms. We are lacking  books and CD’s to play on our players.      

We  would appreciate it if you were able to fund listening center materials from Lakeshore Learning. Although there are 4 classrooms, we feel we would be able to share the materials. We would like to have 2 of each set that is available. 
                     
2- Read along Grades 2-4 $179.00  ($358.00 for 2 sets)
2- Read along Grades 4-6  $179.00 ($358.00 for 2 sets)                     
Total  purchase $716.00

Thank  you for taking the time to read my request,
                      

Suzie  Smith
3rd  Grade Teacher
Wood  Creek Elementary School
# 555-5555 / s.smith@wces.mn.us
Signed: Suzie Smith_________                   

Thank you, Hirsch Foundation – Building Level Grants

We are excited to still offer grants for building administrators funded through the Hirsch Foundation. The last few years, we have taken advantage of our new funding from the Hirsch Foundation to dream big and provide grants that impacted students at a broader level – benefitting all students within a building vs. a classroom or grade level. We will be able to continue on this year, with building administrators submitting their grant requests that enhance learning at their building.

In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, it is rewarding to be able to give back to the teachers and administrators of Austin Public Schools. They have worked tirelessly this year to continue providing high quality education to our students. We can’t wait to see your grant requests for this year.

Good luck!

Jennifer Boysen, Executive Director

Carolyn Dube, APEF President

Welcome, Jennifer!

The executive committee of the Austin Public Education Foundation would like to announce that Jennifer Boysen has been hired as the new Executive Director effective September, 2021.

Jennifer is originally from St. Paul, MN. She met her husband, Bryan (an Austin native and AHS Class of 1997 Grad), in Winona and made Austin her home in 2003. Together they have three children, all of whom are currently Austin Packers.

Jennifer is excited to serve as Executive Director by bringing her organizational skills and her appreciation for education and educators to the foundation. She looks forward to working with the APEF board to build upon the current success of the organization by expanding the opportunities for enhancing education at Austin Public Schools.

“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.”

– Les Brown

The Results Are In!

The 2021 Packer Classic was a rousing success this past Monday at the Austin Country Club. 25 teams came together for a beautiful afternoon of golfing in support of education and Austin Public Schools. When planning this event, many of the COVID restrictions were still in place, so we needed to forego our usual dinner and presentation where we typically announce the winners of our games and raffle prizes. So, instead, we are announcing those winners here.

Game Winners

First Place: Team of Tom Wuertz, Jason Riles, John Riles, and Ron Bormaster

Second Place: Team Ameriprise Financial – Taylor Maxfield, Allison Bates, Mel Soderlund, and Amanda Sayles

Closest to the Cooler, Mens: Tom Wuertz

Closest to the Cooler, Womens: Katie Larson

Par 3 Challenge: Matt Ball

Putting Contest: 1st place – Tom Dunlop, 2nd place – Jeff Carney

Raffle Prize Winners
BasketWinner
1 – Get Fit TogetherAmy Mayers
2 – Par for the Course Nick Wangen
3 – Through the Grapevine Tom Wuertz
4 – Back on the Road Todd Dube
5 – DELIcious Cory Goetz
6 – Main Street Treats Beth Hasley
7 – Downtown Delight Brenda Landherr
8 – Sweet Reads David Krenz
9 – Dog Spahhhhhh Andrea Malo
10 – Remember to Hydrate Morgan Schmitz

Each year, the APE Foundation is able to give out grants that positively impact teaching and learning in Austin. Hear from one of our grant recipients, Nikky Tolde – music and advanced academic teacher at Sumner Elementary.

The Austin Public Education Foundation would like to thank everyone for coming out and enjoying a day on the links. We’ll see you at next year’s 24th Annual Packer Classic!

Fore!!!!

It’s time! The Austin Public Education Foundation is excited to announce that registration is open for this year’s Packer Classic. This golf tournament, held annually at the Austin Country Club raises funds that support classrooms and schools within Austin Public Schools District #492.

Photo by Peter Drew on Unsplash

The Details

Monday, July 12, 2021: Austin Country Club

When to be There
  • 11:00 AM Registration opens
  • 11:10 AM Putting contest begins
  • 11:30 AM Lunch at your leisure
  • 12:30 PM Shotgun start
  • 5:30 PM Awards presentation
Don’t Golf?

You can still be involved!

  • Stop out and bid on raffle items.
  • Volunteer to help with registration or games
  • Become a hole sponsor, or sponsor a golfer.
Player Entry Fees $130
  • Green fees, cart, golf gift
  • Lunch
  • Snacks and Beverages
  • Awards

Download the Registration Form and send it to:

Austin Public Education Foundation PO Box 878 Austin, MN 55912

This is a fun event that puts funding back into the hands of our teachers and administrators to directly enhance the learning experience our kids have in their classrooms. If you have any questions, please reach out to APEF Executive Director Amanda Hulne at 507-460-1938.

We look forward to seeing you out on the greens!

2021-2022 APEF Grant Recipients

It is with great pleasure that we share this year’s APEF grant recipients. Once again, we found ourselves wondering what the next school year would look like. Thankfully, the health of the Huntting and Packer Endowments and the generosity of the Hirsch Family Foundation allow the Austin Public Education Foundation to continue providing grant funding to teachers and administrators within Austin Public Schools District 492.

Building Level Grants

These grants are funded thanks in part to the Hirsch Family Foundation.

Requestor & SchoolRequestAmount
Andrea Malo, Austin High SchoolHallway Seating Options – ALC$2,416.55
Dewey Schara, IJ Holton IntermediateLaptop Charging Hub$566.00
Jason Boe, Southgate ElementaryTumblePro Foam Tumbling Mats$4,011.96
Sandra Fadness, Ellis Middle School7th Grade Life Science Microscopes$3,120.00
Total$10,114.51

Teacher Grants

These grants are funded by the Huntting and Packer Endowments. Annual interest earned through these endowments determine the amount that can be distributed to teachers each year.

Community Learning Center
Judi Needham15 TI-30XS Multiview Calculators for Adult Learners$300.00
Woodson Kindergarten Center
Katie KellerHands-on Phonics Learning Activities$3,823.31
Crystal PepperPhonics Instruction Resources$672.76
Banfield Elementary
Nicole Edwards1st Grade Phonemic awareness & Centers$681.09
Nicole Edwards1st Grade Enrichment Supplemental Books$383.70
Neveln Elementary
PBIS TeamSelf-Regulation Tools $1,255.06
Lauren Phan1st Grade Center Materials$1,019.97
Holly ThomasSensory Pathway$585.00
Gerilyn Vesel1st Grade Phonics and Mathematics Materials$453.50
Amber Rochat & Gina Williams1st Grade Small Group Center Materials$1,242.06
Maria Mickelson, Janene Lunning, & Brenda HackensmithMathematics Resources$767.52
Sumner Elementary
English Language TeachersEnglish Language Tools$1,514.69
System 44 TeachersClassroom Library and Tools$2,000.00
Elizabeth HarderScience and Social Studies Materials$475.41
Elizabeth HarderReading and Math Small Group Materials$687.92
Nikky ToldeAdvanced Academic and Talent Development Manipulatives$160.46
Nikky ToldeBooks Sets $1,761.00
Southgate Elementary
Jason BoeEZSet Lightweight Portable Volleyball Standards$508.50
Jer Osgood16 pack of Board Games for Classroom Checkout$180.00
Jer OsgoodChildcraft Classic Board Game Set of 4 Games$60.00
Jer Osgood2 Picnic Tables for Outdoor Learning$1,475.00
Traci BraatenRooted in Reading Book Sets$1,444.00
First Grade Teachers1st Grade HOT DOT Independent Working Stations$1,787.24
Jayme Lamers3rd Grade Classroom Library- Diverse Books$567.61
Third Grade TeachersSocial Studies Small Group Books$1,154.00
Christy HalseyDecodable Readers for Guided Reading Library$636.00
Morgan Dickman4th Grade Bee Bot Robot and Mat Resources$319.80
IJ Holton Intermediate
Angela ThoenNewcomer Phonics Beginning Readers$176.00
Marianne DavidsonExercise Opportunities While Learning$410.14
Drue SponheimOsmo Starter Kits for Ipad$538.00
5th Grade Social Studies Teachers5th Grade Flexible Seating – Surf Chairs$1,079.70
5th Grade Social Studies TeachersLittle People, Big Dreams Series$401.31
5th Grade Social Studies TeachersBlack History Heroes Book Series$432.00
5th Grade Math Teachers5th Grade Student Manipulatives Kits$2,000.00
Leah MotlOrchestra Organizational Materials$600.00
6th Grade Science TeachersWeather Station with LCD Concole$424.95
Michelle SwankSpecial Education Osmo Genius Kit$351.61
Ellis Middle School
Arik Anderson -7th & 8th grade FootballJr. High Football Equipment$975.00
Austin High School
Kathy Ewing & the ELL TeamWho Is/Who Was EL Leveled Reading Library$700.00
Jacy BodiWeight Room Equipment Expansion$1,335.27
Kristen FranaHorizon Program Art and Creativity Supplies$1,039.38
Darla BernardHorizon Program Mind and Body Management Materials$372.94
Alexa Dolan PetersonAHS Packer Pantry Storage Request$135.00
Lisa Peters & Jordan ReimClassroom Sets – Essentials of Language Arts$1,078.80
Carlene PlineReaders Workshop Library – AP Lit$2,000.00
Leslie Leffers16 Cube Storage Organizer$140.52
Oakland Education Center
Troy DeikmanPE/DAPE – Gagaball Pit$2,129.00
Area Learning Center
Eliza KellyEasel Boards for STARS$139.98
Eliza Kelly & Nicole Fuller Hands-On Equations and Calculators $519.00
Eliza Kelly & Gabe Nelson Table Tennis Supplies for Hand/Eye Coordination $972.95
District Wide Support
Ryan Mayers, Communications CoordinatorVideo Microphone for District Videos$321.05
David Hovland, Katie Tharp, Nikky Tolde, & Kim Zerke, Elementary Music Diverse Children’s Books for Music Class $1,400.00

Total: $45,588.20

Between the Hirsch Foundation and the Huntting and Packer Endowments, the Austin Public Education Foundation was able to provide 56 grants totaling $55,702.71!  Congratulations to this year’s recipients. We look forward to seeing your grants in action during the 2021 – 2022 school year.

It’s Time! APEF Grants

Submit your APEF Grant Requests

It is an annual tradition for the Austin Public Education Foundation to provide grants to instructional staff within Austin Public Schools to support and enhance learning. Since 1992, the Huntting and Packer Endowments have made these grants possible, growing from a single $500 grant that first year to 55 grants totaling $45,588.20 in 2021!

Thank you, Hirsch Foundation – Building Level Grants

We are excited to still offer grants for building administrators funded through the Hirsch Foundation. The last few years, we have taken advantage of our new funding from the Hirsch Foundation to dream big and provide grants that impacted students at a broader level – benefitting all students within a building vs. a classroom or grade level. We will be able to continue on this year, with building administrators submitting their grant requests that enhance learning at their building.

In the midst of Theon going pandemic, it is rewarding to be able to give back to the teachers and administrators of Austin Public Schools. They have worked tirelessly this year to continue providing high quality education to our students. We can’t wait to see your grant requests for this year.

Good luck!

Jennifer Boysen, Executive Director

Carolyn Dube, APEF President