Alumni give back through the Kohler School Foundation

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The Kohler School Foundation exists to enhance and support the Kohler public education system in a capacity that impacts its progressive curriculum. Since 1997, the Foundation has provided a reliable source of revenue separate from the restricted and challenged public funding.

An essential channel of that funding comes from the Foundation’s yearly Fall Follies event. Additionally, the Foundation has established the Kohler Visionary Society Endowment Fund which will help support program expansion and enhance the stability of the Foundation. It’s through these opportunities that Kohler alumni can give back to the district that fostered their development and provided an environment to flourish.

Since its inception, the Foundation has relied on the generosity and support of the community, Kohler residents and Kohler Schools families. Alumni are also realizing the importance of giving back. Laura Gabrielse (Crneckiy) class of 1987 and Kelly Kasten (Jensen) class of 1993 have recently joined the Fall Follies committee and Gabrielse also serves on the Foundation Board of Directors.

“Kohler Schools, and my upbringing in this community, are an integral part of who I am today,” said Gabrielse. “Of course, when you are a teenager living in this small village you don’t think that way, instead you can’t wait to leave! But it doesn’t take long to realize, even as a freshman in college, how fortunate you are to have experienced such a close knit community that rallies around the school, its activities and its students.” Kasten agrees, “My general spirit for Kohler Schools has always been strong. The education and environment that my classmates and I were provided is something I will be forever thankful for.

Kasten continues, “Not only did we leave high school academically prepared to take on the challenges of higher education, we also came out as well-rounded individuals. Our district provides a lane for every student to find success because at Kohler Schools everyone has the ability to simultaneously be involved in many different activities. For me and other alumni, these are the spaces that formed many great and lasting friendships. They are the spaces where we learned about hard work, and also the result of not working hard enough.”

The unique traditions and aspects to the school is what Gabrielse fondly remembers, “I can’t imagine any alumni not treasuring all the distinct things that make Kohler School so unique…Scroll Night with the maypole dance, prom at the Waelderhaus, the Youth Center, I could go on. You add to that the exceptional teaching staff who push you to be the best you can be and it makes for a culture and tradition you want to live on for generations to come… whether or not you live in the area.”

Gabrielse’s and Kasten’s appreciation for their Kohler roots propels them to think beyond today, “I want to have a lasting impact on the school that shaped my future; instilling in me the ideals of hard work, perseverance, and team work. And as an alumna, I think I owe it to my school to give back whether it’s through my time or monetary support” said Gabrielse. Kasten adds, “It is important to me that Kohler School is always in the position to offer great opportunities, academically and otherwise, to the young people of this community. As an alumna and Village resident, I am proud and excited to support the Kohler School Foundation.”

If you are Kohler Schools alumni, or know of a Kohler Schools alumni, that would be interested in contributing to the Foundation’s efforts in sustaining Kohler School’s esteemed education system and culture, you may contact Kohler School Foundation Board President, Amy Biznek, at kohlerschoolfoundation@gmail.com. For additional information about the Foundation and this year’s Fall Follies event, visit kohlerschoolfoundation.org.

Submitted by the Kohler School Foundation

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