News & Press: Updates


Wednesday, October 19, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kelly Koepsell
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Mission Statement

The Mission of the BENNINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION is to generate and distribute resources to or on behalf of the Bennington Public School District to enrich teaching, inspire learning, maximize opportunities and promote excellence in education for all students.

The Foundation will achieve its mission by directing resources as follows:

  • Assist students in achieving their educational goals through a variety of scholarship opportunities
  • Support staff for innovative efforts through classroom grants
  • Recognize excellence of caring adults within our school system
  • Support programs for the betterment of our school district
  • Build community awareness for the Bennington Public School Foundation

Board Members

  • Tracy J. Behnken, President
  • Sheryl Cornett, Vice President
  • Dr. Terry L. Haack, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Daren Siekman, School Board Liason
  • Brad Baumert, Member at Large
  • Chris Curzon, Member at Large
  • Melissa Freed, Member at Large
  • Dr. Jeff Jacobs, Member at Large
  • Nancy Mohr, Member at Large

History of the Foundation

The Bennington Public School Foundation was formally founded as a non- profit corporation on December 29, 1992. The Foundation was initiated under the leadership of the Bennington Public School District’s Board of Education members: Wayne Andersen, Mark Backhuus, Jim Bonge, Sue Cohrs, Darrell Kading, Marcia Taylor and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Townsend. They recognized that the principal support of the school district must come from tax appropriations, but that gifts from community members and other friends are essential to the future success of the district’s commitment to quality education. The Foundation’s initial Board of Directors included Jim Bonge, Mary Ferdig, Darrell Logemann, Rod Laible and Superintendent Douglas Townsend.

One of the Foundation’s principal goals has been to provide scholarships to graduating seniors. In 1998 one $300 scholarship was given and today the Foundation awards over $30,000 in scholarships annually to graduating seniors of Bennington Public High School.

In 2001 the Foundation held its first annual awards banquet recognizing the scholarship winners, a volunteer of the year and an educator of the year. Currently, the annual awards banquet is attended by over 200 community members and students.

A generous donation was received from the Ernest Katzner Estate, in 2004, which secured the future of the Bennington Public School Foundation.

In the fall of 2005, the Foundation supported the start-up costs of operating a Before and After School Care program. This program has been a huge success and has grown significantly over the years with the growth of the school district.

The Classroom Grants program was implemented in 2008. Classroom Grants fund innovative ideas and projects at the classroom level. The Foundation awards over $20,000 annually in classroom grants to teachers in the school district.

The Foundation has grown significantly over the past two decades and continues to partner with the school district to make our children and their futures a key priority in our community.

In the last 5 years, The Bennington Public School Foundation has awarded over $115,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors and over $55,000 in Classroom Grants to our teachers!