North Central Education Foundation

The North Central Education Foundation was formed in 2008 to support classroom learning by providing small but meaningful teacher grants to creative and innovative teachers in North Central Washington.

The foundation continues to grow and provide more grant funding to regional teachers every year. In 2010, the foundation gave its first eight grants totaling $2,000. In 2021, the foundation awarded over 155 grants totaling over $44,000. That’s a 22-fold increase in grants awarded in just 12 years. This year we were delighted to award grants to teachers in 28 out of 29 districts in the North Central ESD region!

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Classroom grant application closed

Our Mission

We develop community partnerships to provide resources and grants to inspire, ignite and expand opportunities for our region’s teachers and students.

Our Vision

Building bridges by joining hands to connect our children to the world of opportunity.

The Foundation is affiliated with the North Central Educational Service District, a state agency that coordinates educational programs and supports 29 school districts in the region.

Grants for Teachers

The Foundation has grant opportunities for a variety of classroom activities. In 2021, the foundation awarded more than 155 grants totaling over $44,000! Below are a handful of grant opportunities from some of our community partners.

Every September, NCEF announces the grant opportunities available for teachers in North Central Washington for that year. Starting in 2020, due to the impacts of Covid-19, NCEF has updated grant categories to be more relevant to the teachers in the region.

Teachers are welcome to apply for grants in a variety of subjects, including:

  • STEM/STEAM

  • Literacy

  • Music and Arts
  • Financial Education

  • Cultural Awareness, History, Social Studies
  • Health, Social Emotional, Behavioral Wellness

Teacher Classroom Grants

This grant opportunity is provided by the North Central Education Foundation and is available to all teachers in the North Central Washington region. These needs-based grants, $300 on average, are to be used directly in the classroom to equip teachers with the tools and resources they need to meet the needs of their students.

How to apply for a Teacher Classroom Grant

The Foundation opens the application in September. Teachers submit a one-page grant application form that demonstrates how the funds would be used to encourage learning in the classroom. Foundation board members and community memes review all applications and select the winning grants in early October. All grant recipients are honored during an annual event in late October.

The application for Teacher Classroom Grants will be available early May 2022.

Classroom Grants Are currently closed

Friends of Lower Grand Coulee (FLGC)

This grant opportunity provided by the Friends of Lower Grand Coulee is available to all districts in the North Central ESD region. Teachers are invited to apply for FLGC grants in areas of social Social Studies, Literacy, Music and Arts, STEM and STEAM that will further the knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of the geology, culture, history and natural beauty of the Lower Grand Coulee, occurring inside and outside of the classroom.

9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Foundation

This grant opportunity provided by the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial Foundation awards grants to projects and activities that allow students to reflect upon the significance of 09/11/2001 to our history and the impact on our society.

Young Adult Consumer Education Trust (YACET)

This opportunity was created in response to Washington State’s adoption of Financial Education K-12 Learning Standards. YACET funds grants supporting learning experiences that promote wise spending habits, financial discipline, and fiscal knowledge.

Scholarships for Students

In addition to grants for teachers, the Foundation offers a variety of scholarships for students. Learn more about the scholarship opportunities and how to apply below.

Teachers Make A Difference

Teachers Make a Difference, sponsored by the North Central Education Foundation, offers a $1,000 scholarship for high school seniors and college students in the North Central ESD area who are interested in pursuing a career in education. 

Students are invited to apply for the scholarship by writing a 1,000 word essay describing the following:

  • “A teacher who has made a difference in my life.”
  • “Why I want to become a teacher.”

The essay needs to be submitted, along with a completed application form, to the Teachers Make a Difference committee by April 15, 2022. Consideration will also be given to grades, activities and financial need. A finalist and alternate will be selected from the applications. The top essays will be included in the next edition of Teachers Make a Difference, which will be published to help fund a scholarship the following year. Please note that you may attach letters of recommendation rather than using the recommendation form.

Please call Eldene Wall at 509.669.6838 or e-mail eldenew@ncesd.org if you have questions about the application or process.

Town Toyota Center FFA Scholarship

This grant opportunity provided by the Friends of Lower Grand Coulee is available to all districts in the North Central ESD region. Teachers are invited to apply for FLGC grants in areas of social Social Studies, Literacy, Music and Arts, STEM and STEAM that will further the knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of the geology, culture, history and natural beauty of the Lower Grand Coulee, occurring inside and outside of the classroom.

Icicle Valley Trout Unlimited

More information coming soon.

WVEOP Business Scholarship

More information coming soon.

Support Local Teachers & Students

Support regional teachers and students today by donating to a variety of programs through the Foundation. Read about our programs below to learn more about these great opportunities to make a difference in the lives of local students and teachers!

MAKE A DONATION

Teacher Classroom Grants

Teachers do not have what they need to meet the unique needs of their students and provide innovative instruction. By making a donation to the Foundation, you’re directly supporting these teachers and students.

Benefits of Teacher Grants

  • Needs-based funds that go directly into the classroom, equipping teachers to meet the dynamic needs of the children in our region
  • Improves classroom opportunities for all children in our schools
  • Removes hurdles and barriers, and transforms them into opportunities for students which will have long-term impact on our community.

Teachers Make A Difference Scholarship for Students

The Teachers Make A Difference Scholarship provides scholarships for high school seniors and college students who wish to earn a teaching degree. Every year, the Foundation publishes a book featuring local stories to fund the scholarships.

Teachers Make A Difference Book Series

We know how hard teachers work, many times putting in extra time, spending their own money to purchase enhancements for their classrooms, and at the same time impacting many, many lives. Often they have no idea how much they touch the lives of the students with whom they spend time every day.

For the past 20 years, the Foundation has published a book every year featuring local stories about teachers written by their students. This year’s book, “It Goes On,” highlights the dedicated work of our inspiring teachers who have adapted their teaching to serve their students during the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

To order a book ($12), please email Eldene Wall or call (509) 669-6838. Or, make a donation to the Foundation in any amount and we will send you a copy of the book!

Hope for Kids

Details coming soon.

NCESD School Supply Giveaway

Details coming soon.

North Central Education Foundation General Fund

Details coming soon.

Ways you can help!

  • Consider adopting a classroom grant to provide direct support for the success of our children and teachers

  • Tell your friends, family and colleagues about the difference that teacher grants can make in our community

  • Contact the Foundation at (500) 665-2629 or email Eldene Wall for more information on how you can get involved

Business & Community Partners

The Foundation fosters partnerships with businesses and nonprofits that allow them to target dollars to causes they believe are important. Every year these donations provide for our grant and scholarship opportunities to be funded.

For organizations that want to make an impact in classrooms, the North Central Education Foundation program has proven to be an invaluable tool. The grants go to the most innovative and creative teachers who figure out how to impact student learning with a relatively small amount of money, about $300 on average.

Please join us in helping support great teaching and hands-on learning in the classrooms by becoming a major sponsor of the North Central Education Foundation. You can make a significant difference in classrooms in your community and around the region.

To learn more about how you can make a major donation, please email Eldene Wall or call (509) 665-2629.

Our Partners

Past Partners & Sponsors

Olive Garden/Darden Foundation, Clear Risk Solutions, Stemily, LASER, Financial Alternatives/PlanMember Services, Okanogan Soroptomist, Sodexo, and many individual donations from our community.

Is your organization interested in supporting regional educators and students?

We accept donations at anytime via our online donation form. We also offer three levels of major support:

  • Support 33+ teachers ($10,000+)
  • Support 16 teachers ($5,000 – $9,999)
  • Support 8 teachers ($2,500 – $4,999)

You can fund the Foundation’s general fund or you may choose to target dollars to specific subjects like Literacy, Music and Arts, College Prep, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), STEAM (STEM plus Arts), Health/Social Emotional, and more!

“It is such a thrill to be able to get dollars into the hands of teachers and support music and arts education at the classroom level,” said Rufus Woods, on behalf of the Woods Family Music and Arts Fund. “Every year, we hear back from teachers who have added music or art activities to their classrooms and they appreciate the support.”

Teacher Stories

North Central Education Foundation Board of Directors

Lois Davies
President, Foundation Board
Douglas County Representative

Lois Davies from Orondo joined the NCEF Board of Directors in the fall of 2018 and is the current Vice President. Lois retired from her position as superintendent of Pateros School District for the past ten years. Lois earned her doctorate in education leadership from Washington State University and comes to the Foundation with a rich educational background. She served as president of the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) in 2015.

Kerrie Gross
Okanogan County Representative

Kerrie Combs from Tonasket serves as our Okanogan County representative to the North Central Education Foundation. She is currently earning her teaching degree while working at Tonasket School District. While living in Wenatchee, Kerrie served as United Way Board President, as well as on the Good Grief Board.

P.J. DeBenedetti
Grant County Representative

Foundation Board member P.J. DeBenedetti, formerly from the Moses Lake School District, is now employed by Clear Risk Solutions in Ephrata.  P.J. brings great expertise from his rich educational background and experience.

Kyla Allen
Chelan County Representative

Kyla Allen from North Cascades Bank joined the NCEF Board of Directors in the spring of 2018.  She has worked at North Cascades Bank since 1996 and currently serves as the Director of Retail Banking and Marketing. Raised in Manson on an apple orchard, Kyla earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and graduated from the Pacific Coast School of Banking.  She lives in Chelan where she and her husband are raising their two sons.

Stacy Luckensmeyer
Chelan County Representative

Stacy Luckensmeyer never imagined she’d end up running a business, but life had other plans for her, and she’s successfully started and sold, bought and sold, and even started and failed in multiple ventures. She retired at 36 and realized quite rapidly that this was a *very* big mistake, and since then she has involved herself in entrepreneurial development efforts in her region and across the US.  Stacy currently oversees the Center for Entrepreneurship at Wenatchee Valley College and represents WVC in a variety of economic development projects, including growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in central Washington. In her spare time, she works with people across the country who are interested in going into business for the first time (or the tenth; it’s always a new adventure.

Tyler Russell
Chelan County Representative

Tyler Russell grew up in Issaquah, Washington. He attended Central Washington University graduating with a degree in Geography and Environmental Science. He also studied art and met his wife, Jessica who was a jewelry major at Central.

Upon graduating in 1999 he and Jessica moved to Bend, Oregon, for 10 years where Tyler sold residential and commercial real estate and Jessica started a jewelry business. After the birth of their twin girls, Tyler and Jessica made the move back to the Wenatchee Valley where Jessica grew up.

Upon moving to Wenatchee, Jessica and Tyler joined forces at her wholesale jewelry business, Tumbleweed. In its infancy Tumbleweed was solely a wholesale jewelry business selling first locally, then regionally and now globally. After needing more space for their jewelry studio they rented a suite in the Fuller-Quigg building on Palouse Street. In addition to the studio space, Tyler and Jessica decided to add retail to their business specializing in the sale of locally produced goods and curated gifts for all. Tumbleweed once again outgrew its space in 2019 and has moved to the Doneen building on the corner of Wenatchee Ave. and Palouse St.

Tyler and his family enjoy many aspects of the Wenatchee Valley’s outdoor activities and Tyler enjoys volunteering at his daughters’ schools and at the district level.

Ray Dobbs
Douglas County Representative

Ray Dobbs and his wife, Kathryn (Kelly), moved their family to Chelan in 1976 when he started a 20-year career as broadcaster, sales manager, and station manager at KOZI Radio. When owner Jerry Isenhart sold KOZI Radio in 1999, Dobbs purchased the Computer and Verizon cell phone businesses from Isenhart and started his own business, Raycom RadioShack. After twelve years, Dobbs sold the business in 2011 and took a position at North Cascades Bank where he recently retired and moved to East Wenatchee. Dobbs and his wife have been married 50 years. They have five adult children who all graduated from Chelan Valley schools. Kathryn, grew up at Kelly’s Resort in Chelan and graduated from Chelan High School. Dobbs grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and has an Advertising/Marketing degree from San Jose State University. They have 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. Dobbs was a Planning Commissioner and Councilmember for City of Chelan for 15 years and Treasurer for Historic Downtown Chelan Assn for 5 years. He also served on the Wenatchee and Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce boards. He has been a Rotarian since 1982 and served two terms as president of Chelan Rotary.

Judi Jensen
Grant County Representative

Judi has been employed at North Central ESD 171 since 2009 (recently retiring in 2021) providing Title I/LAP and Director Services to districts in the North Central Washington region, working with administrators, teachers and paraeducators. Prior to that, she was employed 20 years in Soap Lake School district in various positions, including teacher, state and federal programs director, special education director, dean of students and principal.  Judi received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Central WA University and advanced degrees from City University and Washington State University.

Judi was honored as 2009 Regional Distinguished Principal by the Elementary School Principal Association of Washington.  She was also given recognition as 2019 Wenatchee Valley Education Office Professionals Administrator of the Year

Becca Freimuth
Chelan County Representative

As the Communication Specialist for the North Central Educational Service District, Becca manages the NCESD’s communications and marketing efforts by leading and supporting the agency and the districts it serves. A Wenatchee-native, Becca returned to the Valley in 2015 after graduating from Western Washington University and has worked with many organizations who support the region’s people, including the NCW Tech Alliance, NCWLIFE, Numerica Performing Arts Center, Alatheia Riding Center, Young Professionals of NCW, and Our Valley Our Future.

Marcia Henkle
NCESD Board of Directors Representative

Marcia was raised in Douglas County on a wheat ranch.  After graduating from Coulee City High School and Washington State University, she began a lifelong career in the education field.  She taught high school and community college for several years in the Seattle area before moving back to eastern Washington where she operated Trend College in East Wenatchee. Before her employment at the Washington State Employment Security Department, Marcia served as Wenatchee Valley College instructor, administrator, and Dean of Workforce Education.

Susan Albert
NCESD Board of Directors Representative

Susan Albert, NCESD Board representative from Chelan County, also serves as ESD Board representative.  Susan was elected to serve as District 7 Representative and began her service in January 2018.  This position represents the northern portion of the Wenatchee School District. She retired from her 42-year educational career in 2015 where she served as teacher, administrator, professor and principal.  Susan remains involved in a variety of volunteer activities.

Dr. Michelle Price
Foundation Advisor

Dr. Michelle Price, superintendent of North Central ESD, serves as advisor to the North Central Education Foundation. She has served North Central ESD as superintendent for the past three years. Prior to her current position, Dr. Price served as a classroom teacher, and principal for Tacoma, Soap Lake and Moses Lake School District, and later as superintendent for Moses Lake School District.

Dr. Price served as State President of the Washington Association of School Administrators and is currently a member of the National Executive Committee of the American Association of School Administrators. Dr. Price holds advanced degrees from Central Washington University and a Doctoral Degree from Washington State University. She was recently honored as 2018 Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Educational Office Professionals.

Eldene Wall
Foundation Liaison

Eldene Wall serves as Secretary/NCESD Liaison for North Central Education Foundation, after retiring from North Central ESD after 29 years. Her passion for the work of NCEF resulted in continuation of her work there.  Eldene is editor of Teachers Make a Difference, a book that is sold to raise money for scholarships for high school graduates who want to become teachers, and completed the 17th edition in 2019, Mentors Matter.  Eldene also serves as secretary to the Wenatchee Valley Community Concert Association Board and secretary for the Write on the River Board, a local writing organization.  She was named as 2011 WAEOP Educational Office Professional of the Year, was honored with the Paula Thomas Distinguished Service Award in 2015, and in 2017 received the AESD President’s Award.  She received her Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership in spring of 2012.  She recently served as N.W. Area Director for the National Association of Educational Office Professionals (NAEOP) and as Strategic Planning Chair for the Washington State EOP group (WAEOP).