Six Iowa-Grant Middle School students were recently presented certificates and monetary awards made possible through a charitable bequest from the estate of Elizabeth J. Summers.
The recipients include Lucas Christiansen, Bret Connolly, Linnea Elg, Lakyn Holman, Jacob Phillips, and Dawson Reid. These students earned the award as fifth graders, during the 2017-2018 academic year. They were selected for being in the top 10% of their class as determined by their performance on standardized tests and on the recommendation of their teachers.
Fennimore Attorney David Kurth, representing the Summers estate, contacted the Iowa-Grant School District in 2010. He shared the news of a bequest of $30,000, given by Elizabeth Summers in honor of her older twin sisters who were rural school teachers. Josephine and Genevieve Kalile attended the Normal School in Platteville and taught in Boscobel, Mount Hope, Wingville and Castle Rock and in Boscobel, Anderson Mills, Beaver Dam and Mt. Horeb, respectively.
Elizabeth, Josephine and Genevieve parents, John and Rose Kilile, were farmers in Fennimore, having emigrated from the country of Lebanon. Elizabeth met her husband, Norbert Summers, in La Crosse. She worked as a secretary/receptionist at a business in La Crosse for 34 years.
When Elizabeth died, her Trust made gifts totaling over $1.1 million. In addition to the Iowa-Grant bequest, the Summers Trust made gifts to a number of other public schools plus, among others, the Boscobel Health Care Foundation, Fennimore Community Scholarship Foundation, Great Rivers United Way, UW-Platteville Foundation, and Caritas Lebanon Catholic Charity.
Fred Skaife, a member of the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation Advisory Board, made the presentations noting, “We all know that you have worked hard to achieve this award. Awards just do not happen without plenty of hard work. Sometimes you probably have given up some other fun activity to spend extra time studying. We are sure that you parents, teachers, siblings & friends are all very proud of you.”
Attorney David Kurth shared recollections of his interaction with Ms. Summers. Additionally, he brought a number of items that were used in the one-room schools by Ms. Summers’ sisters.
The Elizabeth J. Summers Elementary Academic Achievement Awards are awarded through a partnership of the Iowa-Grant School District, the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation (IGEF), and the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin (CFSW).
IGEF was established in 2000 and is a component of CFSW. Its mission is to build an endowment that provides private resources for the support of the Iowa-Grant School District. For more information or to make a donation to the Foundation contact IGEF advisory board chair Paulette DiVall ([email protected]) or CFSW Donor Services Representative Barb Daus ([email protected] or 608-778-3344). Donations to the Foundation can be sent to the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation, PO Box 124, Livingston, WI 53554 or can be made online at www.cfsw.org.