Date: June 12th, 2015

Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation Awards Elizabeth Summers Academic Achievement Awards


The recipients of the Iowa-Grant 5th Grade Academic Achievement awards with their teachers: Left to right: Mr. Jason Schulting, Cortney Fiedler-Fosbinder, Treyton Starkey, Zachary Kohlenberg, Reid Lundell, and Ms. Jessica Holmes (Abigail Fowell and Cade Kuhls were unable to attend).

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 Elizabeth J. Summers Elementary Academic Achievement Awards were presented through a partnership of the Iowa-Grant School District, the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation (IGEF), and the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin.

The students earned the award as fifth graders, during the 2014-2015 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.

The recipients include Cortney Fiedler-Fosbinder, daughter of Nicole Schmitt (Montfort) and Nathan Fosbinder (Platteville); Abigail Fowell, daughter of Jason & Cari Fowell (Livingston); Zachary Kohlenberg, son of John & Tammy Kohlenberg (Livingston); Cade Kuhls, son of Ryan & Audra Kuhls (Livingston); Reid Lundell, son of Tim & Lisa Lundell (Livingston); and Treyton Starkey, son of Natasha Starkey (Montfort).

“It is truly our honor to welcome these outstanding students and their families and to present these awards.  We are hopeful that in a few short years we will see these students as seniors as we present our annual scholarships.  We are hopeful that the monies that they have received with their award certificates will be the seed monies for their post-secondary education plans.” said Fred Skaife, chair of the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation.

The 5th grade academic achievement awards are funded by a bequest of $30,000, given by Elizabeth Summers in honor of her two older, twin sisters – Josephine and Genevieve Kalile – who attended the Platteville Normal School and were rural school teachers.

Elizabeth Summers (1918-2008) was born in Fennimore to a farming family. Her parents, John and Rose Kilile, had 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.

The Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, was established in 2000.  Its mission is to build an endowment that provides private resources for the support of the Iowa-Grant School District.  The Foundation’s work includes providing scholarships to graduating seniors and making grants in support of innovative and creative educational programming that are beyond the boundaries of the Iowa-Grant School District budget.  For more information or to make a donation to the Foundation contact IGEF advisory board chair Fred Skaife ([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