Date: August 27th, 2014

Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation Awards Elizabeth Summers Academic Achievement Awards

From left:  5th grade Iowa-Grant teacher Holly Allen, Elizabeth Summers award recipients Elly Lindner, Nick Connolly, Sage Soman, Isaac Hill, and IGEF board chair Fred Skaife.

From left: 5th grade Iowa-Grant teacher Holly Allen, Elizabeth Summers award recipients Elly Lindner, Nick Connolly, Sage Soman, Isaac Hill, and IGEF board chair Fred Skaife.

Four 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 2013-2014 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, Mrs. Kathy Brockman and Mrs. Holly Allen.

The recipients include Nick Connolly, son of Rick and Beth Connolly (Montfort); Isaac Hill, son of Ryan and Anne Hill (Montfort); Elly Lindner, daughter of Greg and Heidi Lindner (Highland); and Sage Soman, daughter of Mickey Siedenburg (Rewey).

Iowa-Grant School was contacted in 2010 by Fennimore Attorney David Kurth, representing the Summers estate. 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. In her Trust documents, Ms. Summers specified that the monies available annually were to be used for academic awards for outstanding 5th grade students. The Iowa Grant School Board directed that the funds be administered by the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation (IGEF), a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin.

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.

“It is truly our honor to welcome these outstanding students 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 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