Derek and M.J. Dachelet have strong beliefs in education and community.
Those passions led them to explore the formation of a permanent endowment whose mission is to provide support for special programs and initiatives of the Belmont Community Schools.
The Dachelets were a part of a group of Belmont citizens and school advocates who came together during 2013 to study the options for creating everlasting support for the schools.
Ultimately that group of citizens moved forward, as a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, organizing an advisory board and beginning the process of educating the community about the mission and goals of an Excellence in Education Fund to support the Belmont Schools.
The Dachelets were among the first to commit resources for the formation of the fund. Their pledge of $10,000 guaranteed the fund’s formation.
“We support the Belmont Excellence in Education Fund because it is important to let teachers know that their community supports them and the innovative opportunities they want to provide for our children,” said Derek. “By making an endowment gift which generates monies in perpetuity, our school teachers will know that this support is available each year. Our hope is that this extra funding will help make possible educational activities that might not otherwise have happened.”
In 1974, M.J.’s parents relocated to Belmont. M.J. and eight of her brothers and sisters are Belmont graduates. M.J. has dedicated her career to education, working at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College for 25 years.
Derek joined the Belmont community just over a decade ago. He, too, has dedicated his talent to education, first at UW-Platteville and now at Southwest Tech. The Dachelets are active in the Belmont community both with the school and with the Lions Club.
The Belmont Excellence in Education Fund Advisory Board meets in the high school library on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. Members include Chad Bahr, Emily Christensen, Mary Demo, Tammy Haag, Dennis Popp, Kristie Popp, Kathy Miller-Riechers, and Jim Siedenburg.
Currently the board is seeking grant applications from teachers for special and innovative projects. The board will make its initial grant award yet this spring.