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IowaGrant students get Summers awards
IGMS awards
IowaGrant Middle School students receiving academic achievement awards at the July 31 reception, shown with fifth-grade teacher Holly Allen (third from left), included (from left) Gabriel Vivian, Lane Shemak, Carter Christianson, Colin Steffl, Sawyer Dobson and (not pictured) Samantha McLeer.

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 partnership of the Iowa–Grant School District, the Iowa–Grant Educational Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin.

The students earned the award as fifth graders during the 2012–13 academic year. They were selected for being in the top 10 percent of their class as determined by their performance on standardized tests and on the recommendation of their teachers, Kathy Brockman and Holly Allen.

The recipients include Carter Christianson, son of Steve and Christina Christianson of Dodgeville; Sawyer Dobson, son of Mark and Kate Dobson of Montfort; Samantha McLeer, daughter of Richard and Karen McLeer of Cobb; Lane Shemak, son of Tim and Jodi Shemak of Cobb; Colin Steffl, son of Doug and Jessica Steffl of Livingston; and Gabriel Vivian, son of Chad and Errin Vivian of Linden.

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 Summers in honor of her older sisters who were rural school teachers, noting that the monies available were to be used for academic awards for outstanding fifth-grade students. The school board decided that the funds would be administered by the Iowa–Grant Educational Foundation, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin.

Kurth addressed the recipients and their families noting, “Elizabeth’s two older, twin sisters — Josephine and Genevieve Kalile — attended Normal School and were teachers in rural schools. One taught in Boscobel, Mount Hope, Wingville and Castle Rock; the other in Boscobel, Anderson Mills, Beaver Dam and Mount Horeb. Elizabeth made her gifts to the public schools, including Iowa–Grant, in honor of her sisters who had spent their lives educating children.”

“It is truly our honor to welcome these outstanding students and to present these awards,” said Connie Gard, chair of the Iowa–Grant Educational Foundation. “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.”

The Iowa–Grant Educational Foundation’s mission is to build an endowment that provides private resources for the support of the Iowa–Grant School District.