Drums for music education. Books for literacy support. A character program for conflict resolution. This month, the Pelican Education Foundation (PEF) awarded more than $5,000 for these and other classroom supports to Klamath Falls City School educators, as well as $9,500 in scholarships to graduating seniors at Klamath Union High School.

“This is the highlight of our year’s work,” said PEF Board member Bill Jennings, who presented the Foundation’s scholarships at Klamath Union’s Senior Awards Night on June 7. “Our Foundation exists to enrich educational opportunities for city school students, and it is a privilege to represent Klamath’s many community members who support classroom learning and post-secondary education.”

Vanessa Lopez was one of two KU seniors to receive a $1,000 Wayne Scott Memorial Scholarship, which will support her goal of becoming a labor and delivery nurse or an OB/GYN physician’s assistant.

“Being there to support and help people is what I have been doing my whole life with my family,” said Lopez of her interest in medicine, “and I would love to continue doing that for the rest of my life.”

Despite multiple personal challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, Lopez took nearly every honors-level course offered at KU, in addition to dual-credit and college courses. She surpassed high school graduation requirements by the end of her junior year.

“The main stability I had growing up was my education,” wrote Lopez, “and that is why I work so hard to keep it up.”

PEF Scholarships for graduating seniors included:

  • $1,000 Wayne Scott Scholarships to Vanessa Lopez and Hailey DeGroot
  • $1,000 Wendell Switzer Scholarship to Daniel Zacarias
  • $1,000 Glidden STEM Scholarship to Ulisses Hernandez
  • $1,000 Dalla Costa Scholarships to Ulisses Hernandez, Ana Mendez, and Mikeal Sanchez (photo 2, L to R)
  • $1,000 TDWY Waihun Yee Awards to Ulisses Hernandez and Avery Joyner
  • $500 Klamath Promise Scholarship to Anessa Naegle

Partner in Education (PIE) Grants for educators included:

  • $1000 to Ashley Sacco at Pelican Elementary School for hand-held clickers that encourage participation and lessen anxiety in the classroom.
  • $502 to Michelle Distefano at Conger Elementary School for a cart to store Chromebooks and headphones.
  • $1000 to Stephanie Dahm, Brian Ellis, Kim Dunaway, and Gabriel Cervantes at Pelican Elementary School for sets of books to support reading at the intermediate level.
  • $600 to Shari Glidden at Ponderosa Middle School for a literacy-rich environment.
  • $330 to Gretchen Harwood for a set of drums for students at Conger, Roosevelt, and Pelican Elementary schools.
  • $400 to Kelly Syrnk, Jennifer Reister, and Cindy Smith at Ponderosa Middle School to support the holiday store where students spend Bobcat Bucks on gifts for family and friends.
  • $400 to Makenzie Folsom at Pelican Elementary School for Kelso’s Choice, a character education program for conflict resolution and reducing tattling and bullying.
  • $1000 to Mindi Waggoner at Conger Elementary School to purchase sets of books for intermediate grade level students.

The Pelican Education Foundation is a 501c3 founded in 2010 by Klamath community volunteers to enhance learning for city school students. The nonprofit raises funds for student scholarships and teacher/staff grants. For more information, see pelicaneducationfoundation.com.

Pelican Education Foundation Board member Bill Jennings presents the Wayne Scott Scholarship to KU senior Vanessa Lopez at KU’s Senior Awards Night June 7

KU seniors Ulisses Hernandez (L) and Avery Joyner pose at KU’s Senior Awards Night June 7 with their certificates for the TDWY Waihun Yee Award, established this year through the Pelican Education Foundation