Grand Island Public Schools Foundation welcomes new board members, announces officers for 2021
At their January 20 meeting, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Board of Directors elected Vikki Deuel, President; Zach Butz, Vice-President; and Tom Gdowski, Secretary/Treasurer. Kirk Ramsey and Jim Jeffries retired from the board. The board elected K.C. Hehnke and Audrey Lutz as new board members.
“We have been blessed to have experienced the steady commitment of Kirk Ramsey and Jim Jeffries for the last several years. They will be missed,” said Traci Skalberg, Executive Director. President Vikki Deuel concurred adding, “We are also pleased to welcome K.C. and Audrey to the Foundation Board. Each of them have been involved in the GIPS experience for a long time and their expertise will be a valued asset for the GIPS Foundation.”
K.C. Hehnke is co-owner of Jerry’s Sheet Metal in Grand Island. He is a graduate of Grand Island Senior High and Mesa Community College. He has worked in the family business since 1988. Always an Islander, Hehnke was head girls softball coach for Grand Island Senior High from 2008 – 2019. He currently serves on the Central Nebraska Growth Foundation Board and has served several other community betterment organizations including the Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation, the Grand Island Downtown Business Improvement District, the Platt-Duetsche, and Scorpions Softball Club. Hehnke and his wife Deb, live in Grand Island.
Audrey Lutz is Executive Director of the Multicultural Coalition. She is also a Department of Justice-Accredited Representative and practices immigration law. Lutz is a graduate of Grand Island Senior High and has her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Women’s and Gender Studies, with concentrations in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and she is currently working towards her Masters of Human Relations in Diversity, Equity and Social Justice through the University of Oklahoma. Lutz has served on the CRANE Transit/Senior Citizen Industries Board of Directors, Friendship House, Inc. Board of Directors, Project Connect Steering Committee, Back2School Bash Steering Committee, First Presbyterian Church Mission & Outreach Committee, and Leadership Tomorrow Program Committee.
Others serving on the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Board of Directors are Dr. Connie Allen, Bianca Ayala, Kathie Degen, Todd Enck, Jenna Grenier, Vince Hernandez, Kim Jensen, Erin Marsh, Pam Price, Roger Schmidt, and Dr. Rob Winter. Ex-officio members are Linsey Jurgens, Dr. Tawana Grover, Virgil Harden, Kari Price, and Executive Director Traci Skalberg.
The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is the tax-exempt organization that accepts gifts on behalf of the Grand Island Public Schools. Since the Foundation’s inception in 1983, its mission and goal are to enhance a tax-funded education by creating additional opportunities for students through philanthropic means. Programs and projects that fall under the Foundation’s enhancement umbrella include booster clubs, college scholarships for Grand Island Senior High School students, dual enrollment scholarships, facility enhancement, teacher and student recognition, alumni relations, the Grand Island Senior High School Hall of Honor, and the Classroom Mini-Grant Program. The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation manages more than 150 funds designed by donors that annually make grants to invest in the students of the Grand Island Public Schools.