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Welcome to the September, 2021, edition of Rise Grand Island, the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 6, Number 5, as we are nearing the homestretch for year six as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

On Sunday, August 22, 2021 the public was invited to a rededication ceremony to celebrate the restoration, renovation and new construction of Grand Island’s Memorial Stadium. The stadium was open from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. for self-guided tours. There was a Rededication Ceremony on Jack Martin Field at 7:00 p.m. The ceremony included the 1st Infantry Division Band of the US Army, Fort Riley, the GISH Islander Marching Band, a presentation of colors, a Key to the City presentation, a Dedication from Chaplain Maj. Gen. William Dendinger and a 21 Gun Salute by the United Veterans Club Honor Guard.

A collection of videos, photos and additional information listed on the gimemorialstadium.org website.

The Annual Giving Coordinator will be responsible for the leadership, management, and execution of the GIPS Foundation’s annual giving program, special events, and grants. The successful candidate will be self-motivated, entrepreneurial, and willing to take complete ownership of critical duties. A minimum 5 years of development experience including demonstrated success in individual giving, corporate sponsorship, alumni giving, and special events fundraising and management, is preferred. The candidate will maintain an in-depth knowledge of the GIPS Foundation’s strategic funding priorities to establish long-term partnerships and strengthen existing relationships with donors. The position is 12-month position at 32 hours per week. Salary range $36,000 – $45,000 + benefits after probationary period.

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is pleased to offer the first round of the 2021-2022 annual mini-grant cycle. “Since our beginning in 1983, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation has been committed to enhancing and supporting student opportunities. The Foundation’s annual mini-grant cycle provides a unique way for us to invest in students while encouraging teachers to “Dream Big” and obtain funding for special projects and activities that are outside the realm of the school district’s budget. We know that GIPS teachers and staff are not only amazingly resourceful and resilient, but also extremely imaginative. We look forward to seeing how we can help them realize their big dreams for this school year,” said Vikki Deuel, GIPS Foundation Board President.

The public is invited to attend this free event on August 22. Self-guided tours start at 6:00 pm, ceremony at 7:00 pm, and tours resume until 9:00 pm.

On Thursday, August 5, 2021 the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and First National Bank presented the entire staff of Grand Island Public Schools with the Extraordinary Heroes Award at the Heartland Events Center as part of the Grand Island Public Schools Welcome Back Ceremony for staff.
This award was a deviation in practice from the annual Teacher of the Year Awards in recognition of the Extraordinary Year that required tenacious grit and grace from all staff. Nominations were solicited last spring and then mailed to all nominees with a small gift. No individual winners were chosen, rather all were celebrated. In all there were 327 people nominated and 864 nominations.

Welcome to the July, 2021, edition of Rise Grand Island, the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 6, Number 4, as we hit our stride in year six as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

Welcome to the May, 2021, edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 6, Number 3, as we hit our stride in year six as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

This year’s campaign was themed “Extraordinary Times. Extraordinary Resilience. Extraordinary Opportunities.” The campaign included a $5,027 challenge gift from the Sam Foltz Foundation. The Foltz Dream Big Challenge Gift was used to encourage staff to give new or increased gifts to the campaign. Jill Foltz was a part of the Facebook Live event to celebrate the extraordinary giving of GIPS Staff. The campaign included several competitions to make it fun. The winners of these contests were also announced.

Why Go Big and GIVE? Our students! With help from donors like you, the GIPS Foundation provides classroom grants, college scholarships, and student success grants. During the past year, we have also supported our students and staff through personal hardships. Utility bills, internet bills, transportation, medical bills, and mental health have all been a focus. We have 10,070 reasons to Go Big GIVE!

Grand Island Senior High in partnership with the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and Home Federal Bank honored the top-ranked graduating seniors from Grand Island Senior High during an academic recognition ceremony on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Grand Island Senior High Auditorium.

All students at Grand Island Senior High who graduate Summa Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude, and have submitted a GIPS Foundation scholarship application, will be awarded at least one scholarship through the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation’s Academic Aristocrat Scholarship Program. Honor students will receive a total of $53,725 at this presentation.

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2021 Extraordinary Heroes in Education Award. The program is sponsored by First National Bank. The deadline for 2021 school year nominations is May 21, 2021.

"How grateful we are for the tenacious and heroic efforts of our teachers, administrators, and staff to keep our schools open, meeting the needs of the more than 10,000 students of Grand Island," said Traci Skalberg, GIPS Foundation director. "This program gives us the mechanism to reach out to the community and help them recognize their heroes in education. Anyone can nominate a GIPS Staff member. All nominations are shared with those who were nominated," she said.

Welcome to the March, 2021, edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 6, Number 2, as we begin our sixth year as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

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.

Welcome to the January, 2021, edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 6, Number 1, as we begin our sixth year as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

Major Saver Cards return to schools, selling cards in a “contactless” way.

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is pleased to offer the second round of the 2020-2021 annual mini-grant cycle. “The GIPS Foundation Board is committed to investing in students. The pandemic has created different realities for learning. We know GIPS Teachers and Staff are creative and resilient. We look forward to helping them invest in students in these extraordinary times,” said Kirk Ramsey, GIPS Foundation Board President.

The GIPS Foundation (GIPSF) has engaged Match Nonprofit Consulting to conduct an organizational assessment to guide our future planning and we want your input during this important phase for our organization. Please take 5-10 minutes to complete the following questionnaire by Friday, November 20, 2020.

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is pleased to release $6,995 in Fall Classroom Grant Awards. Seven classroom grants were funded this fall that will benefit 3,298 students of the Grand Island Public Schools.

In 2020 style with masks, sans media or cheerleaders, GIPS Foundation Director Traci Skalberg delivered the grants to students and teachers at The Academies of Grand Island Senior High, Engleman Elementary, and Barr Middle School. Recipients were surprised and grateful for the investment in students during these extraordinary times.

Welcome to the November edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 5, Number 6 the last edition of 2020 as the official publication for alumni of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

Grand Island Public Schools’ Early Childhood Education (ECE) program will be able to support an additional 60 preschool students and impact hundreds more, thanks to a generous gift provided by JBS.

The $400,000 check was presented to GIPS Thursday morning and will go toward the O’Connor Learning Center project at 2208 N. Webb Road.

Welcome to the September edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 5, Number 5 as we move smartly into this new decade as the official publication for alumni of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

The Office Coordinator/Executive Assistant will coordinate various office tasks to ensure office operations run smoothly. They will also provide support to the Executive Director. The qualified candidate will have a minimum of an Associates degree or five years experience. The position is a 12 month position at 32 hours per week. Salary is $14-$16 per hour, benefits available after probationary period.

At their August 26, 2020 board meeting, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Board reiterated their shared vision and commitment to anti-racism, equity, and access for the students of the Grand Island Public Schools.

The GIPS Foundation Board released the following statement:

In support and solidarity, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Board affirms and commits to the Grand Island Public Schools’ resolution to eliminate racism and promote equity and access for all students. The Foundation will uphold these values through the programs and scholarships we fund, and act in a manner that is inclusive and responsive to our diverse community. Additionally, we will support the Grand Island Public Schools’ efforts to ensure that Every Student, Every Day, is a Success.

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is pleased to offer the first round of the 2020-2021 annual mini-grant cycle. “The GIPS Foundation Board is committed to investing in students. The pandemic has created different realities for learning. We know GIPS Teachers and Staff are creative and resilient. We look forward to helping them invest in students in these times,” said Kirk Ramsey, GIPS Foundation Board President.

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and their corporate sponsor First National Bank traveled to schools to surprise teachers and staff in flash mob style presentations for the 2020 Teacher of the Year Awards. Six individuals were recognized.

The 13-minute video news release featured GIPS Staff Campaign Co-Chairs sharing the results of the campaign that was moved to a virtual platform this year as schools began teaching online.

This year’s campaign has been themed “I give HOPE. I give GIPS. We are Better, Stronger, TOGETHER.” The campaign included a $5,000 challenge gift from Orv Qualsett in memory of his wife Mary.

Welcome to the July edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 5, Number 4, as we move smartly in this new decade as the official publication for alumni of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation has earned the 4-star rating from America’s largest national independent charity evaluator, Charity Navigator. The four-star rating is the highest award for sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Welcome to the May edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 5, Number 3, as we move smartly in this new decade as the official publication for alumni of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

The GIPS Foundation has launched a special give week coinciding with the last official week of school this year to invite community members to express appreciation for, and solidarity with, the phenomenal teachers and staff of the Grand Island Public Schools.

The enormity of the effort to move school to a virtual environment with little training or warning, all while continuing to support students has been nothing short of amazing. Teachers and staff of the Grand Island Public Schools rose up and with determined spirit, delivered a continued curriculum to keep students connected, learning, and even eating!

Hello GIPS family! There are so many reasons to give to the GIPS Foundation, definitely far more than reasons not to give!

So many reasons come to mind for why to give. One major reason that stands out during our new reality, the GIPS foundation stepped up big time to give to families immediately when our district announced the shutdown. They are here to help provide what students and families need as soon as it arises!

I have always thought about mini-grant funding when donating, but that's only a small part of what the foundation actually does! It is amazing to hear things from helping with basic needs, to helping a family pay a bill, or paying the application fee for a student to apply for college, the list goes on and on. The opportunities our GIPS foundation makes possible for us and our community is why I wanted to be a Team Leader last year and a Co-Chair for the foundation this year.

Times are tough for so many people right now, but many are also still able and willing to help others...so #whyNOTgive? It's easy to do.

The contest will run April 17 – May 15. Although contributions will be accepted at any time, May 15 will be the last day contributions will be eligible for the contest. There are 44 teams. Teams are divided by building. Each campus is a team. Barr, Walnut, Westridge, Senior High, and the Kneale Administration building have been split into 4 or more teams.

The team that has the highest percentage of gifts meeting the challenge (gifts qualifying as new or increased) and highest percentage of giving will win the Grand Prize.

The team that has the highest percentage of gifts meeting the t-shirt challenge ($60 or more) will win the Building Prize.

We want to see you! The team with the highest percentage of their staff heroes posting selfies of their new reality in virtual classrooms, or home office/couch/kitchen table with the hashtags #igivehope #igivegips @GIPSFoundation @schoolname will win the Student Success Grant.

It’s all about the kids for me. The GIPS Foundation is all about providing better opportunities for our students. 100% of the donations collected go back to the kids. Teachers do amazing things every day and sometimes they want to provide enrichment opportunities that can not be funded by the district. Kids benefit through teachers who apply for mini grants. I am one of those teachers. 2 years ago I received a mini grant and my students are still utilizing the equipment today!

Grand Island Senior High in partnership with the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and Home Federal Bank honored the top-ranked graduating seniors from Grand Island Senior High during an academic recognition reception on Thursday, April 30 in a Facebook Live Presentation from the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Facebook Account. The presentation started at 7:00 p.m.

All students at Grand Island Senior High who graduate Summa Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude, and have submitted a GIPS Foundation scholarship application, were awarded at least one scholarship through the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation’s Academic Aristocrat Scholarship Program. Honor students received a total of $45,150 at this presentation.

The choice to donate to the GIPS Foundation is a simple one for me. In normal times, it is easy to see how my donations have a direct, positive effect on my students, schools, and community. Grants provide teachers and students with much needed resources and opportunities. Scholarships provide opportunities for young men and women to better themselves after leaving Grand Island Public Schools. Simply put, donations to the GIPS Foundation allow the people, schools, and city that I feel passionate about grow and prosper.

Hello GIPS Staff, I hope all is well with each and every one of you. Our custodial team is busy cleaning GISH and it is very weird not having anyone here. We have been able to get a lot of deep cleaning done. Just want to let you all know that we miss you and can hardly wait for the day that we will all be together here at GISH again.

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Board voted to suspend Round 1 of the annual Classroom Grant Program at their regular board meeting on Wednesday, April 15. Board Chair, Kirk Ramsey relayed that “the GIPS family needs us more than ever to focus resources on the current emergencies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation is responding to this new reality. We hope to resume the classroom grant program when school resumes in buildings.”

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is accepting nominations for Teacher of the Year and Staff Member of the Year. The program is sponsored by First National Bank. The deadline for 2020 school year nominations is May 21, 2020.

Welcome to the March edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 5, Number 2, as we move smartly in this new decade as the official publication for alumni of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation has earned the 4-star rating from America’s largest national independent charity evaluator, Charity Navigator. The four-star rating is the highest award for sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency.

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