News & Events

Nero Memorial Grants Awarded During Teacher Appreciation Week

May 2024

Image titleImage titleImage titleThe Cedar Falls Schools Foundation celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week with three surprise visits to support new teachers pursuing additional education. Grants were made possible from the generous memorial donations made to the Nero Memorial Grant Fund.

John and Doris Nero dedicated their careers to education as teachers and guidance counselors. After John's passing in 2011, Doris established the fund to continue John’s passion for helping and encouraging new teachers, especially to pursue professional development. “The chance to remember these wonderful past educators, while supporting some of our newest educators is a win-win. We feel privileged to get to be a part of it,” stated Monica Boyer, Foundation Executive Director.

Three Nero Memorial Grants in the amount of $575 each have been awarded this year to:

  • Avriel Ryan, 4th grade teacher at North Cedar Elementary, who is pursuing her Principalship M.A.E. at the University of Northern Iowa.
  • Sarah Venem, 5th grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary, who is in the Curriculum Studies Master’s Program at Morningside University.
  • Hannah Bustamante, science teacher at Cedar Falls High School, who is taking a course called, The History, Philosophy, and Nature of Science at the University of Northern Iowa.

Awarded annually, 21 Cedar Falls Community School District teachers have been supported through this fund so far.

Supporting Seniors with Scholarships

May 2024

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On May 7, at the Cedar Falls High School Honors Convocation, our donors made a very special impact and investment to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of our 2024 scholarship recipients. The following 19 scholarships, amounting to $32,000 total, were awarded. Scholarships were from $1,000 each, unless otherwise noted.

Bill Close & Ron Streed smARTstart Scholarship: Ljiljana Anderson
Bill Ellinger Memorial Scholarship: William Pease
Cedar Falls Rough Risers Kiwanis Club Scholarship: Henry Wiering
Dan and Bea Brown Memorial Scholarship ($4,000): Amaiyah Korf
Do Better. Be Better. Scholarship: Maddie Gallagher
Elsa Roberts Memorial Scholarship: Evan Myers
Frank and Dorothy Horn Memorial Scholarship: Tate Bakula
Janelle Wilks Memorial Scholarship: Ava Davis
Kathy Bunger Memorial Scholarship: Sriya Kalala
Kristine Martinson and Family Scholarship: Abigail Dvorak
Lauterbach Memorial Scholarship ($4,000): Maddie Gallagher
Lauterbach Memorial Scholarship ($4,000): Ava Davis
Lauterbach Memorial Scholarship ($4,000): Abigail Dvorak
Rick VerHeul Memorial Scholarship ($2,000): Ethan Beneke
Robert and Hazel Messer Scholarship: Anna Berger
Ronald E. Juhl Memorial Scholarship: Luke DeGabriele
Sandy Remmert Memorial Scholarship: Amelia Bryant
Scott Sterrett Memorial Scholarship: Adalie Carlson
Todd Blanford Memorial Scholarship: Lily Myers

To read more about our scholarships, click here.
Best wishes Class of 2024!

Scott Sterrett Memorial Scholarship Fund Established

February 2024

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At their February Board Meeting, Cedar Falls Schools Foundation board members and staff accepted a donation from Paul Rae and Alex O’Connell, Fast Track Racing co-owners and Steve, Teresa and Todd Sterrett to establish the Scott Sterrett Memorial Scholarship Fund.  

Scott Sterrett was a 1987 graduate of Cedar Falls High School who had a passion for serving his community as a reserve officer with the Cedar Falls Police Department. He was an avid runner, participating in 23 marathons – the Boston Marathon twice, and the Chicago and Dallas Marathons multiple times and was a member of Nazareth Lutheran Church. In 2018, Scott passed away after a fight with pancreatic cancer. A race is held annually in his memory, with proceeds now supporting this scholarship.

The first Scott Sterrett Memorial Scholarship will be awarded this May to a student pursuing a degree in the public safety field.

Click here to complete our scholarship application online.

Application for Senior Scholarships Now Available!

January 2024

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The Cedar Falls Schools Foundation will be awarding over $30,000 in scholarships this year to Cedar Falls graduates. All CFHS seniors pursuing higher education next fall are encouraged to submit an online application.

By completing a single application, seniors will be matched to all eligible scholarships. Some scholarships support students with financial need. Others are merit-based, recognizing students’ academic, extra-curricular, and community-based achievements. Others are designed to support certain fields of study, demographics or specific institutions. Scholarships may be one-time awards or annually renewed.

Application deadline is March 17, 2024. Applications will be reviewed by a scholarship selection committee and will be awarded at the Honors Convocation Ceremony on May 7, 2024.

CFSF is privileged to manage scholarship funds made possible solely through the generosity of alumni, staff, community members, businesses and organizations. Click here to see a full listing of CFSF scholarships.

Over $38,000 Awarded in 2023-2024 Excellence Grants!

November 2023

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The Cedar Falls Schools Foundation is pleased to announce the following Excellence Grants for the 2023-2024 School Year. Focusing on the areas of innovation, memorable experiences and wellness, these grants, amounting to $38,030, will expand opportunities for students and staff. Thank you alumni, staff, businesses and organizations, community members, and parents for making these grants possible!

2023-2024 Excellence Grants:

  • Universal FIRST LEGO League Discover Implementation in the Preschool Classrooms, All Elementaries | $5,000
  • Flexible Seating in Kindergarten, Aldrich Elementary | $2,000
  • 1st Grade Student Organization and High School Engineers, Cedar Heights Elementary | $1,000
    Grant made possible by Skogman Homes
  • Elevate and Engage with Vertical Thinking Spaces, Cedar Heights Elementary | $1,000
  • Growing by Leaps and Bounds Socially and Emotionally, Cedar Heights Elementary | $1,500
  • "Good" Morning STEM Bins, Hansen Elementary | $2,000
    Grant made in memory of Shirley Connelly, former 3rd Grade Teacher at Hansen Elementary
  • Flexible Seating Options, Lincoln Elementary | $650
  • CKLA Culminating Activities Funding, Lincoln Elementary | $2,000
  • Lincoln Preschool Science Center, Lincoln Elementary| $650
    Grant made in memory of Pat Lyman, former Lincoln Elementary volunteer
  • Read with Me: Growing Hearts and Minds, North Cedar Elementary | $373.30
  • Bringing Learning to Life, North Cedar Elementary | $1,000
  • Cubetto Coding in Preschool, Orchard Hill Elementary | $1,755.40
  • Sensory Kits, Southdale Elementary | $1,000
  • Sensory Corners, Southdale Elementary | $2,000
  • Finch Robots for Coding, Holmes Jr. High | $1,946.75
  • Holmes Optic Band Project, Holmes Jr. High | $3,997.25
  • Optic Watch Band Class Set, Peet Jr. High | $4,941.80 Grant made in memory of Jim & Karen Bolger, Karen was a former P.E. Teacher at Peet Junior High
  • Science Bowl/Quiz Bowl Buzzer System, High School | $529.95
  • Tiger Pal Totes, High School | $686
  • NASA Student Launch Initiative - CFHS Rocket Club, High School | $2,000
    Grant made possible in part by the Class of 1970
  • New Beginnings, New Music!, High School | not to exceed $2,000
    Grant made possible by the Class of 1968

Click here to l earn more about CFSF Excellence Grants!

Welcome New Board Member!

October 2023

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The Cedar Falls Schools Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Board Members – Kathy Butler. Ms. Butler will fill a school district seat on the board. Ms. Butler is a Special Education Paraeducator at Lincoln Elementary and has a child currently attending Cedar Falls Schools.

Welcome New Board Members!

August 2023

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The Cedar Falls Schools Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Board Members – Bonnie Wulfekuhle and Rochelle Kane. Ms. Wulfekuhle and Ms. Kane will fill community member seats on the board. Ms. Wulfekuhle worked as the Office Coordinator for the foundation for the last three years and is now beginning her career in nursing at UnityPoint Health. Ms. Kane is a Director for South Hills Senior Living. Both have children currently attending Cedar Falls Schools.

Floyd & Sherry Winter Sustainability Fund Established

July 2023

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At their July Board Retreat, Cedar Falls Schools Foundation (CFSF) board members and staff presented Floyd Winter, founding Foundation President and retired district administrator, with a plaque celebrating the establishment of the Floyd & Sherry Winter Sustainability Fund. The plaque will be displayed in the Foundation’s office to honor the time, talent and treasure the Winters have given the Foundation. “We’ll always have a passion for Cedar Falls Schools, so we want to do our part to ensure its successful future,” commented Mr. Winter.

The endowed fund will be used to support operating expenses of the CFSF. If you would like to contribute to the sustainability of the Foundation, or would like to honor the Winters, gifts may be made to this fund at

Pictured: Floyd Winter with Foundation Board Members and staff

Class of 1968 Celebrates 55th Reunion with $55,000 Gift to Foundation

June 2023

Image titleFour years ago, a group from the Cedar Falls High School Class of 1968 came together to discuss ways to celebrate their 55th High School Reunion. They wanted to give back and support future Tigers, so they set to work soliciting funds from classmates for the Cedar Falls Schools Foundation. They came up with a catchy campaign slogan and a lofty goal: $55,000 by 55!

Over Sturgis Falls weekend, Monica Boyer, Executive Director, attended one of their reunion events to accept a $55,033.60 check from the legacy committee, representing the combined gifts from classmates. A Class of 1968 Excellence Grants Endowed Fund has been established to support one grant each year, named in honor of the class. Excellence Grants are available to all Cedar Falls Community Schools District staff each fall, and support the purchases of learning materials and opportunities for students outside of the district’s budget.

Thank you, Class of 1968, for showing your pride and enthusiasm, proving there is great truth to ‘once a tiger, always a tiger’! We are honored to have you as a partner in our mission in supporting, enhancing and expanding opportunities throughout Cedar Falls Community Schools.

Pictured (L to R): Monica Boyer, Cedar Falls Schools Foundation Executive Director with Mark Baldwin, Nancy Swearingen, Jim Seeley, Barbara Hatinger, Linda Kennedy and Carol Watson, Class of 1968 Legacy Fund Committee

Foundation Hosts High School Open House

June 2023

Image titleOver Sturgis Falls weekend, the Cedar Falls Schools Foundation hosted an Open House at the current Cedar Falls High School. Hundreds of alumni, family, friends and community members attended to walk the halls of their old high school.

Pictured (L to R): Megann Tresemer, Jessie Sorensen and Jaymie Odell, Cedar Falls Schools Foundation board members and Monica Boyer, Executive Director

Foundation Celebrates Class of 2023

May 2023

Image titleTogether with Senior Leadership, the Cedar Falls Schools Foundation happily sponsored the Class of 2023 Senior Breakfast on May 26 at Nazareth Evangelical Lutheran Church. Seniors enjoyed breakfast catered by HyVee and watched their senior video. Following the breakfast, seniors went to graduation practice then back to their elementary and junior high buildings for the annual senior walk.

The Foundation would like to thank their 2023 Platinum, Gold and Silver Business Sponsors for contributing to the success of this event – Platinum: i smile Orthodontics and Skogman Homes; Gold: Highway 63 Diner, Montage, Panther Builders and BTC Capital Management; Silver: Cedar Falls Booster Club, Magee Construction Company, Vorland Chiropractic, Coloff Media, Harris Cleaning Service & Sales, Inc., and Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Congratulations Class of 2023!

Supporting Seniors with Scholarships

May 2023

Image titleOn May 9, at the Cedar Falls High School Honors Convocation, our donors made a very special impact and investment to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of our 2023 scholarship recipients. Eighteen scholarships, amounting to $31,000 total, were awarded:

  • Bill Close & Ron Streed smARTstart Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Sarah Kreck
  • Bill Ellinger Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Rachel Mandt
  • Cedar Falls Rough Risers Kiwanis Club Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Torin Brown
  • Dan and Bea Brown Memorial Scholarship - $4,000 awarded to John Pezley
  • Do Better. Be Better. Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Colby Cryer
  • Elsa Roberts Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Alli Gray
  • Frank and Dorothy Horn Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Briar Stover
  • Kathy Bunger Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Reagan Stotser
  • Kristine Martinson and Family Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Annalise Martinson
  • Lauterbach Memorial Scholarship - $4,000 awarded to Anna Wetlaufer
  • Lauterbach Memorial Scholarship- $4,000 awarded to Kylie Buchholz
  • Lauterbach Memorial Scholarship - $4,000 awarded to Megan Anton
  • Legacy of Learning Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Carter Guse
  • MIRAE Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Jordan Jones-Whitaker
  • Rick VerHeul Memorial Scholarship - $2,000 awarded to Andrew Langner
  • Ronald E. Juhl CAPS Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Johnna Dieken
  • Sandy Remmert Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Jaden Swarts
  • Todd Blanford Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 awarded to Henry Giddens

To read more about our scholarships, click here.

Best wishes Class of 2023!

Molly Magill Awarded Nero Memorial Grant for Continuing Education

May 2023

Image titleMolly Magill, Cedar Falls High School, has been awarded a $575 John and Doris Nero Memorial Grant from the Cedar Falls Schools Foundation for continuing education. The Nero's dedicated their careers to education as teachers and guidance counselors. After John's passing in 2011, his wife Doris established the fund to continue John’s passion for helping and encouraging new teachers, especially to pursue professional development. “This is a highlight of our year. It’s an opportunity for us to show new teachers that we support them, while continuing the legacy of the Nero’s” commented Monica Boyer, Foundation Executive Director.

Molly is an English and Acting teacher and will be using the grant toward her first Master’s course, Introduction to English Studies, through Ohio University. "The program at Ohio University encourages students to find their voice as they move through coursework; that is my goal with my students," shared Molly.

Awarded annually, seventeen teachers have thus far been impacted by the generosity of the family and friends of John and Doris Nero.

Congratulations Molly and best of luck to you as you continue your education!

Pictured (L to R): Rafael Benitez, CFHS Associate Principal, Kathy Grauerholz (daughter of John and Doris Nero), Monica Boyer, Molly Magill, Jason Wedgbury, CFHS Principal, Lisa Johnson and Amy Kohlhaas, Curriculum Professional Development Leaders

Foundation Awards $350,000 for Furniture at New High School

April 2023

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Ms. Elna Christensen left a legacy to “perpetuate quality of life in her hometown,” through a $1,390,000  endowed gift, establishing a fund in memory of her parents, Nels and Kirstine Christensen, for the Cedar Falls Community School District.

Since 2005, the district has been able to purchase various items such as technology equipment, instruments and makerspace materials with the earnings from Ms. Christensen’s fund, held and managed by the Cedar Falls Schools Foundation (CFSF). On April 3, foundation board members and staff presented the district with a check for $350,000, the largest single disbursement from the fund since it was established. The money will be used to purchase new furniture for the new high school.

“What a gift it’s been to see the many areas of impact this fund has supported. We’re thankful for Ms. Christensen’s passion for Cedar Falls Schools and look forward to continuing her impact,’ shared Monica Boyer, CFSF Executive Director.

Double Your Gift!

April 2023

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GreenState Credit Union members can receive a matched gift (up to $500) to the Cedar Falls Schools Foundation through April 30 with the credit unions Give & Grow to Schools program.

Donations should be submitted through GreenState’s website.  Thank you GreenState Credit Union for supporting our staff and students!

CAPS Associates Receive Grant for Plant Project at New High School

March 2023

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Four Cedar Falls Schools graduates – Elle Culberson, Matthew Brokenshire, Alex Smith-Masters and Elie Considine recently received news that a grant proposal they submitted has received funding. Ten thousand dollars from an anonymous foundation will support the project, entitled “Implementing Plants in the New High School,” which was part of their work during their Business Solutions strand of Cedar Falls Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS). The group worked with INVISION Architecture and researched the health benefits, types of plants, budget and placement of plants at the new high school.

“Our CAPS program has been so fortunate to work with Invision Architecture on multiple projects and this one was extra special as our associates jumped in head first. From research and analysis of building designs, to pitching in front of the board of education, our associates took great initiative to ensure their project came to fruition,” commented Chris Wood, CAPS Careers instructor.

In their discovery process regarding health, the associates found many positives that could benefit the new high school’s learning environment. Plants freshen air, improve student and staff wellbeing, increase attention and encourage responsibility. Plant suggestions, based on their resiliency, included the Areca Palm and Snake Plant, along with plant walls. Plant walls are a sleek, modern and adaptable to the environment. “The new high school has been in the making for over 10 years. Time, money and love has been poured into the plans and we want to ensure the learning environment is best for students and staff,” stated Elle.

“It was great working with CFHS students implementing known research that biophilic design and plants in our learning environments impact student learning and health,” said Brad Leeper, Partner, Architect, INVISION.

The High School’s Environmental Science Club, led by Mr. Jason Lang will implement the plant project at the new high school. The donation was made to the Cedar Falls Schools Foundation.

Special Guests get a Sneak Peek of the New High School!

March 2023

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Dr. Andy Pattee, superintendent, led past school board members and past Cedar Falls Schools administrators on a tour of the new high school, set to open in the fall of 2024. “We want to acknowledge the role our past school board members and administrators had in the construction of the new high school – giving them the opportunity to be some of the first people to see the space felt like a great way to honor their contributions. We can’t wait for the entire community to see what they’re supporting!” shared Monica Boyer, Cedar Falls Schools Foundation Executive Director.

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