From The Community, To The Schools,
For The Future.
OPEF at the Farmer's Market

Come out and visit us at the Oconomowoc Farmer's Market on Saturday, August 15 from 8am-Noon in the Bank Five Nine Campus Parking Lot located at 155 W. Wisconsin Avenue. Meet some of our board members, learn more about our grant funded projects and discover how you can support the OPEF mission. We look forward to seeing you there!
Support our Schools, Staff and Students
Our students and future rely on the generosity of Oconomowoc area community members and businesses. Since 2007, OPEF has given over $500,000 for classroom grants, but there is still an ongoing need for additional grant projects within our schools. This past spring, o ur board approved funding to help purchase hotspots for the district in order to ensure all students had equal access to virtual learning during the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. With your help we can continue to fund innovative and unique learning opportunities that benefit students throughout the district. Thank you!
New OPEF Board Members
Michele Smith joined the OPEF Board in March 2020. Michele has a 1st and 3rd grader who attend Greenland Elementary, as well as, an active 2 year old. Michele has worked as an interior designer for the past 16 years in the contract furniture industry creating innovative work environments in the corporate, healthcare, municipal and educational markets. When Michele is not working or volunteering in her kids' classrooms, she enjoys spending time with her family. They especially enjoy hiking, biking, working in their vegetable garden, boating, kayaking and fishing.

Given her designing background, we are excited to have Michele serve on the OPEF Annual Ball committee. Michele says that being on the board is important to her because she is interested in serving and giving back to the school community that has enriched the lives of her children.

Michele encourages other parents and community members to get involved with OPEF because "connecting with individuals and building support of local community organizations helps to weave the strong educational foundation that we all want for our children throughout their years in OASD."
Welcome Michele!
Jennifer Leinen joined the OPEF Board in May 2020. Jennifer lives in Oconomowoc with her husband and three children. She has two daughters in 6th and 8th grade who attend Nature Hill Intermediate and a son in third grade at Meadow View Elementary. Jennifer has served on the PTO board at Meadow View and on the board for the Oconomowoc Lacrosse Club.

In her free time she enjoys watching her children play soccer, lacrosse and softball. Jennifer is excited to be part of OPEF to help give children the best experience and education possible. She looks forward to serving on the OPEF grants committee. Welcome Jennifer!
Megan Larson joined the OPEF Board in March 2020. Megan is the mother of 5 active children and a 6th on the way! Her children are ages 10, 8, 6, 4 and 20 months. In fall, she will have three children attending Greenland Elementary and one at Nature Hill. They keep her very busy, but she enjoys volunteering in their classrooms because she feels it is such a gift to be able to witness the inner workings of our great schools from the inside.

When Megan is not attending her kids' sporting events, helping with homework or volunteering, she enjoys running, hiking, biking, cooking and kayaking. She enjoys taking road trips with her family and visiting their favorite local beaches.

Megan is excited to be a part of the OPEF board because she feels that supporting the school district through the generous contributions of many is such an honorable and important mission. According to Megan, "our schools and teachers provide so much joy, education, stability and life lessons for our children, that I think it is wonderful to help in any way possible." Megan also looks forward to serving on the grants committee and we look forward to hearing her ideas. Welcome Megan!
2019-2020 OPEF Grant in Action
OpPOURtunity is a coffee cart and business plan at Oconomowoc High School designed to help students gain transferable skills and increase their employability after graduation. The OpPOURtunity cart allows students to improve their pragmatic and social skills, work on exchanging and tracking money, practice fulfilling orders and be engaged in side by side peer work. This grant, awarded to Katy Hayes, Alyssa Schmitz and Paula Minix, also provides opportunities for collaboration with three other career ready programs across the high school: FabLab, Video Design and Educational Internship.

President's Message
June brought the 2019-20 school year to an end and it certainly looked different than what we expected when the school year began. I enjoyed seeing our school staff and administrators get creative to make sure students' accomplishments were acknowledged and celebrated through virtual celebrations, yard signs, car parades, and much more. These activities reminded me of the importance of resilience and flexibility. Together they help us recover from and respond to challenging conditions.

As OPEF’s mission statement outlines, our focus is on providing funds for innovative educational opportunities and experiences. Primarily that has happened through the funding of classroom grants, but what we experienced recently redefined our classrooms. As a board, we quickly realized we needed to adjust to the changing needs. So, when living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms became virtual learning classrooms, OPEF donated funds to help purchase hot spots for students and staff to ensure an internet connection for everyone.

We don’t know what the next school year will look like yet, but we do know that whatever that may be, OPEF will remain resilient and flexible in order to continue to support our district's changing needs. I ask for your help in these efforts. Please consider a donation to OPEF in your planned giving this year because our students deserve opportunities that encourage leadership, foster excellence, and nurture a sense of belonging no matter what their classrooms look like.

Thank you!

Barb Woodruff
OPEF Board President
2020-2021 OPEF Board of Directors
2020-2021 OPEF Board of Directors:
Barb Woodruff, President ; Maura Rich, Treasurer ; Chris Skumatz, Secretary ; Laura Baird, Tom Bartos, Matt Carrico, Rachel Lloyd, Allison Mueller, Lori Naylor, Kerry Rich, Kristin Schreindl, Vicky Voelz and we would like to welcome new board members Megan Larson, Michele Smith and Jennifer Leinen. Katie Westerman, formerly OPEF Board Vice-President and Grants Chair currently serves as Marketing and Communications Coordinator.
P.O. Box 444
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066
Phone: 262-560-2178