An excellent education is one of the keys to our children’s future success.

JUNE 2014


We have had a wonderful year! Thanks to the generosity of our donors we have surpassed our budgeted fundraising goal. As a result, we were able to meet all of our commitments to our schools and students for the 2013-2014 school year. Thanks to all of our donors for believing that all of our children, from Kindergarten through twelfth grade, deserve a rich and rewarding education!

Our success also provides encouragement as we look ahead to next year and raise the bar on our fundraising efforts. We have already begun that effort with our Annual Giving Campaign spring launch, and we encourage you to make your pledge now by clicking HERE.

Our successes this year were only possible because of the committed WCEF volunteers who gave so much of their time and effort. Words cannot express the gratitude we owe them. Our volunteers, as well as our donors, truly embody our motto... "Together We’re Stronger!"

Have a great summer!

~ Tim Schultz
President WCEF


Spotlight: The Las Lomas English Department Focus on Writing
Collaborative Fundraising Update
Scholar Donors Give Over $221,000 in the 2013-2014 School Year
Jordan Menkes Awarded 2014
DeSa Scholarship
Summary of the Rossmoor Club
for First Half of 2014
Play It Forward! Musical Legends Raise Money for WCEF
Special Event Days at WCI
Local Businesses Help Raise Nearly $60,000 To Support Our Students!
Meet WCEF Business Partner Alphagraphics of Walnut Creek
Survey Says...
We Couldn’t Do It Without You, Volunteers!
New WCEF Board 2014-15
Upcoming Events
to all those who have already made their 2014-2015 school year commitment.
Click here to see the list.

"Thanks to WCEF I enjoy the privilege of learning with and from my colleagues. When my students go to Art, Music & PE, I meet with my grade level colleagues and we plan, half of the time with our coach, for how best to teach our students. I cannot begin to list the ways my teaching has improved because of this collaborative time, but I promise that what I learn directly affects students because we are always working hard to become better teachers."

Judy Mazur, Teacher, Grade 5 Buena Vista Elementary



Spotlight: The Las Lomas English Department Focus on Writing

The Las Lomas English Department teaches no fewer than ten distinct courses, many of which are offered at multiple skill levels (English 1, 2, 3, 4, Public Speaking 1-4, Media Studies, Creative Writing, Journalism, Advanced Placement English, Junior Honors English, and Specifically Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) 1 and 2). Department members also work in other departments to teach Yearbook and multiple English Language Development (ELD) courses.

Las Lomas English teacher Wendy Reeves-Hampton comments, "Common to all of these classes we teach is a purportedly soft skill: writing. However, there’s really nothing soft about it. Writing well takes practice and perseverance; even in today’s world and job market it’s an imperative skill for students to have."


Collaborative Fundraising Update

In June 2013 an article entitled: The Sum of the Parts Is Greater than the Whole: The Move Toward Collaborative Fundraising was published in the WCEF June Newsletter. It was a summary of a meeting held on June 3, 2013 at the Walnut Creek School District (WCSD) offices with WCSD Superintendent and governing board members, principals from WCSD schools, incoming and outgoing presidents of parent organizations, board members and staff of WCEF, and other community members. The group was meeting to learn about a new fundraising model that many non-profits are moving towards and to consider exploring it further as a fundraising model for the WCSD. This model would provide a framework for site parent organizations and WCEF to work together to raise funds in a more successful manor to preserve and enhance the education of all our students K-12.


Scholar Donors Give Over $221,000 in the 2013-2014 School Year

Creating an environment at our schools where all our students can reach their academic potential has always been a priority for WCEF. To that end, three years ago the Walnut Creek Education Foundation (WCEF) announced the formation of the WCEF Scholar Circle. Scholar Circle donors are part of a group of parent and community members that commit to maintaining the quality education in our outstanding schools by giving at an exceptional level. The generosity of our Scholar Circle donors inspires others in our community to give as well. In the 2013-2014 school year, 113 donors gave over $221,000.00 to the Scholar Circle at the following levels:

  • High Honors $1200 - $2399 (92 donors)
  • Distinguished Honors $2400 - $4999 (15 donors)
  • Grand Honors $5000 - $7499 (3 donors)
  • Benefactor $7500 - $9999 (2 donors)
  • Scholar $10,000+ (1 donor)

Supporting WCEF is a true investment in our schools
WCEF has a history of raising money, managing it well, and funding excellent programs. We are deeply grateful to the many families who have made this level of commitment to supporting quality education. We are asking our board members, our current donors, and the entire community to consider an increase in their giving to maintain the quality of education our schools currently provide. Many of our Scholar Donors make ongoing monthly payments to WCEF which enable them to give at an increased level.

Jordan Menkes Awarded 2014 DeSa Scholarship

The eighth annual Michael W. DeSa Memorial Scholarship administered by the Walnut Creek Education Foundation (WCEF), was awarded in the amount of $2,000 to Las Lomas High School senior, Jordan Menkes. The scholarship was presented to Mr. Menkes during Las Lomas High School Senior Awards Night on Tuesday, June 3rd.

The DeSa Family chose Mr. Menkes from among 16 Las Lomas seniors who applied for the scholarship. His achievements exemplify the scholarship criterion, which seeks a well-rounded graduate of the Walnut Creek schools (attending K-12) who has nurtured life’s passions both in school and outside the confines of academia, through service in the community and other pursuits. After graduation from Las Lomas High School, Jordan will attend California State University Chico and will major in Business Administration (management) with a minor in Criminal Justice.


Summary of the Rossmoor Club for First Half of 2014

The Friends of WCEF Club is organized to provide an opportunity for Rossmoor residents to keep abreast of current news and issues related to Rossmoor’s two school districts: the Walnut Creek School District (WCSD)K-8 and the Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD). All Rossmoor residents are invited to attend club meetings that are held at the Creekside Clubhouse four times per year.


Play It Forward! Musical Legends Raise Money for WCEF

There are few opportunities to see great jazz legends mentor and play alongside a group of talented students in order to raise funds for the Walnut Creek School District and Las Lomas High School (Acalanes Union High School District). On May 17th, 2014, that opportunity of musical magic came to fruition.

Jamie Davis (former vocalist for the Count Basie Orchestra) and Lady Bianca (a soul singer, pianist, and song writer and one of the most talented females in the blues field today) came to town to play a one-night-only concert. They shared the stage with Leon Joyce, Jr., Glen Pearson, Roger Glenn and John Shifflett. There were also performances by the Walnut Creek Intermediate Jazz Band and members of the Las Lomas Jazz Band.

Under the direction of Jamie Davis, attendees enjoyed an amazing evening that stirred their souls and moved their feet. Students involved in the production were thrilled to be playing alongside these musical icons.

WCEF would like to thank Sam Beler and Unity Music Foundation for their partnership in bringing this great evening to life. Proceeds from Play it Forward! provide essential support for academic programs and personnel funded by WCEF. Please go to for a complete list of funded programs K-12 or to make a donation in support of Arts Education.

Special Event Days at WCI

It’s been a busy time of year for everyone, and at WCI, students have been making the most of their learning experiences through many different events. See highlights below.

Japan Days - Celebrating the culture of Japan, all WCI 7th grade students enjoyed a day of sushi making, Haiku scrolls, Origami Samurai hats, and traditional Japanese brush painting in January.

Greco-Roman Day - On June 10th, WCI 6th graders participate in a Field Day experience with Olympic based activities, celebrating their studies of Greece and Rome. Students also completed a review of all the cultures they had studied throughout the year.

Byzantine Bazaar Day - WCI 7th graders spent June 4th reviewing the cultures they studied throughout the year. Students visited the lands of - Islam, Africa, Maya/ Inca/Aztec and the Middle Ages. While at each station, students sampled traditional foods, participated in games native to the land, learned new dance and art activities and watched a Takio drumming exhibition. All students participated in the Tournament of Knowledge Quiz station, where each group tested their knowledge of the social studies curriculum.

Civil War Day - WCI 8th graders participated in a day in the life of a Civil War soldier experiencing camp life and a mock battle on May 24th. During the previous week, students learned marching skills from local Marines and observed a civil war re-enactor focusing on uniforms, equipment and firearms from infantry, artillery and Calvary soldiers. Students also prepared diary entries highlighting the experience.

Local Businesses Help Raise Nearly $60,000 To Support Our Students!

Business owners and corporations understand that partnering with a great school district and reaching thousands of families with their message, product or service is a powerful marketing tool that helps boost economic success. They also understand that ensuring our future business leaders and innovators receive an excellent education, starting in Kindergarten through the 12th grade, is one of the most important endeavors that they can undertake. This year we had many local businesses partner with WCEF in support of our students!

One way to partner with WCEF is through the First Friday Business Program, distributed via email on the First Friday of every month. First Friday is an e- newsletter that features local businesses, many parent–owned, who support WCEF and all our students with their advertisements. Many of these businesses feature exclusive savings to our community and give-backs to WCEF that are good for the whole month. We would like to thank the following First Friday Partners in 2014/15: Admit One College Advising, Extreme Pizza WC, Harps Etc., Honey Bear Trees, Kanishka’s, Kelly Moore Paints, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Papa Johns, Red House, Solar Universe, Sports Basement, Tutor Doctor, and the Walnut Creek Magazine.

Beyond the First Friday Program, WCEF offers other ways for businesses to partner with the Foundation in support of our students. Many events were held throughout the year raising significant funds. Other businesses chose to support the Foundation with a one-time donation, in-kind donations (over $20,000) or ongoing promotions over the course of the school year. We would like to thank the following businesses for their support: Alphagraphics, FORMA GYM (Home of the Turkey Trot!), Mechanics Bank, Minute Man Press of Lafayette, , Quality Funding, Robert Anthony Strategic Marketing and Design, , Rubens Partners, LLP, Sports Basement, The UPS Store – Countrywood, Unity Music Foundation, WC Chamber of Commerce, WC Downtown Business Association, and Wesley Ashley Wines.

With various ways to partner, the investment that our businesses and corporations make on behalf of our students creates a significant impact in the Walnut Creek School District and Las Lomas High School through WCEF and allows us to continue to offer top quality education for all. Please continue to support these businesses that support our children.

For more information or to become a business partner, contact WCEF VP Business/Community: Kuldip Chohan ( or Amy Miller ( or call 925.933.9233

Meet WCEF Business Partner Alphagraphics of Walnut Creek

Greg and Stephanie Ernst, owners of AlphaGraphics in Walnut Creek have generously supported our students and WCEF by providing in-kind and reduced cost printing support for the past eight years.

Without their partnership, WCEF marketing outreach needs would not be possible. Their generosity can be spotted all around our Walnut Creek community from our Business Partner decals, to our event signage, from our Collaborative Brochures to all of our Annual Giving Campaign collateral and so much more.

As parents of three children, Sam, a 2014 graduate at Las Lomas High School (LLHS), Camryn, a sophomore at LLHS and Kaitlyn entering eighth grade at Walnut Creek Intermediate, the Ernst’s strongly believe in supporting local schools, PTAs, and community and civic activities.


Survey Says...

In early June, WCEF sent out a survey through our eNews subscribers. The survey took as little as ten minutes and provided community members an opportunity to share their feedback on the Foundation. Questions ranged from how well communicated WCEF’s work has been to asking for suggestions on how to improve. Over 260 responses were received. In the short term, members of the WCEF Executive Board will work to summarize the results and share them with the community. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to share their opinions in the survey. WCEF continues to work toward making the Foundation stronger in support of all our students, k-12.

We Couldn’t Do It Without You, Volunteers!

The Walnut Creek Education Foundation is primarily a volunteer-run organization founded to raise money to provide a superior education for our children. We, at WCEF, want to thank you for the personal contribution of your time in volunteering for one or many of our activities and events throughout the year. Meet our WCEF volunteers. You donated countless hours of your time to help with:

  1. Sports Basement Back to School Shopping Days
  2. Welcome Back Days/TRI-S
  3. Back to School Nights K-5
  4. Downtown Business Association Wine Walk
  5. Las Lomas Homecoming Tailgater
  6. Thank –A-Thon
  7. Turkey Trot
  8. Phone Bank
  9. Play it Forward Benefit Concert
  10. Donation Days and Open Houses K-12

Your continued commitment and enthusiasm is greatly appreciated and resonates throughout our entire community. Thank you!

~ Denise Stenberg, WCEF Volunteer Chair

New WCEF Board 2014-15

The 2014-2015 WCEF Executive Board was elected on May 22, 2014. We are grateful to the following individuals for volunteering their time and talents to benefit all our students K-12!

President – Tim Schultz
VP Administration – Jennifer Wickboldt
Secretary – Mistie Glass
Treasurer – Jeff Pickett
VP Fundraising – Stacy Howard / Donna Goldwasser
VP Communications – Sue Frost
VP Business/Community – Kuldip Chohan / Amy Miller
VP Parent Development (Site) – Katy Grant / Marci Winer
Volunteer Chair – Denise Stenberg
Rossmoor Chair – OPEN
Endowment Chair – Eva Santelli
Auditor – Sarah Howell

BV Site Representative – Tina Chung / OPEN
IV Site Representative – Peter Amen / OPEN
MW Site Representative – Tonya Makowski /
Jaya Reddy / Erin Sicotte
PM Site Representative – Catherine Bishop-Nissen / Harriet Rosen
WH Site Representative – Mai Nguyen-Huynh /
Lori Gillespie
WCI Site Representative – Samantha Francois / Valeria Melincu
LLHS Site Representative – Lisa Sun / Mary Joslin / Anne Woods

Upcoming Events

Sports Basement Shopping Weekend: Come to Sports Basement Walnut Creek for the WCEF Back to School Shopping Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, August 16th and 17th from 9am to 7pm. from 9am to 7pm. You will get a 10% discount on anything you purchase and 10% of your purchase goes back to WCEF for our schools!

Fall Wine Walk: Join us for the Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association Wine Walk fall event, Wednesday, September 17th , 6-9pm. Tickets go on sale in August at

Welcome Back Days/Tri-S:
LLHS – August 19
WCI – August 20
Murwood – August 21
Parkmead – August 22
Buena Vista – August 25
Walnut Heights – August 25
Indian Valley – August 25


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Funded Programs and Personnel 2014-2015

K-5 – Buena Vista, Indian Valley, Murwood, Parkmead,
Walnut Heights (WCSD)

  • Art, Music & Physical Education (27 weeks in cooperation with the WCSD)
  • Teacher/Coach Collaboration
  • Extended Library Hours
  • ROPES Right of Passage Experiences (Grade 5)

6-8 Walnut Creek Intermediate (WCSD)

  • Teacher on Special Assignment (2nd Vice Principal)
  • Counselor
  • Safety Supervisor
  • Free Afterschool Homework Help
  • Extended Library Hours
  • Visiting Artists
  • Social Studies End of Year Events (Civil War Days, Byzantine Bazaar, Japan Days, Greco-Roman Days)
  • WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) program & 6th grade orientation
  • ROPES (Right of Passage Experiences) for Grade 7 & 8

9-12 Las Lomas High School

  • Core Academic Classes
    (English 9,10,11; Math, History)
  • Technology Equipment
  • Technology Coordinator (Faculty/Student Support)
  • Intervention Specialist
    (Crisis Counselor)
  • Nurse
  • Computer Lab Technician
  • Performing Arts Support
For more information or to donate visit
WCEF is a 501c3 non-profit organization, Federal Tax I.D. #94-2915151