Skip to main content

Why Support LEAF?

Why does LEAF do it? Why do our donors support public education? Why do our teachers work so hard to provide a quality educational experience for all learners? We think the picture on our front banner of this article explains it all! We do it for the kids who will someday be the leaders of our community, state, and nation! (Thanks to Pam Stang’s Kindergarten class at Westwood elementary!) Below, you will read quotes from some of our generous donors addressing why they support LEAF and you’ll read quotes from our teachers addressing why they teach! We thank all our donors for their generous support, and we thank all our district 742 teachers for what they do everyday!

Check out “Why I give to LEAF?” and “Why do I teach?” below.

Why do I give to LEAF?

Tara and Ben Winchester

“We support public education because we want all children to not only make good choices but HAVE good choices. We know that a strong and equitable public education is the foundation upon which our society and democracy is built, and we cannot imagine a future without it.”

Pat & Cathy Mullen

“Pat and I know that it is essential to support public education because we appreciate the great work that teachers did for our children and know that teachers and programs deserve the support to care for all of “our” kids.” 

Beth & Anthony Fenstad

“Strong districts support not only the continuation but also the growth of healthy, equitable programming for all students across the district. As an parent, advisor, and educator in 742, I witness LEAF’s generosity firsthand; I am extremely proud to be a part of a strong district with so many generous, future-focused community members behind it.”

Joe Mullen

“Except perhaps for primary healthcare, nothing a society can do to better itself is more important than education, and especially education of our youth.  Education stimulates advancements in every field, opens doors for children of all talent levels and, when it results in life-long learning, it can also promote healthy emotional balance.”

Jim & Mary Michaud

“Mary and I believe deeply in public education.  Our support didn’t end just because we retired.”

Al Dahgren, Owner of Once Upon A Child Clothing Store

“As a current member of the board of education I donate to LEAF. I am able to see firsthand how LEAF donations are put to good use. 742 has an exceptional team of educators and great educational programming. LEAF donations help our educators, filling in where funding is short, accelerating learning and improving performance. LEAF is synonymous with improved educational and extracurricular experiences.”

Peggy Carlson & Chuck Nielsen

“I am thankful every day for the excellent education that I received as a student in ISD 742; donating is my way of giving back to the district that provided me with that education. My grandchildren were students/athletes in ISD 742 for most of their 13 school years; I donate to help provide that same quality education and activity opportunities to other children. “

Janna & Mike LaFountaine

“We donate because we believe in the value of public education and in particular ALL the extracurricular activities that LEAF supports!”

Gary & Jane Marsden

“The American Dream….that all children, regardless of their family and social background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life…is tied to education.  Gary (from Putnam’s book ..Our Kids.. “ 

North Risk Partners Insurance Agency

“North Risk Partners is a proud sponsor of LEAF and the educational opportunities LEAF is able to provide for students regardless of background. It is rewarding seeing our dollars put to great-use in the community through extra-curricular activities, grants, and support for faculty to provide quality learning experiences for all students.”

Karel & Mike Helgeson

“In 1968, my world was enlarged by meeting Methodists at Tech” (Karel Helgeson Class of 1970).  “I valued the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and experiences which broadened my world view.”  (Mike Helgeson Tech Class of 1970)

Jim O’Neill

“I donate because I taught for 42 years and know how difficult it can be at times to  furnish materials for the classroom while facing other personal expenses in a job that requires a great deal and does not pay accordingly.”

Diane Moeller

“I give to public education for many reasons.  First of all it is the equalizer to promote our democracy. Any support we can give it to that end, is an investment in everyone’s future. Secondly, some students need more support to be a part of activities, or to get additional support for their academic progress. LEAF is a wonderful way to support students directly. Finally, I was blessed to be able to serve a 44-year career in public education, and I want to give back in ways I am able.”

Dr. John Weitz

“Education is the key to the whole shabang”

Ginny & Jim Bisek

“As former educators, we both know that reaching every student is important. Giving to LEAF helps the teachers and students reach their goals whether it’s in the classroom or in extracurricular activities.”

Dan Anderson, State Farm Agency

“My office team gets to pick our donations that we give each year.  LEAF has been chosen for multiple years as we see the benefit in providing resources to our younger generation that they may not get without our help.”

Pat Welter, Retired Educator

“I have spent many years of my life as an educator in public education and donating in support of public education. I believe that education, and specifically quality public education, is the most important way to provide all kids, regardless of origin, a fair start in life.  It is a critical foundation stone of the American Dream and we must support it!”

Why do I teach?

Jill Fussy, Lincoln Elementary

“Sharing my love of math with students at the elementary level is building our next generation mathematicians, scientists, trades workers, engineers, and all-around knowledgeable citizens. I love being part of the future!”

Ericka Kinzer, Madison Elementary

“I teach so that all students have a place that they feel they belong and that they can be successful.”

Kaia Swenson, Oak Hill Elementary School

“I teach to help children become independent and confident learners.”

Sara Martini, Westwood Elementary

“I teach to see the excitement and joy on my students’ faces when they learn something new!”

Kendra Erickson, Apollo High School

“I teach because I love making a difference in my students lives.” 

Geri Swanson, Clearview Elementary

“I teach because of the sheer joy it gives me to watch a curious child learn something new, no better feeling in the world! We are helping to shape the next generation.”

Susan Williams, Retired Educator

“One of my favorites: Teachers don’t teach for the income they teach for the outcome.”

Rebecca Marohl, Tech High School

“I teach because I love that every day is a different day, no two days are ever the same. I love the joy the students bring me when I walk into a room and they say “hello” or shout out, “Ms. Marohl!”

Amy Zander, Kennedy Community School

“I teach because I believe I can make a difference in our youth by helping them grow into caring, compassionate, people!”

Katie Talkalai, Lincoln Elementary

“I teach because our future is in our classrooms today and they deserve the best.”

Alissa Angela Keil, Kennedy Community School

“Our LEAF Grant funding provides the Kennedy VEX Team the opportunity to acquire knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math changing the way my students learn which prepares them for the future, helping turn frustration into innovation – preparing them for real-world situations and promoting inclusivity for all boys and all girls.”

Mikayla Wood, Talahi Elementary

“To instill the love of learning!” 

Jayne Bautch, South Junior High School

“I teach to commemorate all of the incredible teachers I had as I pay it forward, and to have a positive impact on the future.”

Chelsea Bowker, Tech High School

“I love to tech because students give me hope for the future with their high energy, creative insights, and innovative nature.”

Jill Adelman-Weis, Westwood Elementary School

“I teach because I want to “pay it forward” and give students the wonderful experiences I was so lucky to have as a child.”

Virginia Anne Phillips, North Junior High School

“Because I love it.  My classroom is absolutely my happy place.” 

Deqa Mohamed Yusuf, Oak Hill Elementary School

“I teach to make a difference in children’s lives.”

Melissa Miller, Discovery Community School

“Many of my students face trauma and obstacles, and their desire to achieve and succeed is so inspiring.” 

Evan Shanley, Lincoln Elementary

“I teach because I enjoy the daily challenge of trying to meet every student where they’re at, and the strategy it takes to advance them to where they need to be.”

Rose Christensen, Madison Elementary

“I teach to change the world.”

Patricia Schrom, Oak Hill Elementary

“I teach because I am energized by seeing the excitement and joyfaces when they are learning new things.”

Robert Geisenhof, Talahi Elementary School

“I teach for the ah has”
“I teach for the relationships”
“I teach for the moments when students realize all they are capable of”
“I teach for the excitement in their eyes when they learn something new”

Todd Alan Sanford, North Junior High School

“One word – Stewardship. The privilege to provide the next generation’s opportunities that enlighten the value of an individual’s education.”

Amy Lillehaug, Oak Hill Elementary School

“I teach to make the world a better place, and what better way to do that then to start when they are young.”

Joy Marie Notch, Roosevelt Education Center

“As educators, we have the ability through our words and actions to shape the lives of children and young adults to help them become the best versions of themselves.”

Brenda Janda, Lincoln Elementary

“I teach because of those who taught me.  I had great teachers who impacted me in so many positive ways and I hope to be able to impact my students in similar ways.”

Jodi Ligeros, South Junior High School

“Teaching is a cool way to inspire young minds.”