School News

UEF Making A Difference Grants Fall 2019

Urbandale Education Foundation Awards Over $22,000 In Grants To Urbandale Educators

The Urbandale Education Foundation (UEF) was thrilled to have the opportunity to award over $22,000 to Urbandale educators—the largest amount awarded to date—as part of the UEF Making A Difference Grant Program. The program is intended to provide Urbandale Community School District (Urbandale CSD) educators the opportunity to receive funds for projects and initiatives not supported within existing school budgets. On October 30, 2019, UEF Board of Directors awarded a total of 26 grants by surprising educators in their classrooms.

Going into its seventh consecutive grant cycle, the UEF increased its fundraising efforts resulting in the greatest number of grants (26) and funds (over $22,000) awarded to date. The UEF was fortunate to be selected by Endow Urbandale as a 2019 Endow Urbandale Grant recipient resulting in a $2,250 donation to the UEF in support of classroom grants. In addition, the UEF was selected as the October Charity of Choice by the Greater Iowa Credit Union GiveIowa fundraiser which provided funds in support of the grant program.

“The Urbandale Education Foundation Board is delighted to again increase our funding for more grants than ever to Urbandale educators to enhance the educational experience of Urbandale students,” said UEF Board President Steve Schuler. “We are thankful to our generous donors, including a $2,250 grant from Endow Urbandale that was immediately utilized to fund our selected grant recipients.”

UEF Making A Difference Grants site

Urbandale High School Science Teacher Katherine Carman receiving an Urbandale Education Foundation Making A Difference Grant on October 30, 2019. UEF Board Members Kaye Carrier, Marty Trepp, UHS Science Teacher Katherine Carman, UEF Board Members Matt Gardner, Sue Mears, Lara Justmann, and UHS Principal Tim Carver.

The following 26 Making A Difference Grants were awarded to Urbandale CSD educators:

  1. Megan Thorsen, Karen Acres Elementary, for One School, One Book
  2. Megan Tysseling and Amanda Drescher, Karen Acres Elementary, for Flexible Seating for Kindergarten co-taught classroom
  3. Jon Edgeton and Ted Brimeyer, Urbandale High School, for Urbandale Vocal Music Department – Composer in Residence Project
  4. Annie Jordan, Urbandale Middle School, for Accessible books for ELL newcomers
  5. Lisa Merfeld and Chris Conner, Urbandale Middle School, for Middle School Choral Folders
  6. Kristin Pawlowski, Karen Acres Elementary, for EL Spring Family Pictures
  7. Daphne Monson, Urbandale Middle School, for Improving intonation for middle school band students
  8. Darlene Wagner, Urbandale High School, for FAFSA Completion Night
  9. Morgan Bruggeman and Carrie Mertens, Valerius Elementary, for 5th Grade Book Club
  10. Hala Vogeler, Valerius Elementary, for Valerius Culture Day
  11. Deann Pair, Urbandale Middle School, for Theatre Group Lighting
  12. Michelle Johnson, Urbandale Middle School, for My Books, My Dreams
  13. Melissa Gyure, Urbandale High School, for Reading in Spanish
  14. Brittany Nyhus, Urbandale Middle School, for A Book For Every Student
  15. Lisa West & Annette Brannen, Jensen Elementary, for Building a Better Home Library for U
  16. Amanda Springer and Katelyn Martin, Valerius Elementary, for Books for all Kinder students
  17. Deb Kadoun, Karen Acres Elementary, for 2nd Grade Living History Farms Tour
  18. Adam Vaught, Metro West Learning Academy, for STEM
  19. Janine Choudhury, Urbandale Middle School, for Makers Space Tool
  20. Brittany Cooley, Rolling Green Elementary and Karen Acres Elementary, for Family Connections
  21. Ashley Douglas, Webster Elementary, for Voice and Choice
  22. Abby Schueller, Urbandale Middle School, for Project Happiness
  23. Kelsey Jacobs, Megan Teresi, Emily Englund, Leilani Emerson, Terri Muehlenthaler-Holmes, Jensen Elementary, for Instructional Technology for K-1 and ELL
  24. Katherine Carman, Urbandale High School, for Spectrophotometers
  25. Becky Baack, Valerius Elementary and Jensen Elementary, for Printmaking with all the Art Elements
  26. Kayla Vermedahl, Urbandale Middle School, for Throws for Therapy

The UEF is in the unique position to provide support for Urbandale schools, award scholarships to Urbandale High School graduates and connect Urbandale alumni through the merger and partnership of three organizations: Urbandale Education Foundation, Urbandale Dollars for Scholars and Urbandale Alumni Association. To learn more about how you can become involved and make a positive difference for Urbandale students, educators, schools and the vitality of the Urbandale community, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit:, Facebook, and Twitter.