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In the Classroom

In 2013, SEF established the Nora Radest Award for Excellence in Education to honor Nora, our past President and board member, whose vision for and dedication to SEF spanned many years. Each year, the award is given to a teacher or administrator who has submitted grants through the SEF process and, in so doing, has greatly enriched the classroom environment and served as a role model to others in the district.

2024 Nicole Finnegan, LCJSMS Technology

2023 Abigail Emerson, District Literacy Coach

2022 Kristen Shuman, Jefferson 5th Grade Science/STEAM Teacher

2021 Carolyn Kiley, Jefferson Primary Center Resource Teacher

2020 Laura Madden, Washington School Second Grade Teacher

2019 Randy Wallock, LCJSMS Instructional Facilitator

2018 Megan Hartley and Beth Thomas, LCJSMS Librarians

2018 Megan Hartley and Beth Thomas, LCJSMS Librarians

2017 Corey Walsh, SHS English Supervisor

2016 Doug Orr, District Supervisor of Technology

2015 Loreli Stochaj, Franklin School Librarian 

2014 Matt Block, LCJSMS Principal

2013 Cynthia Vitale, SHS Science Department


Our Beginnings

In 1986, a small group of Summit residents had an idea.  They recognized private funding invested in our schools would encourage creativity and innovation.  The Summit Educational Foundation (SEF) was formed.  In 2009, a group of SEF's dedicated leaders added an endowment fund for long-term strategic initiatives. Through continued community commitment to excellence in our schools and donors like you, SEF has awarded more than $11.3 million to date in our schools through teacher and district grants.


Thriving public schools are essential to the vitality and economic well-being of our community. Serving children of all backgrounds and economic circumstances, strong public schools prepare students to become productive workers and informed citizens, foster friendships that transcend neighborhood boundaries, strengthen property values and engender civic pride. Summit has long enjoyed a reputation for high-quality education and SEF has played a paramount role in funding grants that distinguish our schools as the top-performing in the state and nation.


Since its inception, SEF has striven to unite the Summit Community and School District to push the envelope in new and innovative ways to provide the best education possible to its students. In the Spring of 2018 SEF was selected as the first "Outstanding Education Foundation" by the New Jersey Education Foundation Partnership. Volunteer-led and supported by community donations, SEF continues to be a leader among Education Foundations.

Recognition for Summit's Innovators

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