• Recognition for Summit's Innovators
    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.

    Laura Madden 2020 Recipient, Laura Madden, Washington School Second Grade Teacher
    Laura has been a very active grant writer and recipient. Over the past 10 years, she has written 20 grants, collaborating with other teachers on 15 of them, bringing innovation to her classroom and school. She is always grateful and proud to share how SEF has supported her over the years. During the virtual presentation, Laura said that she was inspired by long-time former Washington teacher and mentor, Maggie Irwin.
    Congratulations, Laura, and thank you for all you do for student success!

    Nora Radest Award
    2019 Recipient, Randy Wallock, LCJSMS Instructional Facilitator
    Randy helped develop numerous impactful grants over the last several years in his role as Instructional Facilitator and member of the Middle and High School Grant Committee.  
    "Randy was the obvious choice this year.  He's creative, passionate, generous and a pleasure to work with." - D. Sajer Outgoing SEF President

    2018 Nora Radest Award Winner
    2018 Recipients, Megan Hartley and Beth Thomas, LCJSMS Librarians
    The Nora Radest Excellence in Education Award is an annual award that SEF presents to an educator within the district who we feel best embodies the mission of SEF to improve and enhance the quality of public education in Summit.  Megan Hartley and Beth Thomas, LCJSMS librarians, are the recipients for 2018.  Megan and Beth have earned this citation for the impressive work they have done over many years of transforming the Middle School Library into their vision of a true 21st Century Media space, outfitting it with furnishings and technology that foster collaborative and creative learning opportunities.  They have also upped the ante with respect to supporting literacy of all types by hosting author visits, increasing access to audiobooks, providing after school coding classes, providing access to robotics equipment and “makerspace” areas.  All of these projects were accomplished in whole or in part using funds from SEF. 

    Nora Radest Award Winner Corey Walsh 2017 Recipient, Corey Walsh, SHS English Supervisor

    Corey has been a big supporter of SEF in many facets.  Corey served on the Grants committee where he helped the committee better understand the grants from a faculty perspective.   Most notably was his link on the Forensics Debate Coach grant, which funded an additional debate coach for the rapidly expanding Forensics program.  Corey also submitted his own grants including those for Quintessence to ensure SHS would have a published literary magazine.  Corey also served on the SEF board as a teacher representative.   He was not only a valuable member during his 3 year term, but eagerly accepted a 4th year when we needed a experienced teacher representative to mentor the incoming Elementary and MS teacher representatives.  Corey’s insight and thoughtful comments always spoke volumes. Congratulations and thank you for your unwavering support of SEF!


    Doug Orr
    2016 Recipient, Doug Orr, District Supervisor of Technology
    SEF presented the 2016 Radest award to Doug Orr, Supervisor of Technology for the Summit School District, on June 15th. Doug has been a big supporter of SEF and an active grant writer for many years, with a strong vision for technology implementation within the District. Among his many SEF grants over the years, Doug introduced Elmo document cameras and smart boards. He was the impetus behind the iPad rollout at the middle school. He also conceived and implemented the Chromebook rollout currently under way at the high school. Doug has his stamp on every technology grant funded by SEF as all must be run by him before funding to ensure that the District can support the technology request. Last year he was named a Top 30 technologist by the Center for Digital Education. 

    2015 Recipient, Loreli Stochaj, Franklin School Librarian
    As an educator in the Summit School District since 1986, Ms. Stochaj has always thought creatively about how to engage and challenge her students. She wrote her first SEF grant for $46, and since then has been involved in over a dozen grants totaling more than $20,000, among them Lego robotics and coding clubs, district-wide author visits, and student gardening projects.  Ms Stochaj also served on the SEF board from 2011-2014, and is still active on the Grants Committee. Congratulations Ms. Stochaj, and thank you for continuing to raise the educational bar in Summit! 


    2014 Recipient, Matt Block, LCJSMS Principal
     Mr. Block's leadership on several major grants have  transformed the Summit Middle School experience.  These grants have updated class topics for 8th  grade cycle classes, upgraded all 9 Language Arts  classrooms and the Library Media Center.  In  addition these grants have supported the study of  Mandarin Chinese, the Writing Center,  Inspire  magazine and introduction of iPads to the 6th grade.  Congratulations Mr. Block!

     Cindy 2016 Recipient, Cynthia Vitale, SHS Science Department
    Ms. Vitale stands out as a high school science educator who has consistently challenged students to further their scientific inquiry through the science research strand program, advanced placement classes, and most recently a grant that funded an online zoology course at the high school.  Ms. Vitale also served on the SEF board as a teacher representative.  SEF salutes Ms. Vitale's dedication to her students and profession and thanks her for modeling the SEF mission in the classroom.  We cannot wait to see what she thinks of next!