The Decorah School District Foundation has several new initiatives.

The Foundation now can be found online, at a link from the District's website.

Information about the Foundation's programs, its Board of Directors and how to donate or volunteer for the Foundation is available.

Alumni now also have a presence on the Decorah School website. By contacting the Foundation on the alumni page, a class can have their class contact information linked to this page.

This makes a central, easily found place for graduates to go to update their information, and to learn about the Foundation's efforts.

New funding

In 2012, two additional funding projects were initiated.

Rich and Barbara Amundson funded the Faculty Development Award, an endowed scholarship to be granted to a faculty member for expenses toward an advanced degree. This was awarded in 2012 to Nicole James, DHS orchestra teacher who is working on her master's degree in music.

The Russ Freerking Spanish Study Grant is an endowed scholarship, created by DHS alumnus David Anderson -- Class of 1983 -- to be awarded to DHS current or recently graduated students who will have an immersion living experience in a Spanish-speaking country.

By visiting and studying in Spanish-speaking countries, grant recipients will have opportunities to solidify their fluency in Spanish and increase their cultural knowledge.

Through Anderson's generosity and the donations of Freerking's friends, colleagues and former students, the study grant has generated funds exceeding $15,000 so far.

Any of the Foundation's efforts can accept additional funds at any time, or new projects can be initiated.

More than $65,000

In addition, the Foundation offered 116 scholarships to graduating seniors last spring, totaling more than $65,000.

In addition, renewal awards of previously awarded scholarships of more than $16,000 were given.

Some of these scholarships are funded by individuals or couples, some as memorials, some by local businesses and some by the Foundation itself.

This number is expected to rise with the current senior class, as it is one of the largest classes to graduate from Decorah High School.

Welcomes help

The Foundation welcomes new or ongoing donors to help with this effort.

New members joined the Board this fall. They are DeAnn Krull, Andrew Nelson, Mary Weis and Cindy Womeldorf. Other members are Larry Berland, president, Kelly Brickley, treasurer, Bridget Casper, secretary, Rich Amundson, Janice Cordell, Cam Forde, Ben Grimstad, Leslie Sand, Aaron Steffens, Beth Wahlberg and Jenny Werner.

Contact any Board member, or the high school or district administrative office to inquire about helping with the Foundation's efforts.