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Wahoo Public Schools


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Wahoo Public Schools Foundation


Our Mission

The purpose of our Foundation is to solicit, manage, and distribute supplemental funds for educational purposes that may not be funded by the District. The Wahoo Public Schools Foundation awards nearly $50,000 each year to graduating students. This is made possible through the generous support of private donations to the Foundation, and supports the students' pursuits of higher education. Foundation funds will be used to support student achievement and skill development, recognize and encourage staff excellence, and expand community involvement from individuals, businesses, and civic organizations.

Goals of the Foundation

• To encourage academic excellence through "Enhancing Our Schools . . . Inspiring Our Students."
• To promote community awareness and alumni awareness in education and the Foundation.
• Increase our scholarship opportunities for Wahoo Public Schools' graduating seniors.
• Establish meaningful relationships with alumni and community members that will assist the district in obtaining additional resources for enrichment of education experiences.
• Promote and support the continuing improvement of the educational programs offered by the District.
• Recognize our outstanding students, teachers, and staff for their commitment to educational excellence.

Board Members

Alex Shada, President  |  shadaalex@gmail.com
Kate DeCoste, Vice-President/President-Elect  |  kate.decoste@gmail.com
Alissa Nutzman, Secretary  |  anutzman@jeo.com
Bill Reece, Treasurer  |  wahoobill.reece@gmail.com

Eric Gottschalk, Board Member  |  egottschalk@lpnnrd.org
Lora Iversen, Board Member  |  liversen@wahoowarriors.org
Mike Hancock, Board Member  |  mhancock@insproins.com
Roma Smith, Board Member  |  romasmith176@gmail.com
Mary Ann Tingelhoff, Board Member  |  matingel@hotmail.com
Brandon Lavaley, WPS Superintendent  |  blavaley@wahoowarriors.org


The following scholarships are administered by the Wahoo Public Schools Foundation. Applications for all of these scholarships are posted on the Wahoo Public Schools' scholarship page on its website. Please click HERE to access that page. Once there, scroll down to the "Local Scholarship" list.

    Milrae Anderson Memorial Music Scholarship - $1,000/semester
    Ruth Aufenkamp Memorial Scholarship - $1,000
    Charlie Divis Scholarship - $1,000
    Ken Good Memorial Scholarship - min. $1,000   
    Jane Marie Gross Memorial Scholarship - $2,500
    Doris Gustafson-Plummer Memorial Scholarship - $1,500
    Grace Hanke Memorial Scholarship - $1,000
    Mitch Hanke Memorial Scholarship - $1,500
    Willard Hunzeker Memorial Scholarship - $1,000
    Bill & Adele Jackson Health & Education Scholarships - $1,000/each
    Ron & Tim Larsen Memorial Scholarships - $4,000
    Mark Massie Memorial Scholarship - $1,000
    Terry O'Brien Memorial Scholarship - $500
    Daniel Pestal Memorial Scholarships - $10,000
    Rosie & Ed Rastovski Scholarship - $1,000
    Saunders County Independent Bankers Association Scholarship - $250
    Michael Shada Memorial Scholarship - $500
    Sid Dillon All-Stars Scholarships - $500
    Steven Smith Memorial Scholarship - $1,500
    Southeast Community College 'Learn to Dream' Scholarship - full tuition @ SCC
    Jeffery and Rebecca Stark Scholarship - $1,000
    Dr. William Karl Stefan Memorial Scholarships - up to $800
    Mark Swanson Memorial Scholarship - $1,000
    Wahoo Area KIWANIS Scholarship - $500
    Wahoo Education Association (WEA) Scholarship (for education majors) - $750
    Wahoo Education Association (WEA) Scholarship (open for all majors) - $750
    Wahoo Public Schools Foundation 'Scholars' Scholarship - $1,000
    Warrior Harrier Scholarship - $1,000
    Jake Wiebold Memorial Scholarship

Special News

Scholarship honors memory of '68 alum Dan Pestal

                Daniel Pestal

Dan Pestal was a 1968 graduate of Wahoo High School.  Throughout his younger days Dan’s health was fragile and, in fact, during the entire four years he was in high school Dan used crutches.  When he was in his early 20’s medical advancements made it possible for him to have surgery and walk normally.  Dan applied to medical school and became a doctor.  Besides his devotion to medicine his hobbies included muscle cars, model trains, guns, and exotic birds.  He pursued all of them with a passion.

Dan’s health issues continued, however, and he passed away in 1993 at the age of 43.  In his will he put his assets in trust providing that, if his parents needed support, they could receive a distribution from his trust.  If they did not need any support the income would be given to a charity.  Dan’s parents never needed the support of his Trust.  Instead they sought to honor Dan and thank the Wahoo community for their support of Dan through various blood drives by establishing a scholarship at the Wahoo Public Schools Foundation.  Each year since 1975 a $10,000 scholarship has been given to a graduating Senior of Wahoo High School in Dan’s name.  Dan’s father, Ray, passed away in 2005.  His mother, Georgia, passed away in 2017.  With both passing the time had come to close the Trust by distributing the trust assets to charity.  The Trustee has decided to permanently endow the Dan Pestal Scholarship with a $500,000 contribution to the Wahoo Public Schools Foundation.

In addition to the annual Daniel Pestal Scholarships, the endowed fund established with the Wahoo Public Schools Foundation will provide other support as needed and determined by the Wahoo Public Schools Foundation Board. The Foundation is grateful for the generosity of the Pestal Family and the guidance of the Pestal Family Trust Trustee, Mr. Ron Ecklund.

The Wahoo Public Schools Foundation was established in 1978 to receive gifts and provide student, faculty, programing and other general support for the Wahoo Public Schools District #39.


Dr. Greg Haessler establishes new scholarship in memory of classmate, Jane Marie Gross

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           Jane Marie Gross

The Wahoo Public Schools Foundation announced, in the Fall of 2015, a new scholarship for graduating seniors intending to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This new scholarship is made possible by the generosity of Wahoo High School alum, Dr. Greg Haessler of Urbandale, IA.

Dr. Haessler, a 1968 graduate of Wahoo High School, contacted the Wahoo Public Schools Foundation to set up this scholarship in memory of Jane Marie Gross, a close friend and classmate while attending Wahoo High School. Ms. Gross passed away in her sophomore year as a result of a rare blood disease.

Her untimely death, while a shock to the Wahoo community, inspired Haessler to pursue a medical degree and ultimately a career in the medical field. Dr. Haessler retired from The Principal Financial Group as Vice-President and Chief Medical Director after a 30-year career with that company.

This scholarship in Jane Marie Gross’ honor is purposeful in that as Dr. Haessler was inspired to go into medicine, this may enable others to get a good start in their education and also achieve a meaningful career of service and help to others.

The annual $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to a WHS senior who will be attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with preference to those pursuing a degree in a health-related field.

The Wahoo Public Schools Foundation exists for the support and benefit of the Wahoo Public Schools. The Foundation provides financial support in the form of scholarships and other programs beneficial in forwarding the mission and purpose of the Wahoo Public Schools systems.

The specific criteria and application for the Jane Marie Gross Memorial Scholarship are now available by clicking HERE.

Wahoo Public Schools Foundation

Kathie Barnes

Dec 02, 2015

What a wonderful thing to do!
Bonnie (Benson) Rochette
Colorado Springsretired RN

Dec 07, 2016

I agree, that's very generous!