Granting Excellence

YPS Foundation surprises 38 teachers with grant awards

Myers Elementary teacher Jill Wickham is joined by Principal Shannon Dutton as she receives her YPS Foundation for Excellence grant – one of 38 recently awarded across the district.

By Conrad Dudderar
Associate Editor

Thirty-eight teachers have earned grants totaling $15,124 from Yukon Public Schools’ Foundation for Excellence.

YPS educators were surprised inside their classrooms during Nov. 1st presentations at Yukon school sites.

Foundation members announced the 2023-24 grant winners in front of students and school personnel, awarding them the Foundation’s coveted “gold star.”

“We had over 90 applicants and we awarded 38 grants,” YPS Foundation President Sauny Shedeck said. “With so many new teachers applying, we felt like it was a great representation across all schools.”

Since the 1992-93 school year, the YPS Foundation has awarded 832 grants totaling $545,054 to Yukon faculty members.

For 34 years, the non-profit foundation has helped augment the regular budget by providing grant funds for innovative school projects and other needs.

The YPS Foundation funds everything from electronic equipment and reading materials to physical education supplies and classroom furnishings.

Yukon’s teachers apply annually for funding, up to $500 per grant.

“Our hard-working teachers definitely deserve this to continue to lead our students to success!” YPS officials posted on the district’s social media pages.

The YPS Foundation’s allocation committee studies each anonymous grant request and selects the highest point winners to receive grants.

“We don’t know the teacher or the school,” Shedeck explained. “We just know the grade and what the grant is for.”

The first year that grants were awarded, four teachers – all from the same school – were honored.

This year, the 38 teachers represent all YPS sites across the district.

Yukon High School led the pack with seven Foundation grant winners, followed by Redstone Intermediate School with six recipients.

The 2023-24 YPS Foundation for Excellence grant winners by site are:

  • Ranchwood Elementary School – Kayce Davis and Elizabeth Argraves.
  • Skyview Elementary School – Nicole Baldwin, Katie Harder, Charissa Spruill, and Tim Adomyetz.
  • Lakeview Intermediate School – Kellie Nelson, Jennifer Christensen and Carrie Abrams.
  • Yukon High School – Rachel Allred, Kim Garner, Danielle Stewart, Rachel Rollins, Misty Williams, Abreaunna Raizola, and Kate Rhoades.
  • Independence Intermediate School – Erin Harris.
  • Parkland Elementary School – Su Scavitto.
  • Myers Elementary School – Colby Auld, Jill Wickham, Samantha Pierce and Ashley Gonzales.
  • Shedeck Elementary School – Ashley Langley.
  • Yukon Middle School – Sabrina Beasley, Kymberlee Adams, Kari Phillips, and Chandra Angelov.
  • Central Elementary School – Kristen Martin and Albany Cooper.
  • Redstone Intermediate School – Alyssa Adamson, Halle Choate, April Jones, Kassidy Pierson, Laura Frazier, and Kassie Ford.
  • Surrey Hills Elementary School – Abbie Walk and Yeneer Oruru.
  • Gifted/Talented – Megan Simpson.
Central Elementary teachers Kristen Martin and Albany Cooper are thrilled after learning from YPS Foundation members they had earned grant awards. Central Principal Laurie Gallagher was there to congratulate them.


Instead of having a fall banquet, the YPS Foundation will recognize this year’s 38 teacher grant recipients during a related “come-and-go” event in early February 2024.

“We’ll have music and small bites of food,” Shedeck shared. “It will have a ‘60s/’70s theme. I think people will really like it.”

The date and venue have not been determined.

The YPS Foundation for Excellence’s founders believed in promoting excellence in Yukon classrooms – and that quality education enhances the lives of students and the success of the community.

Founders were the YPS Foundation’s five-star donors: Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Hill, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Cranfill, The Jim Snyder Family, Mr. and Mrs. Garland Bloodworth, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Shedeck, and The Clarence Wright Family.

Contributions to the foundation stay in YPS to directly benefit students.

“We welcome any donations; they’re all tax-deductible,” Sauny Shedeck said.
To contribute, call (405) 354-2579 or send a check to YPSFE, P.O. Box 850295, Yukon, OK 73085.

Lakeview Intermediate teacher Jennifer Christensen shares her excitement along with Principal Sam Summers after learning she’s earned a YPS Foundation grant.
Yukon High School teacher Rachel Allred proudly displays her gold star as one of the school’s seven grant winners. YHS Principal Melissa Barlow stands alongside Allred at YPS Foundation members.