715-261-0510 | wsdfound@wausauschools.org

Our History

Our Story

The Wausau School District has a long legacy of excellence in education and student success, dating back to 1861. This has led to a very successful and prosperous community that celebrates its 150th year of incorporation in 2022.

In 1999, as state budgets tightened, as more families in the area had need, business, community and school district members came together to create an organization that would help ensure school, student and teacher successes well into the future. These leaders saw a need to support teachers in their classrooms, students with needed materials and opportunities in school-based programming, and the schools with projects that added to the educational experience and wellbeing of their students, and the health of the community as a whole. In 2001, they were able to present their first school grant.

In the twenty-plus years to follow, WSF has grown. It continues to build relationships between teachers, students, parents, administrators, businesses and the Wausau community – all with the same purpose – to ensure that all students in the district are provided the same opportunities to learn, grow and be successful in their education and their lives.

Learn more about the programming and opportunities available with WSF as you browse through our website. We invite you to become part of our childrens’ success stories as a contributor as well.

Our Founding Board:

Ginger Alden
Christine Bremer
Gene Davis
John Dudley
Kathy Foley
Jim Force

Christine Freiberg
Gary Freels
Tom Mack
Sarah Miller
Linda Prehn
Gerry Riskey

Ron Rutlin
Chuck Skurka
Jean Tehan
Doris Ulrich
Randy Westgate
Bob Wolff

Executive Directors:

  • Sherri Ward 1997-2007
  • Christine Vanden Heuvel 2007-2018
  • Paula Clark 2018-2021
  • Debi Traeder 2022-Present
  • Founding Society Members

    • A-1 Construction
    • Dr. Albert
    • Judd Alexander Foundation
    • Associated Bank
    • Christine Bremer
    • Manson Insurance
    • Miron Construction
    • Riiser Co.
    • Riverview Construction
    • US Bank
  • Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin
  • Dudley Family
  • Gehring Family
  • Greenheck Family
  • Heart and Lung Associates
  • Wausau-Mosinee Paper Foundation
  • Wausau Benefits
  • Wausau Homes
  • Wausau Tile
  • Heritage Family Fund

    Established in 2016, this endowment fund is held for Reach for the Stars grants that enable Wausau School District teachers to go above and beyond the curriculum to reach and engage students. Those who helped start this endowment include:

    4-Generation Legacy of Wausau Students:

    • Dr. Delos Prehn (1914) – Dr. Donald Prehn (1944) – Dr. Frederick Prehn (1975) – and children Augusta (2005), Frederick, Jr (2007), Aurora (2009) and Harrison (2010)
    • Harry Heinemann, Sr. – Harry Heinemann, Jr – Joseph, Rebecca and Virginia Heinemann-Schmitt – and children Blakney and Arabella Schmitt
    • Karl Mantei (1930) – Grace Manthei (1956) – Lisa Atwood (1980) – Emily Streich (2006)

    3-Generation Legacy of Wausau Students:

  • Sarah and Tom Eberlein
  • Robert and MaryJo Hartwig Family Foundation
  • Allen and Mary Jane Hettinga
  • Richard Helke and Blanche and Forrest Hilgemann
  • David Scholfield Family
  • Stanley Staples Family
  • Lynn and Cathie Taschler
  • Lynn Buhlman
  • 2-Generation of Legacy of Wausau Students:

  • Ann, Kate, Elizabeth and Nancy Frawley
  • Lavern and Bart Kennenhauser Family
  • Tom and Ann Jones
  • Harvey Scholfield