A teacher who grew up in La Crosse left $135,000 for the La Crosse Public Education Foundation.
Janet Kircher Isler included a provision in her estate for the Foundation. Isler died two years ago at the age of 92.
Isler grew up in La Crosse during the depression era of the 1930s. She attended the former La Crosse Washington Elementary School, where her father was the principal. Isler graduated from Central High School in 1936 and went on to earn her teaching degree at the La Crosse Teacher’s College, which is now the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Isler taught briefly in Baraboo and Wauwatosa before spending 26 years teaching in the West Aurora Schools in Illinois. She retired in 1968. The La Crosse Public Education Foundation said Isler never made more than $10,000 annually. Foundation leaders say they are very thankful for her "exceptional gift."
"She left a legacy of excellent teaching in other school districts, but she always remembered her own education in the public schools of La Crosse," said La Crosse Public Education Foundation Executive Director Timothy Riley. "The Foundation’s board has voted to invest this gift and use the earnings to support projects in our schools in perpetuity. It really will be a gift that keeps on giving."
Riley said with this gift, total endowments—restricted and unrestricted—and dedicated trusts for the La Crosse Public Education Foundation are now valued at $1.1 million. So far in 2012, the Foundation has given $63,000 in grants to support teacher and student projects in the School District of La Crosse.