News and Events

OFE News Release

School Foundation Consultant to Speak in Elk City at Regional Meeting for School Foundation Leaders

March 23, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, through its Local Education Foundation Outreach Program, is offering a free regional meeting March 31 in ELK CITY for Oklahoma public school foundation leaders and school administrators interested in developing or improving their local education foundations.

“Regional meetings are an excellent way for local education foundation volunteers to network and learn from each other and share their experiences,” said Karen Rose, director of Local Education Foundation Outreach for the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

Elaine Free, a nationally recognized consultant to public school foundations, will be the featured speaker at meeting, which is scheduled from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Gathering Place, 916 S. Main St. She will discuss best practices for operating successful public school foundations. The meeting will also provide time for participants to exchange ideas, ask questions and share what’s happening in their foundations and school districts.

The meeting is free of charge. Participants are asked to make reservations by contacting Susie Thurmond at (580) 497-7394 or by email at
This past year, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has hosted regional meetings for local education foundation leaders throughout the state. “Elaine Free’s presentation and the opportunity to share with other foundation leaders were invaluable,” wrote one participant. “I wish I had brought my entire board.”

Through its outreach services to local education foundations, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has helped build one of the nation’s largest and most effective networks of public school foundations, with nearly 220 established to date. Together, these citizen-led nonprofits have raised millions of dollars to promote academic excellence in their districts and have encouraged community involvement in their local schools. The Local Education Outreach Program is underwritten with support from Claremore community leaders Frank C. and Ludmila Robson.

Dr. Free is the founder of Successful Ways Inc., which is devoted to education foundation enhancements. A sought-after speaker with appearances at national education conferences, Free draws from a 32-year career in public education as a teacher, an administrator and public information director.

In more than a decade of consulting with school districts and foundations, Free continues to guide districts as they create foundations and counsels foundation boards through policy and procedure construction. She also facilitates foundation leaders in developing five-year plans. A Dallas resident, Free has been instrumental in establishing an annual state conference for education foundations in Texas.

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is a nonprofit organization celebrating its 25th year of recognizing and encouraging academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools. Through its outreach services to local education foundations, OFE provides free training, resources and networking opportunities. Among its services, the foundation offers state and regional networking and training events; board member retreats; e-news updates and online resources. The foundation also presents $1,000 Outstanding Program Awards for Local Education Foundations, recognizing innovative programs sponsored or administered by public school foundations.

For more information, visit the LEF Outreach section of the foundation website at or contact Karen Rose at (918) 743-5533 or e-mail