The 2018 theme of the Leavenworth Public Schools Education Foundation is “Inspire.”

And the organization is asking students, staff and community representatives, “Who or what has inspired you?”

The organization is videotaping the responses and posting them on its website and Facebook page.

Catey Edwards, director of the foundation, said several people have participated in the project already.

Leavenworth High School drama teacher Jennifer Morgan was the first person chosen to respond. She said she was inspired by a high school teacher who enlightened her about theater.

Leavenworth High School junior Gretchen Stephens participated in the project and said she finds inspiration while working in leadership events at the school.

Edwards said the organization will continue the project throughout the year.

“The ‘Inspire’ theme is for … this year only,” Edwards said. “For the near future, I believe the foundation will rally around a new theme each year, so we may continue the feature/spotlight opportunity, but it would be embedded in a new theme each year.”

Edwards said the video initiative is about “finding ways to connect the good work of the foundation with our community.”

Edwards said the project is another way to mobilize and re-energize foundation members, donors and the community.

“We are on a path of re-connection with the community and expansion of programs in the district,” Edwards said. “The foundation is committed to becoming more of an active and visible part of the community. We are hosting more events, which will lead to increased exposure of the organization, resulting in growth/support/participation and overall success.”

Liz Anstine, a business and marketing teacher at the high school, said helping students reach their potential inspires her.

“Looking back on my high school days, I always wished I would have had a teacher that believed in me enough to advocate for me and provide guidance,” she said in an email. “I felt there was a stigma over me because I came from a lower income family. Fast forward to more than 15 successful years in a competitive corporate business world, even though there were daily observations of gender inequality, I developed strong communications skills, confidence in my abilities and a passion to reach out to students and become an advocate for them regardless of gender, race and/or financial abilities or inabilities.

“Leavenworth High School has been a perfect diverse landing place for me to share my passion of ensuring inclusion and equity in building a sustainable educational opportunity for students. I want to introduce students to as many opportunities as possible, so when they leave high school they’ve had enough experiences to help them lead with confidence, open-mindedness and empathy for others. I love watching students gain the skills they need in reaching great successes based on their individual desires. Watching students pursue wonder and becoming self-advocates is one of the ways I measure my success as a teacher.”

Visit the Leavenworth Public Schools Education Foundation online at lpsef.usd453.org or find it on Facebook.

For more information, contact Edwards at 913-684-1550 or catey.edwards@lvpioneers.org

Twitter: @LVTimesRountree