Student Scholarship Testimonial – Madison Vu

“I’m an expert at math, but writing is not my strong suit,” so the essay portion of the scholarship application was a little challenging for me,” says Madison Vu, 2020 graduate of North Thurston High School. “But thankfully I had Ms. Ponzoha, the Career Center Specialist, to help. She was the one who recommended I apply for the scholarship.”

Madison is the recipient of the John Gott Educational Scholarship. The one-year scholarship provides $1,000 with potential renewals of $1,000 for three additional years (for a total of $4,000) upon evidence of continuing academic success. It was established in honor of Dr. John Gott, former Superintendent of North Thurston School District upon his retirement in 1991 and is intended to support the education of a graduating senior who is pursuing a career in education.

“I love math and want to help young people find the joy in learning, particularly in a subject that some find challenging,” says Madison. “This scholarship is going to help offset the costs of living on campus, which I’m excited about because it will give me the true college experience.”

Madison plans to attend St. Martin’s University full time in the fall and live on campus. Congratulations Madison and best wishes for a bright future!

Student Scholarship Testimonial – Collin Moore

A 2020 Graduate of Timberline High School, Collin Moore is the recipient of a Lewis R. Hawthorne & Edna C. Hawthorne Scholarship in the amount of $10,000. These scholarships were established by a bequest from the estate of Lewis R. Hawthorne and Edna C. Hawthorne, Lacey residents whose nephew and niece taught at North Thurston High School and Timberline High School, respectively.

“The application process was definitely a bit challenging, but Ms.Gold at Timberline High School was really helpful,” says Collin. “I had to write an essay as well as gather other information including personal recommendations.”

Collin plans to attend South Puget Sound Community College full time in the fall and pursue studies in the area of mathematics. “I really love math and want to do something math-related in the future,” says Moore. “This scholarship will help significantly with first year expenses and I’m so thankful that I was awarded this gift that will help me continue my education.”

We are so glad to help support Collin and other students! Congratulations and good luck next year, Collin!

2020 Scholarship Award Recipients

Timberline High School 
Maria Jelaine Barretto – Foundation Scholarship
McKenzie Bowers – Davies Vocational-Technical Scholarship
Arianna Bush – Foundation Scholarship
Elyanna Calle – Foundation Scholarship
Morgan Cromartie – Foundation Scholarship
Jada Daniels – Jeannette Hostetter Ford Memorial Scholarship
Lauryn Daniels – Foundation Scholarship
Alexander Dimico – Foundation Scholarship
Riley Gonzalez – James Koval Memorial Scholarship
Madison Hamilton – Foundation Scholarship
An Ho – Foundation Scholarship
Jasmine Matchawate – Foundation Scholarship
Jordan Moldenhauer – American Workforce Scholarship
Collin Moore – Lewis R. & Edna C. Hawthorne Scholarship
Mackenzie Phan – Lewis R. & Edna C. Hawthorne Scholarship
Isaac Quiocho – Dr. Roy Pedersen Memorial Scholarship
Michael Rogers – Foundation Scholarship
Ian Teodoro – Nicholas T. Walker Scholarship
Isaiah Utto – Galarneau – Dr. G. Sue Shannon Scholarship
Dominique Wolf – Charles E. Callahan Education Scholarship

North Thurston High School 
Thomas Arend – Foundation Scholarship
Lochla Glass – Foundation Scholarship
Samantha Harding – Foundation Scholarship
Nia Harris – Foundation Scholarship
Payton Huss – Alex Ward Memorial Scholarship
Hayden Kosmider – Foundation Scholarship
Daniella LeBlanc-Debruler – Lewis R. Hawthorne & Edna C. Hawthorne Scholarship
Jacob Olson – Foundation Scholarship
Carianna Plascencia – Foundation Scholarship
Kyle Shimabukuro – Lewis R. Hawthorne & Edna C. Hawthorne Scholarship
McKenzie Squires – Foundation Scholarship
Madison Vu – John Gott Education Scholarship
Emma Waldon – Foundation Scholarship

River Ridge High School 
Bridgette Byerly – Foundation Scholarship
Willa Eisel – Foundation Scholarship
Jacie Fabela – Colton Thorstrom Smith Scholarship
Eli Francom – Foundation Scholarship
Madison Mercado – Lisa Corwin Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations, students! Great work and we wish you the best of luck in the future!

North Thurston Education Foundation Awards $136,000 in Scholarships to 41 Students!

The North Thurston Education Foundation has awarded scholarships with a total value of $136,000 to 41 graduating seniors from North Thurston Public Schools.

“It was a challenging year for the graduating class of 2020 in many respects. Application procedures were changed based on school closures and students were required to submit their applications by mail,” said Cathy Callahan, Foundation Scholarship Chair.  “Due to the high quality of the 52 applications the Foundation received, the selection process was difficult. After careful consideration, the scholarship committee was pleased to award scholarships to 41 students who will be attending community colleges and colleges and universities across the country.”

Scholarships awarded range from $2,000 to $10,000. Applications were evaluated on a number of factors including academic achievement, school and community activities, references, quality of the required essay and financial need.

The following graduating seniors received this year’s awards:

 North Thurston High School: Thomas Arend, Lochla Glass, Samantha Harding, Nia Harris, Payton Huss, Hayden Kosmider, Daniella LeBlanc-Debruler, Jacob Olson, Carianna Plascencia, Kyle Shimabukuro, McKenzie Squires, Madison Vu and Emma Waldon

Timberline High School: Maria Jelaine Barretto, McKenzie Bowers, Arianna Bush, Elyanna Calle, Morgan Cromartie, Jada Daniels, Lauryn Daniels, Alexander Dimico, Riley Gonzalez, Madison Hamilton, An Ho, Jasmine Matchawate, Jordan Moldenhauer, Collin Moore, Mackenzie Phan, Isaac Quiocho, Michael Rogers, Ian Teodoro, Isaiah Utto-Galarneau, Dominique Wolf and Grace Zhang

River Ridge High School: Bridgette Byerly, Willa Eisel, Jacie Fabela, Eli Francom, Madison Mercado, Julian Ruatos and Samuel Taylor

Sixteen of the scholarships are named after individuals in the community and funded by bequests from or donations on behalf of the persons for whom they are named. The remaining scholarships were funded solely by the Foundation’s annual fund-raising and by an unrestricted grant from the Dawkins Charitable Trust.

Congratulations Seniors and Best Wishes!

North Thurston Public Schools’ Family & Youth Resource Center is a Hub of Compassion in Action!

When North Thurston Public Schools  (NTPS) began operating the Family & Youth Resource Center (FYR Center) last August, its leaders and staff had no idea it would become a vital logistical hub for youth and families negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis just six months later.

COVID-19 and the economic contraction it triggered have compromised the income security of countless Thurston County families. As parents facing layoffs scramble to cover the cost of housing, food and everyday living supplies, NTPS has worked quickly to organize enhancements to its already robust network of support services. “We’re seeing people we’ve never seen before,” says Leslie Van Leishout, director of student support. “These are people that don’t know how to navigate support systems because they’ve never had to.”

These resource center pickups are made possible by a cooperative web of local nonprofit organizations. Van Leishout and other district leaders emphasize that the financial support provided by the North Thurston Education Foundation (NTEF) is critical to their work. “We literally could not give out everything we’re distributing without the Education Foundation,” says Van Leishout. Funds from NTEF are used to supplement the supply of food and necessities donated by other community organizations. This school year so far, NTEF has invested about $36,000 in the work at the FYR Center, including support specifically for homeless youth.

Read the full Thurston Talk article HERE

*Photo Courtesy North Thurston Public Schools 

Thank You For Your Support!

Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to donate about $1,500 per week in supplies to the North Thurston Public Schools Family and Youth Resource Center including cleaning and household supplies, toiletries, and more. We are so thankful for your continued support during this unprecedented time.



Thank You to an Anonymous Donor!

We recently received a generous donation of a donor’s Federal Stimulus check to our Foundation. This donor has been involved with NTEF for decades and donated the entire $1200 check to NTEF.

“I am in a position to be able to do this, and I understand how difficult this time is for people right here in Thurston County,” the donor said. “There is not a school in this district that has not directly seen benefits from NTEF. The monies stay within our community and target specific needs within the parameters of NTEF’s own mission statement. The more funds are raised, the more students are helped to help achieve the goal of a healthy community.”

It’s Because of YOU!

And we are so appreciative for the ongoing support of the community and our donors!

Scholarship Applications Due May 1

Because schools will not be reopening this spring, scholarship applications must be submitted by mail to the North Thurston Education Foundation, PO Box 3312, Lacey, WA. 98509. Applications must be postmarked by no later than Friday, May 1, 2020.

For transcripts, please contact:

Ms. Stepherson at River Ridge ([email protected]),

Ms. Boesenberg at Timberline ([email protected]),

Ms. Ponzoha at North Thurston ([email protected]),

Mr. Lunde at South Sound ([email protected]).

They will submit your transcripts directly to the Foundation. Please be sure that all other documents are included with your application and remember that applications postmarked after May 1, 2020, will not be accepted.

Please visit for the application form.

Thank you!

Franz Family Bakery Pitches In!

Thank you Franz Family Bakery Outlet of Lacey and Lisa for your generous donation of bread, bagels, muffins and more! This is a great addition to the supplemental food bags the Family & Youth Resource (FYR) Center will be providing to assist families in need. North Thurston Public Schools is fortunate to have caring and compassionate partners, such as Franz Bakery, to ensure we can support our families needs!

For questions, contact the Resource Center at (360) 412-4484 or visit

*photo courtesy Franz Bakeries