School Foundations Network names new director

Katy LeffelDirector, Oklahoma School Foundations Network

OKLAHOMA CITY – Katy Leffel, a former educator with experience in school foundation and nonprofit leadership, has been named the director of the Oklahoma School Foundations Network.

Formerly known as the Local Education Foundation Outreach Program, the Oklahoma School Foundations Network is a program of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a nonprofit organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools.

As director, Leffel will provide technical assistance and training to Oklahoma school foundation leaders and groups seeking to establish foundations in their communities. Through its outreach program, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has helped build one of the largest networks of local education foundations in the country, with 200 established to date. These citizen-led nonprofits help raise private dollars for their school districts and encourage community involvement in local schools.

“We are delighted to welcome Katy Leffel to our foundation staff,” said Emily Stratton, executive director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. “Katy brings a unique combination of experience as a foundation president, nonprofit leader and educator. She understands the important role that foundations play in helping schools provide the best possible programs and resources for student success.”

Leffel, an Oklahoma City resident, has served since 2014 as president of Wilson Arts Inc., a nonprofit school foundation that supports Wilson Elementary School in Oklahoma City. Under her leadership, the foundation developed an annual fundraiser, forged community partnerships to support the arts, and received major grant funding.

Leffel has also gained nonprofit experience through her work as vice chair and governance chair for the board of Skyline Urban Ministry in Oklahoma City. She served from 2012 to 2017 as an associate board member of Historic Preservation Inc., co-chairing and later chairing the Heritage Hills Home Tour and serving three years as newsletter editor. She has served as president and a board member of the Wilson Elementary PTA and has been a Wilson tutor/mentor since 2009.

A former science teacher for Putnam City Schools, Leffel earned her bachelor of science degree in science education in 1998 from the University of Iowa and her master of education, administration, curriculum and supervision degree in 2003 from the University of Oklahoma.

“I am excited to join the staff of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence,” Leffel said. “In this time of ever-shrinking budgets and expanding student needs, the work school foundations do to bridge the gaps is essential to the success of our schools and students. As a longtime school foundation volunteer and public education advocate, I am excited to work with the Oklahoma School Foundations Network to support and expand the work of school foundations across the state.”