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Inaugural Swantz award and $86,000 given to teachers at La Crosse Public Education Foundation luncheon



The La Crosse Public Education Foundation held its annual banquet Tuesday afternoon at the Cargill Room in La Crosse.

56 grants worth more than $86,000 were handed out to teachers throughout the district to be used for classroom projects or experiences.

Several awards for service were also handed out, including one named after long-time superintendent and founder of the foundation, Dick Swantz.

Mark White, the director of human resources at Hogan, was the inaugural recipient, and deferred to the teachers in his speech.

“Teachers are the superstars in this enterprise that we’re in,” White said. “I may be getting recognition today, but those are the people who are really doing the work in our field.”

White added that he emulated Swantz and took his philosophy to heart.

“Do what I thought was right, and what was best for students and for children,” White said. “That started way back with Dick because that was his mantra, ‘what is this going to do for the children.”

Swants’ son Tony, who was in attendance, spoke about the pride his father would have if he were there.

“There’s no greater honor to be bestowed,” Tony Swantz said. “It’s bittersweet but it’s awesome. It’s the most important work you can do.”

Dick Swantz served as superintendent of the La Crosse School District for 21 years (1977-1998), before retiring and getting into local politics.

White has been with the district for 34 years, including 26 as principal at Hintgen Elementary.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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