Milestones and History of the Foundation

The Quincy Public Schools Foundation began in 1989 as the Quincy Foundation for Quality Education (QFQE) to aid in the funding of academic program enrichment, quality enhancement, and extended learning opportunities in the Quincy Public Schools.


The Quincy Foundation for Quality Education (QFQE) was created in the fall by a volunteer Board of Trustees in recognition of the importance of public education.

The first QFQE bylaws were adopted. Fundraising and distribution began.

Teacher Grants were implemented. QPSF has two Teacher Grant Cycles per year, making awards in the fall and spring. Any QPS employee is eligible to apply for a Teacher Grant.

The Child/Family Mentor Program was created through a teacher grant.  The Child/Family Mentor Program actively involves more than 200 mentors assisting children in the Quincy Public Schools every year.  This program matches positive, caring adult volunteers with students in a one-on-one supportive relationship.  The program has earned the Governor’s Home Town Award, the Tutor/Mentor Connection Award for the State of Illinois and the Presidential Daily Points of Light Award.  We partner with the Quincy Public Schools to support this program.

The QFQE Scholarship Program was initiated.  The Foundation awards seven scholarships annually to QHS graduates.

The Science for Life Initiative was successfully implemented as an inquiry-based science curriculum in the Quincy Public Schools.  Since the project’s conception, the Foundation has maintained its commitment to assist Quincy Public Schools by providing additional funding necessary for teacher training and the acquisition of quality materials for all pre-K-12 classrooms.  The final phase of Science for Life was completed in 2007.

The first Circles of Investment were initiated and celebrated.  Circles of Investment are a unique way to honor an individual, group, or company  while adding support to students and education in Quincy.  This investment will touch the lives of children in our community for generations to come.  To create a new Circle, the minimum investment is $10,000. To create a new Bench, the minimum investment is $50,000.  Gifts of any amount may be added to a Circle or Bench at any time.

The Kirk Family Circle of Investment Garden was dedicated.

QPS Literacy Initiative.  The Foundation sent five QPS teachers to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock training with Dr. Linda Dorn to become trained Literacy Coaches.

A new electronic sign was erected in front of QHS in memory of the late principal Paul Koscielski.  The QHS Alumni Association raised a significant portion of funding for this project.

QFQE underwent a feasibility study to analyze the possibility of a major gifts campaign.  One of the major changes coming out of the study was to change the organization’s name to better reflect our mission. We are now the Quincy Public Schools Foundation.

The quiet phase of the DREAM BIG campaign began. DREAM BIG started as a $4M dollar major gifts campaign with targeted initiatives in the areas of Curriculum, Technology, Fine Arts, Athletics, and Endowment.

The public phase of the DREAM BIG campaign was launched and the effort continued into 2017.  Reading Recovery was reinstated in all QPS elementary schools and Flinn Memorial Stadium received a new FieldTurf artificial surface.

The QJHS band room was renovated and renamed for Dr. John Lynn Lubker, QHS ’47.

The entire QPS District went wireless!  Over the next year, the Foundation placed more than 500 wireless devices in our schools.

The Quincy community overwhelmingly supported a building referendum by a 2:1 margin.  Quincy Public Schools began construction in June, 2015 on the first of five new elementary schools and an addition to QHS that allowed 9th-graders to attend high school with their peers.

The Jean Stettner Media Center at Lincoln-Douglas Elementary was named thanks to an estate gift from the late Jean Stettner.

The Norma Tushaus Bench and endowment were created, thanks to an estate gift from the late Norma Tushaus, to fund the district's Child and Family Mentor Program.

The foundation funded a major Science curriculum project for 8th Grade classrooms providing new textbooks and access to online curriculum.

Eligibility for Teacher Grants was officially opened to non-certified QPS staff and the program renamed as QPS Staff Grants. A new grant category with a maximum award of $25,000 was launched for certified teaching staff and administration. It was named the Dream Big Grant.

The Annual Campaign of the Foundation was officially named the Dream Big Annual Campaign. For the first time, a goal was set of $150,000. Kathi Dooley was honored with our Dream Big Award at our A Night to Dream Big Gala, and Campaign Chairs, Reaugh and Ned Broemmel assisted in exceeding our goal, reaching $212,750 by the end of the campaign.

The second Dream Big Annual Campaign was held with John and Dale Stevenson as honorary chairs. The goal was $200,000, and it was massively exceeded, yielding a final total of $300,000. Harold Knapheide III was honored posthumously at the A Night to Dream Big Gala with the Dream Big Award.

The QPS Foundation committed $150,000 to technology upgrades at Quincy Junior High, continuing our "pillar" of support for technology in the district. The funds were used to expand internet and curriculum accessibility in the classrooms with new Chromebooks and charging carts among other plans of the District's IT Department.

A major gift campaign was executed, led by James Hansen, through the foundation for the new Flinn Stadium Expansion locker room and weight room facility totaling over $1.3 million - the largest single project in the history of the foundation. The facility opened in April of 2020.

A major gift of machining equipment and materials was made through the foundation to QAVTC from Paul and Joan Mast. Valued at $260,000, the gift greatly enhanced the capabilities of the department.

The Martha McCrory Endowment for Music Camp Scholarships (and Bench) was created to award current QHS students financial aid for music camps and other programs approved by the QHS Music Department.


QPSF worked closely with the school district with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of its fundraisers and programs were canceled, though the community continued to show strong support.


QPSF held a record-breaking annual campaign. Chaired by Todd & Michelle Moore, QPSF had an initial goal of $200,000, but raised $321,078. Ryan Tanner ’97 was awarded the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award and Mr. Richard Heitholt was honored with the Dream Big Award.


QPSF once again raised a record-breaking total of donations during its annual campaign. Chaired by Tim & Wendy Koontz, an incredible $355,213 was raised in support of QPSF programming. Jim Stewart ’69 was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award and Ann Boland ’68 was recognized with the Dream Big Award.

QPSF worked with local partners, including the Dot Foods Charitable Giving Program and Dr. George and Mary Nell Meyer, to fund a large digital screen for the QHS Gym. This project was outside of the annual grants program and will allow the athletics programs using the gym to expand their capacity through the sales of video ads.