Dysart Education Foundation

DEF is composed of volunteers who are passionate about supporting education in our community.  We are a nonprofit organization committed to raising funds for the purpose of enriching student learning in the Dysart Unified School District and supporting continued education for high school graduates.

More Information

Dysart Education Foundation (DEF) was established in 1985 by employees and community members of the Dysart Unified School District. The Dysart Education Foundation was established for the purpose of raising, receiving, and disbursing funds to enrich the education and activities of students, teachers, and staff in the Dysart Unified School District. DEF is completely run by volunteers which ensures that every donation goes directly to funding scholarships and grants. Our board is comprised of retired teachers, professors, administrators, community leaders, and parents. DEF cares about our community and is dedicated to supporting our future leaders through education!

Are you passionate about supporting student education?  Do you have time, skills, or community connections that you’d like to use to help further the mission of the Dysart Education Foundation?  If so, please contact us today at general@defweb.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Currently the Dysart Education Foundation supports students through providing scholarships that high school graduates from the Dysart Unified School District can use toward higher education tuition costs.  Also, each year teachers are selected through a competitive grant process to receive mini-grants for innovative classroom learning activities.  Programs like this can only be sustained through the generous contributions of the community we serve.


Individual and Business Donations
The Dysart Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and, as such, donations to the organization may be tax deductible. The Foundation relies on contributions from the Dysart community for its funding and volunteer assistance.
United Way Campaign

United Way donations can be designated specifically for the Dysart Education Foundation. In 2019, DEF raised over $6,500 through the United Way.

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Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE) Scholarship Recipient Nate Lundy is a sophomore at the University of Arizona, studying Business Management. Here's what this Shadow Ridge HS alumni has to say:

"My last semester at the University of Arizona went fantastic. I finished with great grades, and my first semester as an RA was a fantastic experience. After taking classes such as accounting, I have decided that I am very passionate about accounting and now am considering changing my major to accounting within business instead of management. Next semester I plan on actually applying for the Eller College of Business within the University of Arizona. Also plan on re-applying to be an RA for my junior year! The attached photo is a picture of me and my fellow RA's hiking on Mount Lemmon near Tucson. We all love the outdoors and often go hiking and exploring in nature! ( I am in the front row with the white shirt on).

Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity with the scholarship that allows me to attend the University of Arizona. Without your sponsorship I wouldn’t be able to attend my college or be where I am today."

Nate, we're happy to hear of your progress. Keep up the good work!
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Tori Coria is a 2018 DHS Alumni Scholarship recipient. Tori is at Arizona State University studying Health Care Coordination. From Tori:

"This past semester was academically successful. I am excited to get to explore and gain more knowledge on the world of health care through a graduate program. When I am not in class or studying, I like to spend my time with my friends and family. I also enjoy volunteering every Sunday in children ministries at my church.

I am honored to be a recipient of the DEF Scholarship and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued support to students who need it. Your scholarship has opened prospects of a brighter future and will play a key role in shaping me into a successful person in the future. Donors like you make life brighter for us and I only hope that one day, I too will be in a position to bring a smile to another student. I cannot express my gratitude enough."

We appreciate your kind words, Tori, and wish you every success as you continue your studies!
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2017 Friends of the Surprise Libraries scholarship recipient Jennifer Lance, who is finishing up her paralegal studies at Phoenix College, recently sent us this update:

"This semester has been a wild ride for me. Through networking with an old coworker from my retail job, I was able to get an entry-level job at a civil litigation law firm! While I'm not working as a paralegal, I've learned so much already from asking questions and asking for tasks outside of my job description. I'm learning something new every day from my coworkers and it's exciting to put my knowledge from my program to actual use. This was also my first semester of working essentially 9 to 5 and then going to school right after, which I adjusted to surprisingly well. Having a job in the field that I'm studying makes it so much easier to wake up every morning and go throughout my day, and it really motivates me to keep going! This upcoming semester will be my last semester of schooling and I'm excited to start working full-time in this field!

I'm so thankful for the DEF scholarship sponsors for all that they've done for myself and other recipients. The field I'm studying now is different from what I had applied with and it took me a few switches to get where I am today, and the DEF scholarship sponsors continued to support me despite the changes. It's been such a relief to not have to worry about how I'm going to pay my classes or my textbooks, and instead focus on my schooling and job. Thank you so much!"

Jennifer, congratulations on your progress and best wishes from DEF as you enter the workforce!
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2019-2020 Dysart Education Foundation Board Members

Billie Laird


Quinn Kellis


Teresa Heatherly


Kristi Richards


Donya Davis-Seay


Fran Sperling


Michelle Benham


Bill Pupo


Holly Bowen


Monica Dorcey


Ken Hicks


Kara Poling


Contribute to Our Mission

Large or small, your tax-deductible contribution to the Dysart Education Foundation directly affects the quality education programs. Make a donation using Paypal. A donation verification letter will be sent to the address you enter when making your donation. This letter may take up to 30 days to arrive. If you leave an email address we can email you the letter.

If choosing to donate by mail, please make sure to include all the following information when you send in your donation…

  • Your name
  • Your address, city, state and zip
  • Your phone number
  • Your tax-deductible contribution amount

Please mail to:

Dysart Education Foundation
P.O. Box 1898
Surprise, Arizona 85378-1898

Thank you for your contribution!

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the members of the Dysart Education Foundation Board using the link above.  Thank you!