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.

Amazon Smile
DEF is registered as a non-profit on Amazon Smile. Register today and select Dysart Education Foundation on the website below. When you purchase items from Amazon Smile, a small percentage of your total will be donated to DEF helping us support students and teachers in the Dysart School District. Thank you for your support!
Fry's Community Rewards

DEF is registered as a non-profit with Fry’s Food Stores. Log in to your Fry’s account, select Community Rewards then select Dysart Education Foundation or one of the high school alumni groups to support a scholarship for that school. Once you link your Card, all you have to do is shop at Fry’s and swipe your Shopper’s Card. Click here for more information about Fry’s Community Rewards.

  • Dysart Education Foundation
  • Dysart High School Alumni
  • Dysart Education Foundation – Shadow Ridge HS Alum
  • Dysart Education Foundation – Valley Vista HS Alum
  • Dysart Education Foundation – Willow Canyon HS Alum

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2016 Shadow Ridge graduate Samantha Morrison is finishing up her NAU degree in Mechanical Engineering this semester and already has a job! Here's what she wrote to us back in January:

"Last semester was the most challenging semester out of the seven semesters of college I have completed. Between multiple team projects, mostly 400 level classes, and working, I am proud of my performance during the semester. Next semester I plan to be just as, if not more successful. The next semester will be my last where I will fulfill the remaining requirements for my major, computer science minor, mathematics minor, and to graduate from the honors college. I look forward to completing this semester and moving forward by starting my career with an amazing job opportunity I have starting after graduation.

Thank you so much for contributing to this amazing scholarship program! I am truly and deeply thankful for the opportunity to continue my education and to have been aided so greatly in this endeavor by the DEF scholarship. I would not have been able to be as successful and prepared for life after college had it not been for this scholarship program."

Samantha, DEF and sponsors are happy that we could help. Congratulations! Please stay in touch!
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3 months ago

Dysart Education Foundation

Mini-grant update: iExplore teacher, Kathryn Voss from Marley Park Elementary School shared this time lapse video of her unpacking the materials for the project cart to be used in their Young Entrepreneurs signature program. Thank you for sharing and we look forward to more updates in the future! #DysartProud #DysartAcademics ... See MoreSee Less

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We're looking for a graduating senior who wants to be a teacher! Ms. Sylvia Urias wanted to be a teacher and will soon complete her 38th year of teaching in the Dysart District. Ms. Urias grew up in El Mirage and attended Dysart schools from 6th grade through high school.

The Dr. Gail Pletnick Education Award is a scholarship that is just for Dysart graduates who plan to teach! That scholarship and many others are available on the DEF website: https://defweb.org/scholarships/

Thank you, Ms. Urias, for your many years of dedicated service to the students in the Dysart School District!
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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!