Fort Zumwalt Education Foundation
About the Fort Zumwalt Education Foundation
During the 2004-05 school year, a steering committee was formed at the request of the Board of Education to discuss possibilities in recruiting teachers in high needs areas. This board objective was a result of the growing need to hire teachers in areas such as special education, foreign language, industrial technology, math and science. There is a shortage in the State of Missouri for applicants in these certification areas. The steering committee researched a program called “Grow Your Own Teachers” where districts select their own graduates who agree to earn a degree and obtain certification in a high needs area. The college tuition for the student would be paid in exchange for the student returning to teach in the district. A legal contract and set criteria would be established.

In the spring of 2005, the Grow Your Own Teachers steering committee recommended that an education foundation be formed so that there would be funding for such a program. On November 10, 2005, Robin Carnahan, Secretary of State, incorporated the Fort Zumwalt Education Foundation. Six people were selected to serve on the initial Board of Directors and the first official Fort Zumwalt Education Foundation Board meeting was held on November 28, 2005. The foundation has 501(c) 3 status, which allows tax-deductible contributions and other tax benefits for contributors.

Thank you for visiting our site and please check back often for updates. (Click Here to see GYOT on Channel 4, Sept. 2015)

Group photo students at conference 

Grow Your Own Teachers Program

The Grow Your Own Teachers (GYOT) Program provides financial assistance in the form of a forgivable loan to individuals selected to participate in the program. The purpose of providing this financial assistance is to allow program participants to complete their undergraduate degree in a high needs area of teacher education, with the ultimate goal of receiving their teacher certification and working as a teacher in the Fort Zumwalt School District.


The GYOT Program identifies individuals who will be graduates of the Fort Zumwalt School District and who are interested in pursuing careers in teaching areas of high needs. Components of the program include financial support, seminars, work experiences, mentor support and job placement upon successful completion of all requirements for teacher certification and criteria of the program. Applicants must submit a completed application packet prior to the deadline in order to be considered.


Fort Zumwalt School District has experienced tremendous growth since the 1990’s and with this growth comes the need of additional teachers. Simultaneously, the teacher “shortage areas” identified by the State of Missouri continue to worsen for several certification categories. The GYOT Program will raise awareness and assistance among Fort Zumwalt students wanting to pursue a career in teaching. It will provide development and leadership opportunities for these students and also increase the number of quality teaching candidates for these hard to fill areas in the Fort Zumwalt School District.


Our Fundraising Events

Annual 5K Run at Fort Zumwalt North High School

In May of 2009 the Leadership classes in our high schools collaborated with the Foundation and started the Leadership 5K.  The goal of this event is two-fold.  First, the planning of the event helps to develop our high school students and future leaders.  Second, we are raising money for the Grow Your Own Teachers Program in Fort Zumwalt.  


In 2011, several elementary schools joined efforts with the Leadership 5K so that young students have the opportunity to participate in the Better Together Program.  The program encourages the participants to be active, read and practice being a good friend to all. Over the course of about 8 months, participants are asked to read 26 developmentally appropriate books (30 pages = 1 book, if reading chapter books) and do 26 good deeds/acts of service and run 25 miles individually.  The final 1.2 miles needed to complete a full marathon is accomplished at the 5K.


Our 5K Run continues to grow each year. We appreciate the efforts of all of our students, staff and community to make this a great event for all! Use the tab at left to see the 5K/Fun Run website.


Annual Foundation Golf Tournament at Wing Haven Country Club Learn More here

This year marks our 12th annual golf tournament which helps fund the Grow Your Own Teachers Program.   Each year, many of our golfers from the Fort Zumwalt Community come together for a great day of golf, prizes, silent auction, great food and lots of fun!  Anyone interested in finding out more about the golf tournament for this year should contact Keith Jennings, Principal at Rock Creek Elementary School ([email protected]) or Cary Jennings, Principal at Ostmann Elementary School ([email protected]). Details available after Winter Break each school year.


Trivia or Taste of Fort Zumwalt at the Elks Lodge in O’Fallon

Taste of Fort Zumwalt is the original fund raiser for the Grow Your Own Teachers Program.  Each year, “The Taste” brings a number of great local restaurants to the Elks Lodge in O’Fallon, MO, and Fort Zumwalt staff and community join together for great food, music, and good times with colleagues.  At the same time, guests are invited to buy tickets for raffle baskets and bid on silent auction items. Must be 21 to attend.  Anyone interested in finding out more about the Taste of Fort Zumwalt may e-mail Erin Gruntman, Administrative Intern at Mount Hope Elementary School ([email protected]).

In 2018, a new tradition came to be when the first GYOT Trivia Night proved a great success. These fundraisers will now alternate, meaning you should keep an eye out for information on the 2019 Taste this fall.


Other ways you can help

There are many different ways to contribute to the Fort Zumwalt Education Foundation. While the majority of our contributions come from employees through payroll deduction, there are other opportunities to get involved. Our events not only raise funds for the foundation, but also help build a sense of community and camaraderie among the school district and the community. Volunteering your time and donating items for silent auctions or event promotion for any of our three major events is a great way to contribute.


Other ways donations have been received:

- A retiring teacher asked that retirement gifts to her be made as a donation to the education foundation. Contribution total = $1080.

- Another teacher donated sick day reimbursement to the education foundation when she retired. Contribution total = $400.

- Some families have chosen donations in the name of a family member lieu of flowers. Be sure to include the name of the person you are memorializing. Donations can be made by mailing a check, payable to the Fort Zumwalt Education Foundation, and sent to Jeremy Moore, 555 East Terra Lane, O'Fallon, MO. 

-Special Person's Recognition: Many parents and students have chosen to recognize a special educator who has made a difference in their lives. This is a great way to recognize service to an individual, a school, the district or the greater community.


Contact Us

You can reach the Education Foundation through Fort Zuwmalt School District. Call 636.240-2072, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.