Rural Community Partner of the Year

Past Winners

Rural Community Partner of the Year Award

The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) Board of Directors established this award to recognize a community member who has made significant contributions to his/her rural school district.

To be nominated you must be an individual community member or a local business/industry leader in a WiRSA member school district.

Award winners will be selected by the WiRSA Board of Directors Executive Committee.

2017 Rural Community Partner of the Year Award Winner

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA)

2017 Rural Community Partner Award Winner

Sleepy Hollow Auto Viroqua School District

 Sleepy Hollow Auto was honored by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA), a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping address challenges faced by rural school districts, at the annual Rural Schools Conference on October 30, 2017.

Sleepy Hollow owners LaVon and Michelle Felton are very generous to their community and extremely humble about it.  They are known for giving back to the local schools.  This is evident in answering the call when two local districts, Westby and Viroqua, needed new scoreboards.  Instead of choosing one over the other, they chose both.

School groups always know they can count on the Feltons for donations to support their cause.  It is almost a given that if you ask Spanky for help he will say yes.  Many times, you don’t have to ask, Spanky will call to offer help.  Viroqua’s Agriculture Department and the Vernon County 4H are often the recipient of Felton’s generosity.  Gunderson Health also receives assistance for stroke victims.

Local graduates annually receive scholarships from the Feltons.  Recently, the Feltons offered more scholarships than applicants.  LaVon called the school and asked if there were any other deserving students.  A name was offered, and a scholarship granted.

The generosity listed above is certainly admirable but is not what sets LaVon and Michelle apart from the others.  Where others think locally, LaVon and Michelle think and act regionally.

The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance was formed to help rural school districts address the unique issues that affect rural schools as they seek to achieve the highest quality education for every student.  Members include a cross-section of administrators, educators, school board members, post-secondary representatives, rural community members, business leaders, and other concerned individuals who want a strong voice for rural education.