Funding Aspen’s Future: Aspen Education Foundation

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In 1991, a small group of visionary parents created the Aspen Education Foundation (AEF) to bridge the gap in state funding for Aspen School District through private donations. Almost three decades later, AEF continues to fund programs and positions that enhance the student experience, and that otherwise wouldn’t exist due to a $1,300 per student annual deficit in public funding.

Below are two examples of how AEF makes a difference.


Supporting Higher Education

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Did you know Aspen High School’s college counseling department wouldn’t exist without funding from Aspen Education Foundation? This department consists of three professionals whose positions are made possible by AEF. Their main goal is to assist students and parents with college planning, which is made possible by maintaining relationships with colleges and universities nationwide. At the helm and well-known in the Aspen community, as well as in college admissions offices across the country, is Dr. Kathy Klug. She has been an instrumental part of the Aspen School District for 22 years, first as a teacher and now as a shrewd, effective college advisor to hundreds of AHS students. In addition, she co-founded the Colorado Western Slope College Fair that brings admission officers from 250 colleges and universities to Aspen each year. Learn more about Dr. Klug and college counseling.


Robotics = Learning + Fun


Robotics is one of the many programs that AEF funds.  It teaches students to become builders, engineers and problem solvers while introducing programming skills and fostering creativity. Caroline Hanson, Aspen Middle School’s enrichment coordinator and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teacher leads 5th through 8th graders in this innovative and fun program that is designed to provide students with tools for success in college and STEM fields. In addition, robotics is also offered for Aspen High School students.

"Robotics involves public speaking and research; it also involves teamwork, core values, respect and cooperating in the process of competing," states Hanson. "It has the technology piece, the coding piece, the robotics piece, the building piece, which is really the main hook for the students."

The class culminates with local and regional tournaments that inspire friendly competition and real-world learning. Learn more about the robotics program.


Both college counseling positions and the robotics program are being supported by AEF’s Spring into Action annual fund campaign that kicks off this week. Join us in making educational excellence a priority.