Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Koch Foundation Announces Culture Of Excellence Grants

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel, center, joins Robert L. Koch II (seated to the bishop's right) and Jim Muehlbauer (seated to the bishop's left), Diocese of Evansville pastors and school principals, and diocesan staff members.

On Jan. 4 at the Diocese of Evansville Catholic Center, The Koch Foundation announced the Culture of Excellence Grants program to benefit 15 Catholic parish schools located within southwestern Indiana and the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School in Henderson, Ky. 

The Culture of Excellence Grants are to provide an opportunity for the parish schools to permanently raise the levels of excellence in the spiritual, academic, social and physical education of their students to prepare them to assume leadership roles in their chosen fields based on Catholic values. 

The grants are for a three-year period and will be awarded in July for the years 2018 – 2020. They total $558,000 in support for the schools.

The Catholic schools in the Diocese of Evansville are currently creating mission-based strategic plans to guide their efforts for the next three years. The Koch Foundation encourages Catholic schools to consolidate their efforts by incorporating their proposals for the Culture of Excellence Grants within their mission-based strategic plans.  Pastors, principals, school council members and other valued stakeholders should provide necessary input into the strategic plans and proposals for the Culture of Excellence Grants. These plans and proposals should include provisions for regular monitoring reports and improvement adjustments.

"Our Catholic schools implement ongoing processes and structures to ensure excellence in every aspect of their programs, life, and activities,” Diocesan Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daryl Hagan said, “and the Culture of Excellence Grants mirror that philosophy.  I am grateful to the Koch family and the Foundation for their strong support of Catholic schools."

“The education of our children is one of the greatest responsibilities God has placed on us,” said Jim Muehlbauer, Vice Chairman of Koch Industries and a Director of the Koch Foundation. “The Culture of Excellence grants from the Koch Foundation are intended to help us fulfill some of this responsibility by finding ways to increase the level of the excellence in our schools. However, to really succeed in this effort we need the active involvement and full engagement of not only the Pastors and Principals but the teachers, parents and School Councils to find innovative ways to establish a lasting Culture of Excellence.”

Grant proposals in the Diocese of Evansville will be submitted to the Catholic Schools Office no later than April 10, 2018.  Criteria for approval will be created by the Catholic Schools Office to ensure that the Culture of Excellence Grants create a lasting culture of excellence for the students and faculty.  Communication between the Catholic schools and the Koch Foundation will be ongoing throughout the three-year cycle including an annual summary of progress each May 1st. All plans will be submitted to the Koch Foundation no later than May 1, 2018, with revisions by May 1st, 2019 and May 1st, 2020. The Catholic Schools Office will facilitate sharing of best practices and lessons learned.

The mission of the Koch Foundation is to “support programs which will help our communities most improve their quality of life and provide the best environment for our Team Members to live, grow, and raise their families. We feel that a superior Catholic education is a critical part of fulfilling our Mission.”