With a clear-minded view of the future and sure-footed grasp on our goals, NYEF embraces 2021. 
North Yellowstone Education Foundation began 2020 with a strategic planning retreat, under the guidance of Terry Profata of Sage Solutions. We walked away from this process with both a firm grasp on our goals and a clear-minded view of the future, as though the path was illuminated before us. 

Across 2020, we raised $267,554 in grants and donations, despite the absence of all in-person events. We purchased property and acquired grant funding to begin renovations, so that Gardiner Public School teachers will have access to affordable housing. We awarded $27,500 in Connect! Grants, funding such projects as new picnic tables. Finally - and perhaps most indicative of the prodigious grassroots growth NYEF has experienced this year - we hired our first-ever executive director, Shelly Siedlaczek. 

Big Win for Teacher Housing

Affordable, available housing is a major concern in Gardiner. As a point of evidence, the 2019 Successful Gardiner report identified affordable housing as the number one challenge facing Gardiner residents, with 94% of those surveyed listing this as a major concern. 

This has affected our ability to attract and maintain teachers at Gardiner Public Schools. As teachers have left the area or retired, GPS has found it difficult to fill positions, in part because an entry-level teacher’s salary is not sufficient to pay for housing in the region.

Towards a sustainable solution, North Yellowstone Education Foundation has purchased the Yellowstone Suites Bed and Breakfast located at 506 S. 4th St. in Gardiner. We have begun the process of surveying and compiling estimates for renovations, and we were recently awarded a $56,000 grant by the Gardiner Resort Area District to help with those costs. 

Our goal is to have at least 2 (possibly as many as 4) individual units available to house teachers by the end of 2021. 

See our article in the Livingston Enterprise to learn more >> 

Connect! Grants

Connect! Grants is our classroom grants program. This program is community funded, community driven, and community evaluated. Our next round of applications will be evaluated on January 21, 2021! 

With your help, we raised $20,000 to distribute across the 2020-2021 school year. In our October 2020 grant round, we awarded $7500, supporting the following five projects: 

- Expanding the Arts at Arrowhead School 

- Art Supplies at Gardiner School 

- STEM Learning Initiative for Preschoolers at Little People's Learning Center 

- Cooking Program Equipment for Gardiner School 

- Welder for Welding Program at Gardiner School 

For more info on how to apply, please visit our website >> 

A Message from our Executive Director

To our community members, volunteers, and generous supporters:

It's an amazing honor to have joined NYEF at the start of 2021 as the organization's very first Executive Director. NYEF was founded more than 3 years ago and has been led and managed solely by passionate and hard working volunteers who care deeply about its mission. With their support, I am thrilled to help carry this important work forward.

I relocated to this region in 2009 with my husband Mark, and I knew right from the beginning Gardiner was a special place with kindhearted people. I have spent the last twelve years working for non-profit organizations — 10 of those years based out of Gardiner with the Yellowstone Association/Yellowstone Forever — and making our home in Emigrant. I am excited to be able to serve the community in my new role with NYEF. This young organization shows great potential to leave a lasting legacy for the future. 

Whether you have volunteered with us, donated to our mission, or simply support our work, THANK YOU! I am looking forward to reconnecting with many of you, meeting new faces (when we can do so safely), and taking NYEF to the next level in a full-time capacity. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at with any questions or feedback as I'd love to hear from you.

Stay well and thank you again for your support!

Shelly Siedlaczek 
(pronounced Sid-la-zack)

Who We Are

North Yellowstone Education Foundation (NYEF) is the nonprofit dedicated to supporting Gardiner Public Schools. Our mission is to work with the community to build sustainable support and enhance innovative educational opportunities for students, teachers and community members in partnership with Gardiner Public Schools.

Learn more about who we are and what we do to >>

Get Involved

There are myriad ways to use your knowledge, interests, and skills to bolster our mission. We are currently seeking members for our board of directors, advisory council, and grant selection committee. Additionally, there are always ways to volunteer small or large quantities of time.

Please contact us - - to learn more.

Copyright © 2021 North Yellowstone Education Foundation, All rights reserved.

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Photo credits:
Snowy mountains by National Park Service, B&B by George Bumann, Picnic tables by Alisa McLaughlin, Shelly Siedlaczek by Matt Ludin


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North Yellowstone Education Foundation · PO Box 166 · Gardiner, MT 59030-0166 · USA

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