About Us

History & Mission

Founded in 1989, the Charlotte Local Education Foundation (CLEF) is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization that brings our community together for the investment of advancing student learning and teacher leading. By increasing public awareness and inspiring community and business support for programs focused on learning, literacy, and leadership, CLEF continues to be a community catalyst and convener around innovation in student learning.

CLEF works in partnership with the community and businesses to bring critical resources that are not funded by normal tax revenues to help students succeed in their academic and personal achievements. These needs are met through student scholarships, mentoring and dropout prevention strategies, free school supplies for low-income students, teacher quality and recognition programs, classroom grants, literacy improvement strategies, technical/career education initiatives, and targeted support for low-performing students and schools.


Discover how YOU can help make a difference!

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Maura Matzko, President

Lynn Pogue, Vice President
Community Representative

David Palmer, Treasurer
Palmer Property Management

Sara Perri, Secretary
Charlotte State Bank & Trust

Robert Pietrasanta
Past President

Board Members

Debra Brown
Wells Fargo, NA

Cathy Bohling
Community Representative

Brandy Hershberger
Fawcett Memorial Hospital – HCA WFD

Russell Kirshy
Kirshy Law Firm

Dan Ambrose
Community Representative


Dianne McDaniel
Suncoast Credit Union

Kreg Mahue
DMK Associates, Inc.

Steve Dionisio (ex-officio)
Superintendent Charlotte County Public Schools

Wendy Atkinson
School Board Representative, School Board Member

Sara Wierhake, Executive Director
Charlotte Local Education Foundation


  • Board meetings are held on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 4:30pm (except December and July) at Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, unless otherwise noted: 2702 Tamiami Trail, Pt Charlotte, FL 33952

  • Executive Committee meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm (except November and December) at Palmer Property Management, 6210 Scott Street #214, Punta Gorda  FL 33950

  • All meetings are open to the public

  • Any disabled individual who needs reasonable accommodations for meetings may contact the Ed Foundation office, 941.255.7500. x294, prior to the meeting date

The Giving Partner

We are registered with The Giving Partner, a collaborative partnership between the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota, Manatee Community Foundation, and the Patterson Foundation. It is your source for knowledge about charitable nonprofits in Southwest Florida. For more information, click here.

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Board Meetings Schedule
(1st Wednesday of each month, 4:30 pm)

Thurs, Aug. 6, 2020 5pm – Special Meeting
Wed, Sept. 2, 2020
Wed, Oct. 7, 2020
Wed, Nov. 4, 2020
Wed, Dec. – No Meeting
Wed, Jan. 6, 2021
Wed, Feb. 3, 2021
Wed, Mar. 3, 2021
Wed, Apr. 7, 2021
Wed, May 5, 2021
Wed, June 2, 2021

NOTE: No meetings set for December or July

Executive Committee Meetings Schedule
(4th Tuesday of each month, 4:30 pm)

Tues, Sept. 24, 2020
Tues, Oct. 27, 2020
Tues, Nov. 24, 2020
Tues, Dec. – No Meeting
Tues, Jan. 26, 2021
Tues, Feb. 23, 2021
Tues, Mar. 23, 2021
Tues, Apr. 27, 2021
Tues, May 25, 2021
Tues, June 22, 2021

NOTE: No meetings set for August, December, or July unless called.