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Matt Elven, NWPE member receives $5,000 award
posted by: Cindy Omlin | June 11, 2013, 01:10 AM   

matt elven headshot
Smartsheet's Brent Frie and Grangeville High School principal Jon Ruzicka, lifelong friends, hatched the idea and the process for making the awards when they were trading stories in their relative fields of interest - collaborative software and primary education.

High school students nominated a teacher they felt most deserved the recognition and submitted their 100-word essays into a Smartsheet web form. Community judges then reviewed, sorted and ranked the students’ responses to select the winning teachers.

“As an employer, one of the most important factors in our success is the quality of our employees, and that usually starts with a strong education,” said Brent Frei, co-founder of Smartsheet. “We especially look for excellence in communication and critical thinking skills. Having teachers who inspire and challenge students is where it all begins, and we are very excited to recognize these five teachers, selected by their students, for their outstanding efforts in the classroom.”

Working with the Boise Public School Education Foundation, Smartsheet planned and executed the awards program in under two weeks. “One of our biggest takeaways from doing this program is how many organizations – both school districts and companies – shy away from grant programs such as this simply because of the logistics,” said Frei. “How do you get the word out, how do you collect and analyze the data? Not only do we applaud the Boise Public School Education Foundation for helping us recognize these truly amazing teachers, but we also proved there’s a viable way for organizations to run philanthropy programs like this and make a difference – quickly and effortlessly.”


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