The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District Establishes the Karen Jeffress Memorial Fund

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BETHLEHEM, PA – The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District is pleased to announce its establishment the Karen Jeffress Memorial Fund. On January 11, 2021, the Jeffress family partnered with The Foundation to memorialize the accomplishments of community member and Bethlehem Area School District retired teacher, Karen Jeffress while giving back to the community. The Karen Jeffress Memorial Fund will award scholarships and support educational enrichment programming, with emphasis on language arts and reading curriculum. The scholarships will be awarded to graduating Bethlehem Area School District seniors who attended Marvine Elementary School in Bethlehem, PA.

Upon moving to the Lehigh Valley in 1977, Karen Jeffress worked at Donegan Elementary School from 1978- 1980 while completing her Master’s Degree at East Stroudsburg University. After taking a brief hiatus from teaching to raise her two children, she returned to education as an ESL (English Second Language) specialist, and later as a reading comprehension and English-language arts teacher at Northeast Middle School, where she worked for over 35 years until her retirement in 2017. Mrs. Jeffress, who was known for her passion for education, motherly demeanor, and firm command of a classroom, was referred to affectionately as “Mama Jeffress” by many of her students and colleagues.

“The Bethlehem Area School District community benefited greatly from Karen’s dedication and commitment for her students’ education and well-being,” said Joseph Roy, Superintendent of Schools for the Bethlehem Area School District. “Through this Fund, we can further Karen’s passion for education by offering scholarships and supporting innovative projects and programs.”

For more information on the Karen Jeffress Memorial Fund or if interested in contributing to this memorial fund, please contact The Foundation for the BASD or visit this webpage link:

About The Foundation for the BASD

Created to strengthen, enhance and enrich the educational experiences of the students of the Bethlehem Area School District, The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District was established in 1999. It is governed by a volunteer board of trustees, composed of business and community leaders who lend expertise to the operations of the organization. The Foundation’s focus has been helping educators deliver innovative teaching to students inside and outside the classroom. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, The Foundation raises funds through tax-deductible contributions to enhance learning opportunities for all students of the Bethlehem Area School District, promote family and community partnerships, and support academic innovation.

Barbara Clymer
Assistant to the Superintendent for Communications
Bethlehem Area School District
1516 Sycamore Street
Bethlehem, PA 18017