The BEF Board of Directors


Barb Wickman, President

I support BEF because I believe that public education is the foundation of democracy. The skills I bring to this foundation are organizational skills, willingness to talk to strangers and ask them for money, and a willingness to do public speaking. My background is being a geologist, business analyst, manager, executive, dean, consultant, parent and wife. My personal motto is: “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

Sherman Beye, Treasurer

I support this board because I am committed to seeing kids get the best education possible. The skills I bring to this foundation are being organized, experience in public education, and the ability to think outside of the box. I have 36 years in physical education as a health teacher. I taught mostly in middle school in Wisconsin. My personal motto is: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you will end up somewhere else.”- Yogi Berra

Jeff Merchant, Secretary

I am supporting this board because I want to help out the community. I have previously been on the Be Frank Foundation and have experience with non-profits. I have owned my own business and currently work for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Favorite Motto- “When you get where you are going, remember to turn around and see how you got there.”

Dr. Rick Smith, Corporate Funding Chair

The Bayfield Education Foundation has set a goal to broaden and enhance education in Bayfield. I support the Bayfield Education because of its role it plays in extending educational opportunities outside the K-12 experience. My educational background and leadership experiences assist the Foundation in building a strong partnership with the Bayfield School District and the community. I have 25 years of teaching experience and 14 years in municipal service. The last 8 years serving as Mayor of Bayfield. Motto: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”- John Quincy Adams

Becky Smith, Member

I am a part of this foundation because I want to support education at all levels and in many forms. The skills that I bring to the board are leadership, passion, and organization. I am a native of Colorado and a Fort Lewis College graduate. I have been an educator in southwestern Colorado since 1989. I taught for 14 years at the elementary level, served on the local board of education, and worked for the Colorado Department of Education. I am currently retired and spend my time on my three passions: Rotary, the Bayfield Education Foundation, and traveling to see my four grandchildren. My favorite quote is: “The value of life is not in its duration. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live.”-Myles Monroe

Penny Merchant, Member

I support this board because I believe in the good they are doing to promote success for all of our learners in Bayfield. I believe that I bring classroom experience and knowledge of the district to help support the staff and students. I was an elementary teacher in Bayfield for 23 years. Favorite Motto- “You may not always end up where you thought you were going, but you will always end up where you are meant to be.”-Unknown

Vera Ojdrovic-Beye, Member

I am a part of BEF because I am a firm believer of public schools and public education. I want to support this foundation as it reaches out to the Bayfield community. It’s exciting to be on the ground floor of this organization and grow with it. Also, it’s very rewarding to work with such a fine, enthusiastic group. Our passion for Bayfield schools align perfectly. I am a former elementary school teacher, adult education teacher, ESL instructor, as well as a former Peace Corps volunteer. I feel I bring experience from being a former educator. I am a good listener, willing to work with a variety of people, and I will try anything to move things forward. My motto is: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you  know better, do better.”- Maya Angelou

Amy Miglinas, Member (non-voting)

I joined the Bayfield Education Foundation because I believe in the mission to support learning in the Bayfield community for people of all ages. Although the school district does an excellent job, the foundation can reach further to fill community needs. As a current district employee, I can keep the foundation  in the loop of current needs as well as supporting our scholarship programs. I began as a career and technical education teacher in 1999 and have served Bayfield schools as a school counselor since 2007. My Motto: “Show up for your life as yourself; not as an imitation of anyone else.”- Maria Shriver

Our Story

The Bayfield Education Foundation was established in 2015.  Since then, the group has supported, enhanced and advanced the learning environment of the Bayfield School District.  This powerhouse group of dedicated volunteers has:

  • Created six scholarships that assist Bayfield High School graduates and BHS post graduates,
  • Established a funding source for teachers who provide after school learning programs for students and their families,
  • Developed a process to match funds earned by clubs and teams to reduce the fundraising fatigue that often occurs in small communities,
  • Established an endowment fund to secure resources to support the school district in the years to come, and
  • Aligned itself with Arts Shine, the local cultural arts cooperative that brings music and arts programs to local schools.