Home /


Karen Jeffress Memorial Fund

The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District is pleased to announce its establishment of the Karen Jeffress Memorial Fund.

On November 19, 2020, 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.

After moving to the Lehigh Valley, 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 unitl 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

“We are honored to partner with the Jeffress family to establish the memorial fund. Karen Jeffress was a great mentor to many students, their families and our community for several decades. This memorial fund will just be a part of her lasting legacy to our community.” said Julie Bailey, Executive Director of The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District.