Baraboo native leaves $800K to science programs for future generations

Baraboo native leaves $800K to science programs for future generations

A Baraboo native is passing on his passion for science to future generations by helping students deepen their knowledge and access to hands-on learning.

Curt or “Corey” Compton loved science and his hometown of Baraboo. He graduated from Baraboo High School in 1950 but never forgot about the impact the city had on his life.

Although, he relocated to Ohio, Compton would frequently come back to his hometown to help fund science programs at the local elementary schools. He created a fund with the Greater Sauk County Community Foundation that paid for the Center of Science and Industry to visit elementary schools.

He Compton died in June, he made the community foundation the beneficiary of his estate, including an $800,000 trust to go toward the school’s science programs. The sum of the money will form an endowment, the annual earnings of which will fund science education in the elementary schools.

“We feel like we have won the lottery. We have hit the jackpot. It’s so amazing to see kids experimenting and coming up with hypotheses and learning scientific terminology and having the levels of experiments change and grow and become more in depth,” East Elementary School Principal Molly Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald knew Compton by his yearly visits to the school from 2008-2014. She remembers him as a man who was passionate about learning and providing opportunities for students.

“His passion was elementary students, science, hands-on activities,” she said.

The funds will help provide supplies, teacher training and hands-on learning for students. Fitzgerald said she was initially surprised by the amount of money. In Compton’s lasting legacy, students are not the only ones who are learning valuable lessons.

“He has definitely impacted a lot of students and educators, and I think that will continue a long time and I think that’s a great legacy to leave behind,” Fitzgerald said.