Who we are
The District 54 Education Foundation is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing the academic experiences of District 54 students by providing funds to support programs and activities that do not fit into District 54’s normal operating budget.
Since its founding in 1987 the Foundation has donated nearly $1 million to fund various initiatives. Ongoing efforts rely, in part, on donations from members of the community, like you, who have generously invested in education through the Foundation.
In District 54, 22 percent of students qualify for the federal free lunch program. The District 54 Education Foundation ensures all District 54 students have the same opportunities by funding
- Breakfast programs at the schools so students can begin their day ready to learn,
- Grants to students with financial need so they can participate in extracurricular activities, and
- After-school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programming.
Click any of the links above to find out more about the programs we fund. To read our past newsletter or sign up to receive our emailed newsletter, click here.
How you can help
Click here to learn more about how you can support the Foundation. Opportunities include
- Memorial gifts
- Participation in Foundation events such as our golf outing, Septemberfest parking, restaurant benefit nights and sports outings
Contact us at D54Foundation@sd54.org with any questions or fundraising/partnership ideas!
Redstone Wealth Advisors
Schaumburg resident Thomas J. Manzardo is an Aldrin and Frost alumnus and parent of a current Mead Junior High School student. He has been on the board since the Foundation’s inception and served twice as its chair, a position he currently holds. Tom, a private wealth advisor with Redstone Wealth Advisors, said he got involved with the Foundation because he enjoys helping children and he wanted to give back to the schools that helped him become who he is today. Tom also has coached soccer with the Schaumburg Athletic Association since 2008, and his wife, Lisa, is very involved with the Mead PTA.
Chick-fil-A Schaumburg/West Schaumburg
Daryl Saylor is the owner of the Chick-fil-A resataurants on Golf Road and on North Barrington Road in Schaumburg. He and his wife, Mary Beth, say their greatest passions are children’s health and children’s education, making the Foundation a natural fit. Daryl has served on the Foundation board since December 2011, and currently serves as Foundation Vice Chairman. He notes that enriching bodies is key to enriching minds. Daryl and Mary Beth live by this motto: “You determine a persons wealth not by how much they have but how of much they give of what they have. Wealth is not just financial wealth but also of how much time they give to make the world a better place for all.”
District 54 Staff
Schaumburg resident Donna Anderson has worked for District 54 for three decades and has supported the P.E. and fine arts departments since 1997. She became involved with the Foundation that same year when the former superintendent asked her to represent the PTA as a trustee. She is currently serving as the Foundation secretary. Aside from her family – Donna and her husband, Tom, have two children who attended District 54 schools – volunteerism is her passion, and she enjoys supporting the Foundation’s work to ensure that all children have equal access to opportunities. Donna also gives her time to Faith Community Homes and Christian Church of Arlington Heights where she serves as an elder and choir director. She has served as president of the local PTA council and the Illinois PTA Board.
Paquette and Company
Longtime Schaumburg resident Bill Gladstone is a District 54 alumnus by way of Aldrin School and Frost Junior High School, and he is also a Dirksen School parent. Bill is the business accounts manager for CPA firm Paquette & Company. He joined the Foundation in 2012. He has served as an at-large board member and vice chairman, and currently serves as treasurer. Bill said many community members do not realize there are people in need in Schaumburg. He wanted to get involved to make a difference, and the Foundation is a great place to do that. Bill enjoys hearing how the Foundation has helped students within the community by funding their STEM project or summer program, or providing their breakfast. He also volunteers at Calvary Community Church as a leader in its Awana program.
Schaumburg Village President
Al Larson has served as Schaumburg’s Village President since 1987 and serves as an ex-officio on the Foundation board. He was a village trustee for 12 years prior to his election as mayor. He has also served as Public Relations Director for Schaumburg, as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and as Chair of the Environmental Committee. He joined the D54 Foundation in December 2007.
Superintendent of Schools
Andy DuRoss has served as Superintendent of Schools for District 54 since 2013. He came to District 54 in 2002 as an assistant principal at Addams Junior High School, after which he served as principal at Frost Junior High and as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for District 54. Andy has served as an ex-officio member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2013, and greatly appreciates the organization’s ongoing support for District 54 students and schools.
Canine Inspection and Detection Services
District 54 Parent
Andy Murray’s two children currently attend Buzz Aldrin Elementary School, and his wife serves on the school PTA. Andy got involved with the Foundation because he wanted to give back to his community with his time, money and talents — and in his words, “what better an organization than the schools that are truly shaping my children’s future?” Andy has served on the board since 2014. He served for two years on the Mardi Gras fundraiser committee and for three years on the Golf Committee, including two years as its chairman. Andy said he looks forward to growing the Food 4 Thought program so that every student in the district who wants a healthy breakfast will have one. Andy is partner of two local pest control businesses, where he oversees business development, marketing, and IT.
Elk Grove Village resident Barb Quinn, a former District 54 parent and staff member, joined the Foundation board in 2014. Her late husband Dennis had served as Foundation chair and Barb had worked with him on a variety of activities, believing it is essential for the community at-large to work with the district to enhance and enrich educational opportunities for all students. Barb enjoys supporting the Foundation in providing opportunities to students through activities that are not funded by the district, especially grants for students from families of limited means to participate in summer programs. Barb joined the PTA while her three children attended District 54 schools and served as state president from 2005-2007. She is still active in several local PTA units, as well as the district and state PTA, and she also is involved with outreach programs through the church she attends.
Ciesla Media Strategies
Hoffman Estates resident and longtime Ciesla Media Strategies CEO Beth Tomev has served on the Foundation board since 2007 in various roles, including chairman, trustee, and member of the executive, marketing and grants committees. Beth believes in the importance of helping children thrive during their school years. She joined the Foundation to create and fund programs that would foster the best learning environment, and she enjoys seeing the smiles on students’ faces when they feel safe and are enjoying their learning. Beth is also an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago and Columbia College Chicago teaching broadcast journalism and public relations.
Hoffman Estates Mayor
Bill McLeod has been mayor of the Village of Hoffman Estates since 2000 and a member of the Hoffman Estates Village Board since 1980. He has served as an ex officio member of the Foundation board since 2010 and said he enjoys having the privilege to help, in a small way, one of the best school districts in the state. McLeod, whose parents instilled in him the obligation to serve the greater community and give back for all they were given, is also involved with the Children’s Advocacy Center, WINGS, Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce and numerous governmental organizations.
School Board member
Bob Kaplan was appointed to the District 54 School Board in July 2016 and was re-elected in April 2017. Bob taught and coached at Addams Junior High School for nearly 28 years and was an administrator for six years. He served on numerous school and district committees and was a member of the Executive Board of the Schaumburg Education Association and the Illinois Education Association; he currently serves as president of the Northwest Suburban Unit 90 Retired Teachers group of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. Bob also coached several sports teams at Hoffman Estates High School for more than 20 years and served on the Premier Credit Union Board of Directors. Bob’s three children attended District 54 schools, and his three sisters taught in District 54 schools. Bob wanted to get involved with the Foundation to serve the community, particularly District 54 students and parents, and to help provide students the opportunities they need to become successful.
Schaumburg Education Association President Chery Anderson has worked as a music educator and choral director in District 54 since 1982 and has been a part of the Foundation since 2015. The Roselle resident said she was delighted to learn that as SEA President she would be able to participate in Foundation meetings; she loves knowing that everything the Foundation does will benefit students and make their educational experience like no other. A product of District 54, Chery and her husband moved back to the area so her sons could go to school here. Both attended Nerge and Mead schools. The youngest completed his District 54 education in 2008 and now works at Addams.
Long A Enterprises
Schaumburg resident Gary Caby, a past District 54 parent, has served on the Foundation Board of Trustees since 2006, including several years as the organization’s chair. He got involved with the organization to repay an elementary school teacher who impacted his life choices, and he enjoys knowing that the Foundation helps provide good choices to District 54 students. Gary is the CEO of Long A Enterprises in Schaumburg. He is also involved with Village of Schaumburg commissions and his wife, Betty, is a long-time employee of District 54.
Blackwell School Principal
Blackwell School Principal Jillian Sagan joined District 54 in 2005 as a teacher and has worked as an administrator since 2011. Jillian joined the Foundation in 2014 to bring a school perspective to the many opportunities the Foundation provides District 54 students, and she greatly appreciates the organization’s drive to continue to find new ways to support the schools. She notes that Food 4 Thought directly impacts her building, and she is hopeful that with the community’s support the Foundation will reach its goal of funding breakfast programs for students in need at all 28 schools. Jillian has served on the Golf Committee and Grants Committee and volunteered at many Foundation events.
STC PTA President
Jim Sklena, a Hoffman Estates resident and parent of an HEHS junior and Eisenhower eighth-grader, is serving as a Foundation ex-officio in his role as president of the Schaumburg Township Council of PTAs. Jim previously served as treasurer and president of the PTAs at Eisenhower Junior High and Churchill Elementary. Jim has spent more than 25 years volunteering and working with the local Council of Boy Scouts of America and nearly 20 years serving the BSA on a regional level. He is also a Civilian Emergency Response Training (CERT) volunteer for Elk Grove Village and an active member of their Certified Search and Rescue group. Jim said he looks forward to contributing to the Foundation’s success. Fun fact: Jim enjoys long road trips with his family, complete with detours to find obscure Americana!
District 54 parent
Hoffman Estates resident Katy Garcia is a Keller alumnus, District 54 parent (her children attended Fairview, Campanelli, Keller and Mead), and PTA volunteer. She has also been the owner of Riccardo’s Restaurant in Schaumburg in 2002. Katy joined the Foundation in 2013 because helping children is one of her passions. Katy knows firsthand how difficult it is to face challenges as a child when circumstances are beyond the child’s control, and she feels compelled to pay it forward to honor those who helped her in her youth. Katy believes that little opportunities can give children in need a big chance to overcome their challenges, which can help them become strong, impactful, compassionate adults. It touches Katy’s heart to know that the Foundation’s Food 4 Thought campaign is helping provide breakfast for children in need. Katy is also involved with the Conant High School Booster Club.
School Board member
Mary Kay Prusnick was elected to the District 54 Board of Education in 2011 and became the Board President in 2017. She has served on the Foundation in various capacities for many years, and said she has been incredibly impressed with the collaborative relationship between District 54 and the Foundation. Together they provide support for critical student programs as well as an excellent connection with the community. Mary Kay has particularly enjoyed being part of the Golf Committee and volunteering at the Golf Outing. Mary Kay has also served as president of the Schaumburg Township Council of PTAs and as a member of the Mead Junior High PTA Executive Board; she is also involved with the Village of Hanover Park Historic Commission and Hoffman Estates Loyal Partners High School Booster Organization.
BMO Harris Bank
Nancy Ventrella, a Roselle resident and manager at BMO Harris Bank, got involved with the Foundation in April 2014 to help families in need and make a difference in the lives of all children in District 54. Nancy is also involved with the Kenneth Young Center in Elk Grove Village and a senior center in Schaumburg.
Link School Principal
Link Elementary School Principal Quinn Wulbecker started working in District 54 as a teacher in the Japanese-English Dual Language Program at Dooley Elementary School in 2006. He also taught in the magnet program at Campanelli Elementary School and served as assistant principal at Nerge and Link before assuming his current position. Quinn has been a part of the Foundation board since 2014. He has served as the Septemberfest parking coordinator and the Memorial Grant Scholarship chairman, and has been a member of the teacher grant selection committee. Quinn is passionate about serving students and families in the best possible way, and working in the school district and serving on the Foundation provides avenues and opportunities to bridge the efforts of both organizations, he says.
Hanover Park Mayor
Mayor Rod Craig, who serves as an ex-officio on the Education Foundation Board, is a former District 54 parent and PTA member at three District 54 schools. He enjoys reading with the primary grades and having conversations with intermediate students about being a good citizen and building quality of life in our communities. Mayor Craig got involved with the Foundation because he values the high quality schools and wants to ensure that Hanover Park is a partner in the district’s efforts to ensure the success of all students in a diverse, evolving district. Mayor Craig is a past president of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference and is active in the Northwest Municipal Conference, Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus, Choose DuPage Executive Board and Campanelli YMCA. Mayor Craig was appointed to the Board of Directors and serves as secretary on the Metra Board of Directors.
Ryan Andrews grew up in Schaumburg and attended Dirksen, Hale and Mead schools in District 54. Ryan works as a financial adviser with Ameriprise Financial in Schaumburg, and has been on the Foundation Board since August 2013. He currently serves on the Foundation’s finance committee, and he also has served on the marketing committee and golf outing committee. Ryan got involved with the Foundation because he wanted to be a part of funding programs that improve students’ educational experience and better the community. He is particularly passionate about the Foundation’s new Food 4 Thought initiative, which is raising funds to provide breakfast programs for eligible students at all District 54 schools so that they begin their day ready to learn.
District 54 parent
Scott Felgenhauer’s connections to District 54 run deep, which is exactly what prompted him to get involved with the Foundation. An alumnus of Hoover School and Addams Junior High School, he has two children at Dooley School and his wife has been a teacher in District 54 since 1999 (currently at Frost Junior High School). Scott has served on the Foundation Board since 2015 and has been part of the Golf Committee twice. Scott, who also serves the community as a senator and past president of the Schaumburg Jaycees, said he loves the opportunity to support his wife, their children, and all of the other students and staff through the programs the Foundation provides.
Frost Junior High Principal
Scott Ross has worked in District 54 since 2004, first as a school social worker, then as an assistant principal and now as principal of Frost Junior High. Scott has served on the Foundation board since 2013 and he said he is honored to be part of such a caring organization which strives to help those District 54 students who need it most.
District 54 alumnus Urvi Purani has served on the board since 2013 as a trustee. She got involved to pay it forward and promote awareness and the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and serves as a liaison for the Motorola Solutions Foundation where she works as a program manager. In 2015 Urvi led a committee to put together a technology showcase with talented students within the district partnering with Comcast and the Foundation. She is also involved with the Society of Women Engineers and Big Brothers Big Sisters.