In just two years volunteering for the District 300 Foundation
for Educational Excellence, Diane Magerko has raised the bar to a stellar level. Her creativity and tireless commitment
to D300 students have earned her special recognition by the School Board at the Board's upcoming meeting (May 10).
Many people know that Magerko is the mother of twins at Westfield Community School. But
few people may know that she was the brains, sweat, and heart behind such major D300 Foundation projects as the Algonquin
Commons Art Fair, the student holiday note-cards, and the Save the Music initiative. Linda Keyes, executive assistant
to the D300 Foundation, said that Magerko has demonstrated larger-than-life enthusiasm with a clear, determined vision.
"She really sees the big picture and the big idea," Keyes said. "She's
not afraid to jump in and really go after it."
D300 Communication Services
Supervisor Allison Strupeck agreed, noting that Magerko often seeks opportunities for businesses to support the schools in
"Diane manages to push for student opportunities
without ever seeming pushy," Strupeck said. "She is graceful and kind while rolling up her sleeves to get
the job done. Her sincere love of art and her community is never in doubt."
Magerko joined the Foundation's Board of Trustees in 2008 after her initial one-woman effort to start an art fair
at the Algonquin Commons did not take off. Trustee Jim Pratt, the Commons general manager, urged her to consider putting
her talents to work for the Foundation. Within a year, the Foundation launched its inaugural juried art fair under Magerko's
direction. Save the date! The juried art fair this year will be August 14-15 at the Commons.
Her next creative pursuit was to solicit student artwork for a series of holiday note-cards, with sales benefitting
the Foundation. The students' holiday note-cards were produced at little cost to the Foundation, thanks to Magerko having
secured the donation of most materials and printing. This year, the note-cards for sale will be "all occasion"
cards featuring a variety of student artwork. Look for them to go on sale this fall.
The Foundation recently concluded its Save the Music initiative in partnership with Houlihan's, in which the public
was encouraged to donate gently used instruments for less fortunate D300 students to borrow. Nearly 25 instruments were
collected, so that passionate performers with little means will no longer have to use severely damaged and untuned instruments.
Magerko saw the need when visiting the class of music teacher Michael Kasper of Carpentersville Middle School.
"From concept to coordination, and from getting volunteers and sponsors to posting fliers,
Diane was the brains and the soul behind the operation," Keyes said.
Chair of the Foundation's Fine & Performing Arts Committee, Magerko has helped award grants for artists to visit D300
schools. In fact, next week (May 12-14) Chicago artist Connie Noyes will spend time with students at Dundee-Crown, Hampshire,
and Jacobs high schools to create artwork out of recycled and everyday objects. For more on Noyes, visit http://connienoyes.com/home.html
Magerko also produced the Foundation's ornaments for the Village of Lake in the
Hills' Holiday Tree Festival. She worked long hours with designer Patti Douglas to redesign all of the Foundation's
marketing materials this year and will soon unveil a new Foundation website. Additionally, she is the Foundation's Co-Vice
President for Fund Development and will be working to help secure corporate donations to further improve grant opportunities.
Magerko will be honored by the School Board at 7:30 p.m. this Monday, May 10, in the Carpentersville
Middle School auditorium. The public is welcome.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
ABOUT THE D300 FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE, WHICH IS FUNDED ENTIRELY THROUGH PRIVATE/CHARITABLE DONATIONS, PLEASE