2010 News/Press Releases

Teacher Appreciation Week webcast launched, Foundation educator nominees announced

From left: Foundation Trustee Debby Sosine, Foundation President Ian Lamp, teacher Amy Griffiths, and Superintendent Ken Arndt

Superintendent Ken Arndt's webcast celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week 2010 is now online, by clicking here and choosing the May 2010 edition.  Dr. Arndt hopes that all staff, students and families will enjoy this special 8-minute recording. In the webcast, he gives his thanks to all D300 staff during these challenging times and provides perspective on moving forward.

He also announces and describes the four nominees for the District 300 Foundation "Distinguished Educator of the Year" award.  These teachers were nominated by their colleagues, parents and students because they have made a significant difference in the lives of D300 children.

The nominees are:

  • Carol Anderson from Neubert Elementary School  (left photo below, in the middle);
  • Melanie Witek from Dundee Middle School  (right photo below, in blue shirt);
  • Michelle Soland from Westfield Community School  (photo pending); and
  • Amy Griffiths from Lakewood School  (main photo, second from right).

One winner will be selected from among these semifinalists as the 2010 District 300 Foundation Distinguished Educator at 6 p.m. on June 7 at the Boulder Ridge Country Club.  Tickets and more information about the "Reach for the Stars" evening gala and daytime golf outing are now available at www.d300foundation.org.  Please join the Foundation in celebrating our amazing educators at this festive social gathering.

Photos are being collected through Monday (May 10) of Teacher Appreciation Week activities in our schools.  Please submit teacher photos to susie.siles@d300.org as soon as possible.  These teacher photos will be compiled into a special photo album available for viewing on CUSD300's Facebook page.  (For more information about CUSD300 joining Facebook, please see the April 30 news release at www.d300.org).

         From left: Superintendent Ken Arndt, Foundation award nominee Melanie Witek, her husband, and DMS Principal Kara Vicente
From left: Superintendent Ken Arndt, Foundation award nominee Melanie Witek, her husband, and DMS Principal Kara Vicente

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The D300 Foundation for Educational Excellence and The Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Elgin have partnered together for the concert “Time for Three”, at the Carpentersville Middle School in Carpentersville, Illinois.

CARPENTERSVILLE – The D300 Foundation is proud to announce the first “Time for Three Concert” for all District 300 Middle School orchestra students. This concert is sponsored solely by the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and will bring all the middle school orchestra students together at Carpentersville Middle School on Tuesday, October 12th at 10:00 a.m.  As part of the group's stay, Time for Three will partner with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in an education residency program, October 12-15, reaching over 1000 local music students. Time for Three will visit approximately 400 District 300 middle school orchestra students, Tuesday October 12, at Carpentersville Middle School to participate in School District 300's String Festival. This concert aims to energize students to keep them involved in music.

Magerko explained, “We are so pleased to have this exciting opportunity available to the District 300 Middle School orchestra students. The Elgin Symphony Orchestra has generously provided both the concert and the transportation for this event at no charge to the students or the D300 Foundation.”

The D300 Foundation’s Performing Arts Committee and Beth Wood, CMS Orchestra Teacher worked together with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra to bring this unique project to the students in the district.  
Time for Three transcends traditional classification of classical, country western, gypsy and jazz idioms forming a blend all its own. Zachary De Pue, violin; Nicholas Kendall, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass bring a passion for improvisation, composing and arranging, all prime elements of the ensemble’s playing, writes Cara Arnett, Elgin Symphony Orchestra. For more information, please call (847) 888-4000 or visit the ESO’s website at: www.elginsymphony.org

The D300 Foundation’s mission is to enhance and extend learning opportunities in all D300 schools. Since its founding in 2002, it has raised over four hundred thousand dollars for District 300 schools and its students.  The Foundation focuses on four areas of impact:  Literacy, Performing and Fine Arts, Science and Technology and Student Leadership.

Money for the Foundation is raised through corporate partnerships, private donations and Foundation events.  For more information about the Foundation, grant projects, please visit the website at:
www.d300foundation.org.   Please contact Diane Magerko at 312 310-9156 to arrange a visit to the concert.

Diane Magerko (far right) greets instrument donors during Save the Music this April

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 their community. 

"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.

As 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.