About Us

As an educational foundation, we serve Glenbard High School District and its elementary feeder schools. We award grants to educators that allow them to launch new programs within their classes, schools, and districts that enhance and enrich learning. We partner with organizations, acting as a fiscal agent to support programs that improve and enhance education in the district. We also work with schools and districts to support unique fundraising initiatives for projects like playground equipment, books for libraries, computers for classrooms, and funds for school and student organizations.

We are a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, so we are a not-for-profit, tax exempt organization.

Leadership

PEP is a volunteer-run organization, directed by a voluntary board of trustees. Trustees include administrators, board members representing each of the six member districts, and community members who serve at-large from each district.

Board of Trustees Members

Erica Nelson

Trustee since 2015 and Chair since 2019

Erica is a parent of two Glen Ellyn District 41 and Glenbard D87 graduates. As
Chairman she provides leadership in support of PEP’s Mission to develop philanthropic partnerships with individuals, community and school organizations, businesses and foundations for students in the Glenbard community schools. Erica is a founding member of One Community, a board member with the Glen Ellyn Children’s Resource Center and co-president of the League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn. She served three terms on the GE D41 board of education. Erica is a faculty member with the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

Becky Parke

PEP Foundation Services Coordinator since 2018

Becky is a parent of two Glen Ellyn District 41 students. As Services Coordinator, Becky assists the PEP Chairman and the Trustees in carrying out the objectives of the PEP Foundation, maintains relationships with our donors, and is responsible for managing the financials for the PEP and fund partner accounts. Becky is also an active member and committee chair on the PTAs at Ben Franklin School and Hadley Junior High. She has a background in market research.

Bob Friend

Treasurer, PEP Trustee since 2009

Bob and his wife Susan have two daughters, who are Glenbard East graduates. Bob has been on the D87 School Board since 2009. Bob is a retired power mechanic with United Parcel Service. He is a member of the Lombard Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Tri-Town YMCA Board of Directors and the Men’s Club at First United Methodist Church of Lombard. He is a former member of the Lombard District 44 Board of Education. Bob was voted 2020’s Lombard Citizen of the Year.

Julie Hill

DISTRICT 41 REPRESENTATIVE, PEP TRUSTEE SINCE 2022

Julie is a parent of two Glen Ellyn District 41 students, a member of the District 41 School Board and serves on the IASB/Legislative committee, and is the IASB Delegate. She was also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. Before children, Julie was an early childhood teacher at Chicago Public Schools serving at-risk populations, and more recently an ACT/SAT private tutor. She served as a Local Group Leader for Moms Demand Action from 2018-2022.

Donna Kemp

CCSD 89 Board Member, PEP Representative since 2021

Donna Kemp has a 4th-grade and an 8th-grade student at Park View, where Kemp has been a frequent class reader/helper. Donna has been a tutor since she was in grade school, and has volunteered at various community fundraisers through her church. She has served on the CCSD 89 board for 2 years now and is involved in several committees and organizations including PEP. Donna earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lake Forest College with minors in Education and English. She earned a master’s degree in education from Quincy University, with endorsements in special education and middle school. She has had various roles in education since 1997, starting her career teaching in a special-education program in North Shore District 112. She has also taught in West Chicago District 33, Waukegan District 60, and Glen Ellyn District 41. She has worked in early childhood, elementary & middle school, as well as special education. Additionally, she has worked in business since 1999 — and currently helps the senior population navigate Medicare.

Liza Sury

Member at Large, PEP Trustee since 2017

Liza is a parent of two Glenbard District 87 students, and is the co-director for Supplies 4 Success. Liza is former president of the District 41 PTA Council, and was a member of the District 41 Pandemic Response Action Team and the District 41 Strategic Planning Committee. She is manager of donor relations at Bridge Communities in Glen Ellyn.

Karen Evans

Member at Large, PEP Trustee since 2019

Karen’s two sons are graduates of Glen Ellyn District 41 and Glenbard West High School. She is the founder, and former director of Supplies 4 Success and worked for many years within the District 41 Community Outreach programs. Karen has a background in Healthcare Consulting and data collection.

Steve Szymanski

Member at Large, PEP Trustee since 2020

Both Steve and his wife, Liza, are graduates of Lombard District 44 and Glenbard East High School. Steve is also the Chair of the Glen Ellyn Capital Improvements Commission and Vice President of both the Housing Corporation and Alumni Association for Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Steve recently retired from the United States Steel Corporation after 42 years of service.

Jim Vargas

D15 BOARD MEMBER, PEP REPRESENTATIVE SINCE 2022

Jim Vargas joined the PEP Board in 2022. Jim and his wife, Jean, have been part of the Bloomingdale community since 2013. They have two children currently in Marquardt School District 15 schools. Jim has been on the MSD15 Board of Education since 2017 and serves as the Board’s Vice President. He has served on the negotiations committee, finance committee and the buildings and grounds committee. Jim has been the district’s delegate to the IASB Delegate Assembly for the past 5 years. He is also the VP of Softball for the BBSA and has reestablished the Bloomingdale Blast program.

Jay Bastian

D93 BOARD MEMBER, PEP REPRESENTATIVE SINCE 2023

Jay Bastian joined the PEP board in 2023. Jay resides in Carol Stream with his wife and two daughters who are currently in CCSD93 schools. Jay has been on the District 93 Board of Education since 2023 and currently serves on the finance and boundary committees. He is currently the PTA president of his daughters’ school and works full time in logistics with a background in non-profit fundraising.

Districts

PEP serves 6 public school districts in DuPage County, Illinois. Together these districts include 4 large high schools, 6 middle schools and 25 elementary schools. Combined, these schools serve more than 28,000 students, from pre-kindergarten through high school, and employ more than 2,000 teachers, administrators, and support staff.

PEP Districts

History

PEP was established in 1992 to benefit students and teachers in Glenbard High School District 87 and its elementary feeder districts. PEP was designed to be the cornerstone for a long-term partnership among community, business, and school organizations to provide ongoing supplemental financial resources for the public schools it serves. Over time, PEP has awarded over $2.3 million dollars in teacher, needy family, and student grants, as well as student college scholarships. PEP has also raised funds through the generosity of teachers, staff, parents, community members, and local businesses for technology improvements, library and classroom materials, and outdoor recess equipment. Growing sources of funds include memorial gifts, recognition gifts, endowed scholarships, corporate matching gifts, and large donations from individuals and private foundations. Unspecified gifts are used in the PEP General Fund to provide support for PEP’s operation. Donors for specific projects in individual schools or districts have designated additional funds. Funds are managed through Edward Jones in Glen Ellyn. Monthly trustee meetings include a review of our financials, as well as approval of requests for disbursement of funds per the fund or scholarship owner.

Annual Reports