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.

Jessica Buttimer

District 41 Representative, PEP Trustee since 2019

Jessica is a parent of two Glen Ellyn District 41 students, the Secretary of the District 41 School Board and serves on the Policy Committee. Jessica also sits on the D41 Kids Foundation Board and Prairie Food Co-op Board. Jessica’s professional background is in technology and user research consulting. She is the co-founder of a technology and consulting firm focused on helping startup food co-ops accelerate their growth and development.

Donna Kemp

CCSD 89 Board Member, PEP Representative since 2021

Donna Kemp has a 1st-grade and a 5th-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 is a new CCSD 89 board member, committed to serving the needs of students, teachers, parents, and the community. 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 Northshore 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 one Glen Ellyn District 41 and one Glenbard District 87 student, and is the co-director for Supplies 4 Success. Liza is former president of the District 41 PTA Council and a member of the District 41 Pandemic Response Action Team and the District 41 Strategic Planning Committee. She is a licensed attorney and works as Grants Manager for Urban Autism Solutions in Chicago.

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.

Sonal Amin

D93 Representative, Trustee since 2013

Sonal Amin joined the Board in August 2013. Mrs. Amin and her husband Vipul have lived in Hanover Park since 2004. They have three children, all of whom graduated from District 93 schools. Mrs. Amin has served as a volunteer at District 93 schools, has regularly chaired PTA committees, and was a Building Leadership Team Representative at Stratford Middle School. She has served on the Facilities Committee, Boundaries Committee, Expect Respect Task Force, Dual Language Planning Committee, and the Stratford Innovation Center/STEM Lab Design Committee. Mrs. Amin currently serves on the District Learning Team and the Cloverdale Innovation Center Design Committee.

Lindsey Diehl

PEP Member at Large, Trustee since 2022

Lindsey Diehl joined the PEP Board in 2022 as a Member at Large. Lindsey is the Communications Coordinator for Marquardt School District 15. She has a background in journalism with nearly a decade of experience working in T.V. broadcasting. Lindsey recently relocated back to her home state of Illinois and lives in Lombard.

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.

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.