The District 99 Education Foundation has named Denise Van Dahm Callarman as its executive director, a new position for the organization. Since 1994, the Foundation has provided over $200,000 to support District 99 and incorporate innovative curriculum and technologies in the classrooms at Downers Grove North High School and Downers Grove South High School.
“For over 20 years, caring volunteers from throughout our community have operated the Foundation,” says District 99 Education Foundation President Eric Olson, who is a 1987 graduate of South High and resides in Downers Grove. “With Denise’s professional expertise and oversight, the Foundation will be able to make an even greater level of impact.”
The Foundation recently created a three-year strategic plan, which was presented to the District 99 Board of Education last year. In addition to outlining new fundraising programs and events, the plan recommended hiring an executive director for the Foundation to be successful in growing revenue.
Callarman has participated in the non-profit sector for nearly 30 years, serving in both staff leadership and volunteer positions. She co-founded and previously served as executive director and board member for COACH Care Center (a.k.a. Almost Home Kids) in Naperville, an organization that provides transitional care to children with complicated health needs. Callarman has also volunteered as a foundation board member for a variety of non-profit organizations, and currently serves as vice president of the Tellabs Foundation in Naperville.
“There is tremendous potential and possibility for growing the District 99 Education Foundation, both in terms of the number of people involved and the dollars we raise for our schools,” says Callarman, who is a member of the District 99 community as a Westmont resident and 1982 graduate of Downers Grove South High School. “As a lifelong member of the District 99 community, I know how much people care about our children and want them to have every resource available to thrive academically.”
Each year, the Foundation invests in the future of District 99 students by awarding grants to teachers and scholarships to individual students in need. To learn more about the Foundation, which is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, or to make a donation, please visit www.d99ef.org.