The District 200 Education Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization which was formed in 1993 to enhance and enrich the educational programs offered to students in District 200’s twelve schools. With the motto of “Making Things Happen That Ordinarily Would Not”, the Foundation plans activities and attracts donations to fund programs and services that are not covered by the regular school district budget. Since 1994, the organization has awarded more than $405,000 in grants to District 200 teachers for innovative projects and activities.
What is the D200 Foundation
By Erich Thurow, Chairman D200 Education Foundation
Many Woodstock residents explain our hometown to people they meet with a question. “Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day”? The film, of course, was shot in Woodstock in 1992. What you may not know is that Columbia Pictures and the producers of the film made a donation that resulted in the formation of the District 200 Education Foundation.
The film group donated hundreds of props and valuable items used in and on the film to District 200. A group of citizens formed the District 200 Education Foundation, and auctioned the donated items resulting in a nest egg that has been used to fund programs to benefit thousands of our students for more than 20 years.
The Foundation, operated by a volunteer board of trustees, organizes events and fundraisers to help add to the initial funds and continue the process of supporting school programs. Each year the Foundation holds a major fundraiser on or around Groundhog Day, and in fall distributes funds to support projects as requested by District 200 staff members. Annually we provide about $25,000 in what we call “Impact Grants” to support in whole or in part approximately 75 programs. In doing so, we fulfill our motto:
Making Things Happen That Ordinarily Would Not.
In the coming months, we will be featuring some of the projects on our News page, that are being funded by the Foundation this year. In 2011, we began a program to honor an individual each year for his or her long-term commitment and contributions to excellence in education in the district.
To date we have honored former Woodstock High School teacher Bud Swarthout (2011), District 200 Community Service Director Barb Banker(2012), Retired Principal of Greenwood School Bill Schuette (2013) and former Trustee and long-time Foundation volunteer Jim Campion (2014). At our fundraiser event on January 31, we will be honoring our fifth recipient of the “Award of Excellence”, Miguel Rodriguez.
The award is given each year to a District 200 resident, a current or former volunteer, a district employee or retiree or a distinguished graduate of District 200. The Board of Trustees receives nominations for the award each fall including letters of nomination and recommendation and then a committee of citizens, administrators and trustees recommend a recipient to the Board of Trustees and the award is given. Visit our Imact Grant page for more information on previous recipients.