What led you to want to join the board?
DC West did not have a school Foundation and there was a need for one. Foundations are the fundraising “arms” of School Districts and help raise money to provide funds for items that current funding is unable to cover. These additional funds help Districts provide the best educational opportunities for all children and keep up with current educational trends. With the help of 8 other founding board members, we got a foundation started at DC West in August of 2019 and it just keeps growing stronger!
What do you enjoy doing outside of your board role? (career, hobbies, family, other DC West activities, etc.)
I have always enjoyed being active with groups that benefited my occupation and my children (along with other children as well). Now I am looking forward to ways to spoil my first (and future?) grandchild(ren)! Getting together with friends is something I always enjoy as well as making new friends. Throw in some time to “putz” around in my garden and I’m a “happy camper”.
Tell me a little about your background. (hometown, school, etc.)
I was born in Manhasset, Long Island, grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey, graduated from the Ohio State University School of Architecture, moved to Omaha in January of 1977 and to Waterloo in 1987. I am a semi-retired Architect and have served on many Boards including the American Institute of Architects – Omaha and the Construction Specifications Institute. I taught a Constructions Documents course at UNO for about 10 years. I served on the Waterloo School Board for 1 year, the DC West School Board for 12 years and local Homeowner’s Association for 10 years. I have 3 children, Michael (Valley Class of 2003), Alison (DC West Class of 2007) and Jennifer (DC West Class of 2010). While they were in school, I was active in the Waterloo PTO, Valley PTA/PTSA, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
What are some of your favorite things about DC West?
The people! Those I have had the opportunity to work with have all been wonderful, whether an administrator, teacher, student, parent, community member, local business owner, church member, etc. The sense of “family” in the District employees is amazing. While serving on the School Board we came up with a saying “We are a “public private school and a best kept secret”. I agree!
What do you hope to see this board achieve in the coming year or years?
I would like to see this Foundation keep going and keep growing! The DC West Schools Foundation has provided enhancements to our facilities like Emergency Bleed Kits, Wireless Microphones in the Competition Gymnasium and travel cases for the competition Robotics robots, to name a few. The Foundation has also provided Classroom Grants for teachers to purchase teaching enhancements in their own classrooms and special Project grants for larger group projects or special events; for example, providing transportation expenses for the Junior Class to travel to Kansas City for a special educational event and a teacher appreciation campaign during the Covid-19 shutdown. The Foundation also provides scholarships to graduating Seniors. When the Foundation was formed in 2019, we provided 2 scholarships. In May of 2022, 7 scholarships were offered, some backed by private donations. DC West Schools Foundation has applied for several grants and received a $15,000.00 grant to be publicly announced in the near future. The Foundation helped facilitate the partnership between DC West and the Twin Rivers YMCA to provide a Before and After School Program to DC West Elementary School. We have received several Special Grant requests to bring some exciting educational enhancements to the District and requests for support enhancements for the new construction currently under way. There are so many ways the DC West School Foundation and the DC West School District can work together to keep providing the best educational experience for each child as we can!
Why do you think others should support or get involved with DC West Schools Foundation?
Every school district struggles to find ways to keep community members engaged in school happenings. The DC West Schools Foundation can serve as a bridge between the District and the community. Support of a Foundation does not always have to be financial donations (although always welcome!) but can also be by participation in Foundation sponsored activities or helping facilitate these activities. Volunteers are always welcome!
What is a ‘fun fact’ about you?
The DC West Schools Foundation has created a fundraiser that utilizes flocks of about 20 plastic flamingos placed in District members’ yards with the offer to relocate them to another “friends’” yard for a nominal donation. I am currently serving as the “Mother Flocker” of the Flocking Flamingo Fund Raising Program!
Anything else you’d like to share with the community?
A big THANK YOU for the support shown to the DC West Schools Foundation and Foundation activities, with the hope that we can work together in the future to keep a good thing going!