Indian Prairie Educational FoundationEnriching Education for District 204 Students

Our Successes: The Stories

Team IPEF – 2014 Participating Partner Champion

31 Team IPEF runners participated in the 2nd Annual Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon on Sunday, November 9, 2014.  Runners joined Team IPEF as charity partners for the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation with a goal of raising funds and awareness for IPEF. Each team member was required to raise a minimum of $250.

The 2014 inaugural team went the ‘extra mile(s)’ in all they did to support District 204 schools and the Foundation. Collectively Team IPEF has raised more than $31,000 and was named the 2014 Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon Participating Partner Champion for raising the most funds for their organization.

26 charities participated in this year’s Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon partner program and combined to raise nearly a quarter million dollars for area and national non-profits.  501 of the 6,000 participants in the 2014 event were runners dedicating their races to a cause.

Team IPEF runners had the chance to select a specific school in District 204 to represent.  Those schools will receive half the funds each runner raised.  The remaining money will go toward IPEF programming that supports district wide initiatives like teacher grants, Young Hearts for Life and the Annual Science Fair.

A special thanks to the incredible efforts of the individuals that participated in the inaugural Team IPEF.

Team IPEF Runners

Runner / Selected School for Fundraising / Race
Tulin Akin – Indian Plains High School (Marathon)
Stacy Bella – Crone Middle School (Half Marathon)
Kristine Black – Prairie Children Preschool (Half Marathon)
Kate Bruno – STEPS (Half Marathon)
Joann Buerstetta – Welch (Half Marathon)
Jim Dickerson – Cowlishaw (Half Marathon)
Taylor Drefcinski – Waubonsie Valley High School (Half Marathon)
Yoni Espinoza – Georgetown Elementary (Marathon)
Nancy Fister – Steck Elementary (Half Marathon)
Kristen Flanders – Metea Valley High School (Half Marathon)
Billy Ghighi – Neuqua Valley High School (Half Marathon)
Mary Howicz – Brookdale Elementary (Half Marathon)
Bryan Jaffe – May Watts (Half Marathon)
Julie Johnson – Granger Middle School (Half Marathon)
Mary Kelly – Granger Middle School (Half Marathon)
Jackie Kohorn – Spring Brook Elementary (Half Marathon)
Roy Kozlowski – Brookdale (Marathon)
Vivian Makropoulos – Gregory Middle School (Marathon)
Dawn Malartsik – Young Elementary (Half Marathon)
Jon Malartsik – Young Elementary (Half Marathon)
Lily Mertes – Georgetown Elementary (Marathon)
Terri Nauman – Welch Elementary (Half Marathon)
Janice Nolte – Clow (Half Marathon)
Kevin Owen – Young (Half Marathon)
Mike Rossi – Neuqua Valley High School (Marathon)
Kate Sidio – McCarty Elementary (Marathon)
Randy Sidio – Steck Elementary (Marathon)
Patty Smith – STEPS (Half Marathon)
Jason Stipp – Waubonsie Valley High School (Half Marathon)
Teresa Sullivan – Still Middle School (Half Marathon)
Terry Sullivan – Longwood (Half Marathon)
Jodi Wojcik – Builta Elementary (Marathon)

Fine Arts Festival – 1988-2015

The Fine Arts Festival began as a district event in 1987, designed to share the talents of Fine Arts students with the community. The inaugural event was held at Brookdale Elementary and included participants from Longwood, Indian Plains, Brookdale, Clow and Wheatland Elementary Schools, Hill Middle School and Waubonsie Valley High School.

As the district grew, the Festival grew as well, first to Gregory Middle School and then on to Waubonsie Valley High School.

Today the Fine Arts Festival has grown to span across all three high school campuses and features 80 musical performances and with 12,000 pieces of art from our K-12 students from 33 different buildings all on display for the public to enjoy. Estimated attendance averages 28,000 for the one day event each year in mid-May.

Young Hearts for Life – 2009-2015

Following a pair of student deaths caused by undiagnosed heart conditions, Indian Prairie School District 204 worked in collaboration with the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation to partner with Young Hearts for Life, a pro-active approach to preventing the loss of life.

Since 2009, more than 16,800 District 204 high school students have been given free ECG heart screenings through the initiative. The bi-annual program has been made possible thanks to a $25,000 grant from CN Railroad to IPEF, who has cosponsored the event with Edward Hospital.

Chris Storm

Chris Storm

NCTV17 Interview

NCTV17 Interview

VEX Robotics – 2016

A $4400 grant awarded to Neuqua Valley High School science teacher Matt Ragusa provided funding for the purchase of three VEX Robotics rings and equipment allowing for the school to host the First Annual WiredCats VEX Robotics Competition in January 2013. The 24 team event allowed for participation of 10 District 204 teams representing all three high schools and served as a qualifier for the Illinois State Championship and the National Championship.

Participants competed in Toss-Up, one of a series of VEX Robotics Competitions, that require teams to strategically drive robots they designed, built and programmed from the ground up using the VEX Robotics Design System.

VEX Robotics is the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics program in the world with more than 73,000 teams from 26 countries participating in more than 400 events worldwide. The tournaments provide students with engaging, hands-on learning experiences that promote a passion for science and technology.

VEX Robotics

VEX Robotics

 Erector Sets On Steroids

Erector Sets

 Young Innovators

Young Innovators

25th Anniversary Celebration – 2014

On March 21, 2014, the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation officially celebrated 25 years of support to the students and staff of District 204.

Nearly 600 attendees joined 280 student performers at Wentz Concert Hall in downtown Naperville for an evening that spotlighted the success of both the IPEF and the district. A 90-minute performance was highlighted by six musical groups, two from each of our nationally acclaimed high schools. Guest appearances from alumni, included a performance from professional opera singer, Tamara Wilson, a 1999 Waubonsie Valley graduate.

The Foundation was recognized by the Illinois Senate and the Illinois General Assembly of the House of Representatives for their quarter century of support to education.

Excellence in Education (Ongoing) – 1988-2014

Recognizing educational excellence has been a fundamental part of the IPEF’s vision since their start in 1988. One of the Foundation’s inaugural events was the Excellence in Education dinner honoring the Top 30 students from the 1989 graduating class of Waubonsie Valley High School. The number 30 was chosen as it represented the top 10% of that year’s 300 seniors. The selection was made according to academic class rank.

In addition to recognizing students, the Foundation saw the value in honoring teachers, coaches, department chairs and other staff that made a positive impact on striving to reach for excellence in their role to shape, mold and prepare our next generation. Each student recognized was able to invite their most influential educator to join them at the ceremony to be honored as well.

The event is now in its 26th year and has grown with the district. Changes were made to the student selection process when the Board of Education eliminated class rank. Thirty honorees are now chosen from each of the district’s three high schools to represent 11 different departments.

More than 1,200 students have been recognized as Indian Prairie Educational Foundation Excellence in Education award recipients. The event is held annually in mid-April.

Human Genome Project – 2001-2011

The Sustaining Excellence through Educators program enabled the Foundation to help fund human genome research in genetics classes at Waubonsie Valley High School for ten years. This unique project enabled students to work with scientists from Loyola University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Washington, thanks to the efforts of nationally recognized teacher Elaine Modine. The Foundation supported the project from 2001-2011. The Naperville Jaycees provided additional funding in 2004-05.

With the help of the Foundation’s funding, Mrs. Modine’s genetic students gained a better understanding of DNA research, as well as the ethical, legal and social implications of genomic research. In addition to this unique learning experience, students had the opportunity to explore protein electrophoresis, learn how to use a thermal cycler, and conduct independent research.

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