Barbara FinneganChair

–Why did you join the Foundation board?
When my oldest son started kindergarten in 2008, I searched for ways that I could contribute to his educational experience. I was involved with volunteering in the classroom, the library and parent organizations but I was looking for opportunities to contribute community-wide. The formation of the Foundation began with this idea of supporting the community and the future of the children within District 61.

–What’s your educational and/or professional background?
I have a Master’s degree in audiology, which is the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. I worked with children and adults in hospital and private practice settings for 20 years.

 

Andrew Blumenfeld, Vice-Chair

–Why did you join the Foundation board?
I am on the Foundation’s board to help make Darien a more educated place to live. I believe that education benefits even people who have no children in school.

–What’s your educational and/or professional background?
I have a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry University and 30 years working in the technology field, primarily with electronic communications and computing.

 

Krishan SantTreasurer

–Why did you join the Foundation board?
My role on the board is to share what I have learned in the past 70 years, including my experiences as a successful business man.  I thought I might be able to bring some new ideas to the board.

–What’s your educational and/or professional background?
I have a BA degree from Philippines, a BSc in engineering and an MBA degree. I am also certified as a professional engineer by the state of Illinois. Community activities have been my favorite hobby. I helped found the West Suburban India Society in 1972, chartered the Darien Lions Club and established a regional chapter of International Management Council in the LaGrange area.  I am the oldest member and the oldest living past-president of the Darien Lions Club. As a public service, I am also involved in helping provide treatment for the vision-impaired in Indian villages and schools in Bangladesh.

 

David MaySecretary

–Why did you join the Foundation board?
I joined the board because I wanted to help maintain and even elevate the already-high quality of education available to students in Darien District 61. While funding from local taxpayers is limited and money from the state has been dwindling, the cost of educating our children continues to grow, especially the need for technology and other capital investments necessary to make sure our students don’t fall behind. Over time, I see the Foundation as a significant resource for supplemental funding to help achieve these goals.

–What’s your educational and/or professional background?
I have a BA degree in journalism with a minor in political science from Northern Illinois University. I have been a journalist for 30 years, including eight years as an editor at newspapers in Dubuque, Iowa, and Arlington Heights, Ill., and more than 20 years as an editor at Modern Healthcare magazine, a business newsweekly covering all sectors of the healthcare industry.

 

Mare Chiaro, Honorary member

–Why did you join the Foundation board?
I joined the Foundation board because I have a keen interest in helping children discover and learn, enjoy and succeed through education.  Serving on the Foundation, I can step outside my school board role and help champion the big ideas of teachers and administration that may not otherwise be funded within a (increasingly lean) school budget scenario.

–What’s your educational and/or professional background?
I have a BS degree in Communications from Northwestern University and a MS degree in advertising/integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University.  I currently work for a private healthcare company. My past experience includes working on media and consumer product accounts for marketing communication firms.

I have been a member of the Darien District 61 Board of Education since 2002 and have served as board secretary since 2004.  I am the chairperson of the technology committee and a member of the finance and the education committees. I previously served as member of the policy committee.

 

Bonnie Kucera

–Why did you join the Foundation board?
I joined the board because I believe education is what gives children the confidence to grow. Giving them every opportunity for that growth is key. I have been a resident of Darien since 2000.

–What’s your educational and/or professional background?
I attended Northern Illinois University, studying education. I previously served on the board of education for District 92½ in Westchester, Ill., and on the board of directors for St. Joseph High School, also in Westchester.

 

Jane Moss

–Why did you join the Foundation board?
Several years ago I was part of a team of teachers at Mark DeLay School that was awarded one of the Foundation’s first annual grants. Since then I have supported the Foundation so that other teachers could have the same opportunity as my team had.  I am excited to be on the board of directors to continue this work.

–What’s your educational and/or professional background?
I have a B.S. in education from Indiana State University and an M.S. from the University of Illinois.  I taught for over 25 years in Indiana and Illinois, including high school business for six years.  After I got my Master’s degree, I taught reading at Mark DeLay as a Reading Specialist. I retired from Darien District 61 in June 2014. I have been a member of the Darien District 61 Board of Education since 2015 and serve on the Policy Committee.