ETHS Foundation annual contributions to school projects from 2009 through 2021. Credit: ETHS District 202 YouTube

At Monday night’s meeting of the Evanston Township High School District 202 board, Joanne Bertsche, Executive Director of the ETHS Educational Foundation, and David Futransky, Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the high school, presented board members with the annual report from the ETHS Foundation showing the organization raised more than $3 million in one year.

The foundation was established in 2008 for the purpose of raising and distributing funds for academic and extracurricular programs that the school budget cannot typically cover.

During fiscal year 2021 alone – from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021 – the foundation raised more than $3 million in donations and committed more than $1.7 million in grants and scholarships to ETHS. Of that money, $900,000 went toward two major school projects: a new, state-of-the-art ETHS Literacy Lab with a full support staff and a new girls’ locker room and all-gender locker room. 

In its entire history since 2008, the ETHS Foundation has given $9.5 million in grants to ETHS, according to Bertsche and Futransky, and $7.6 million has specifically paid for new learning spaces and campus advancements. 

“You can see from 2008 to 2021 what the trajectory was, and isn’t it ironic that it also follows the tenure of Dr. [Eric] Witherspoon,” Bertsche said. “I can honestly say that having the support and the validation from the leadership at the top makes the difference. It increased our visibility and the confidence of our donors to give to our school. I look forward to working with Dr. [Marcus] Campbell in the same capacity because I know he’s already interested in partnering and talking with our alums and most generous supporters.” 

Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...

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