Small Acts from Glenbard Staff

Luis Irizarry-Ramirez, School News Writer

Elizabeth Warren, a United States senator for Massachusetts, expressed that college students today are drowning in debt, hurting our economy. According to, more than 69% of college students took a student loan of $29,900. We must find a way to help families pay for college without condemning them to a lifetime of debt. The Glenbard Staff Local Scholarship fund was created to provide monetary assistance to students who plan to attend college. 

One organization that donates money to the scholarship fund is PEP. The Partnership for Educational Progress (PEP) reports that “PEP was established in 1992 to benefit students and teachers in Glenbard High School District 87 and its elementary feeder districts…PEP has awarded over $2.3 million, needy families, and student grants, as well as student college scholarships.” Staff is involved as well as raising money for the scholarship fund.

 According to multiple sources at Glenbard South, The South Teachers Union holds an annual Silent auction where many give and sell to fund student scholarships. One Staff member told The Independent, “South’s teachers’ union runs an auction every year amongst the teachers that benefit two students who are pursuing a degree in education. Our goal is to raise enough money to provide two $1,000 scholarships that we give to the South’s Local Scholarship Committee.”

In this auction, Glenbard South Principal Jessica Santee played a considerable part in gathering items for the auction. A staff member explained, “It is incredible what she did. She went into town with her principal ID to different restaurants in Glen Ellyn. She received ten or so-maybe more- gift cards for free, and she is not even in the same union.” continued the staff member. 

Later Ms. Santee explained why she did this act, saying, “I wanted to help gather items for the auction for a few reasons. First, I believe in the cause and think it is amazing that our staff organizes this event and spends their time and money to give scholarships to our students every year for students going into education. I truly believe that education is not just a job. It is a calling and a commitment to our community and future generations. We need to help students interested in pursuing their mission as educators. Secondly, I thought if I asked for the donations directly, it might persuade businesses to give more to the cause and have a greater impact. Finally, it was very satisfying to me personally to do this. I am often presented with difficult problems or do not have a great solution in my control. This is something that I could do to help, was in my control and that could lead to a positive impact for Glenbard South.” 

Glenbard makes it easy for staff members to donate. Ms. Santee said, “Many staff give of their time and talents for this auction. My favorite items are the ones where teachers or staff bake their signature items for one another, or share other talents with one another. The personal touch of this auction makes it unique and special to the South…The GEA does a wonderful job with this auction and I would like to keep supporting their efforts in any way that I can.”

As a school, students should appreciate what each staff member does. As one staff member explained, a common slogan among the Glenbard team is, “It is for the kids.” This fund was created by staff for students, and even if people get “goodies” from the auction, it is ultimately for students. The staff member later explained, “Many businesses offer donations as a marketing tool. They are getting business they may have otherwise not gotten. Many people offer gifts/items lying around that they may not need. There is a saying, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Our slogan is, “It is for the children!” so people are happy to contribute a small amount for the collective impact.” Staff only desire the best for their students and they really take to heart the quote: “Even a small act of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s world.”