Family Service Matches Grant Challenge

Опубликовано: October 18, 2015 в 8:32 pm




In February 2015 The Highland Park Community Foundation offered a proactive grant challenge to Family Service to work together to raise $27,000 to increase professional staff capacity in Family Service’s Latino Youth Initiative (LYI) at Highland Park High School. The Foundation agreed to provide half the required funding if Family Service could raise the balance. On June 25, representatives of both groups and contributing donors will meet to celebrate successful completion of the challenge—in just three months!

As a result, Family Service will begin the 2015-2016 school year with the capacity to strengthen individual academic and post-graduate planning support for Latino students at Highland Park High School. Students in LYI are the first in their families to go to college. The program is the capstone in the Family Service Latino Educational Continuum, which begins at age 6 at Nuestro Center and extends through middle school at Northwood Junior High School to Highland Park High School.

Read Full Article Here

All 2015 Grant Recipients

Опубликовано: October 17, 2015 в 8:41 pm



The Highland Park Community Foundation is pleased to announce the following organizations have received grants for 2015.

Highland Park Community Foundation Gives $20,000 for Park District Study

Опубликовано: June 20, 2015 в 8:50 pm



The Highland Park Community Foundation presented $20,000 to the Park District of Highland Park Board of Park Commissioners at the June monthly meeting. The funds will be used by the Park District for a feasibility and cost study for the renovation of the Jens Jensen pool and landscape area at Rosewood Park. The pool and surrounding area are remnants of the original Rosenwald Estate that dates back to 1913.

The Foundation’s contribution is a portion of the funds set aside by “Friends of Jens Jensen“ to be used for future park improvements and on-going maintenance of Jens Jensen Park. The “Friends of Jens Jensen” was a local citizen group which raised funds to off-set the costs of the Park District’s renovation of Jens Jensen Park in 2005.

The Rosewood Park pool and landscape feasibility study will include:

  • A study the pool’s structural and water holding condition
  • Determination of a source and supply of water and electricity to the site needed to fill and reestablish pool circulation
  • An initial plan for its restoration of the stonework – pool walls, benches and walkway at and near the pool
  • A landscape plan in keeping with the Jensen theme using currently available materials
  • Review and recommendation for public access route(s) to the site in keeping with the site’s layout and needs as a public park
  • A budget estimate for completion of the ultimate restoration plan

“The Park District of Highland Park appreciates the Foundation recognizing the significance of the remnants of the Jens Jensen landscape at Rosewood,” said Liza McElroy executive director for the Park District of Highland Park. “The funds will help the Park District come closer to achieving our long-term goals for Rosewood Park.”


Scott Meyers, president of the Board of Commissioners for the Park District of Highland Park, is presented with a check from Laurie Levin, board member of the Highland Park Community Foundation, for a feasibility study for the renovation of the Jens Jensen pool at Rosewood Park.

Congrats to Highland Park Golden Apple Award Winner Elizabeth Hodge

Опубликовано: May 20, 2015 в 8:58 pm



Congratulations to Elm Place Special Education teacher Elizabeth Hodge, the 2015 winner of the Highland Park Golden Apple Award. Congratulations as well to Northwood teachers Suzanne Sosnowski and Bill Steinbach, who were finalists.

To the delight of her colleagues, students and parents, Elm Place special education teacher Elizabeth Hodge was surprised last Friday afternoon with the prestigious Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) Highland Park Golden Apple Award. She was presented with a Highland Park Golden Apple on a pedestal, a $2000 cash stipend, and a $500 gift certificate to the Apple store.

“Mrs. Hodge is a truly selfless and giving person with a deep love of teaching, and passion for her students. Her contagious positive attitude allows colleagues to respect and admire her talents and abilities. She provides students the opportunities to take risks and let the process lead them to joyful success. She has had a profound impact on students, a lasting influence on colleagues, and a true partnership with parents,” said HPCF Highland Park Golden Apple Committee Chair Sara Sher.

The HPCF Highland Park Golden Apple award is modeled after and conducted in cooperation with the Chicago-area nonprofit Golden Apple. In 2010, HPCF and a local family foundation initiated the local Highland Park Golden Apple Award to recognize outstanding teachers in the Highland Park school systems. By honoring an exceptional educator, the Foundation strives to demonstrate the strength and impact of excellent teaching in helping young people reach their potential. Nominees go through the same rigorous process to be selected.

The Highland Park Golden Apple Committee, comprised of retired exemplary educators and former Golden Apple award winners, selected Hodge through a rigorous process. Calls for nominations for middle school teachers were circulated in North Shore School District 112 last fall, and many deserving teachers were nominated. Three semifinalists were chosen from the group of nominees, and all were observed in their classrooms by a Golden Apple team.

The other two semifinalists–also outstanding teachers–were Northwood STEM teacher Bill Steinbach, and Northwood English teacher Suzanne Sosnowski. All three are exemplary and demonstrate the high quality of teaching that District 112 values as its most important resource, Sher said. “All three are deserving of the highest praise.”

Mrs. Hodge, Ms. Sosnowski and Mr.Steinbach were all honored at the May 19 Board of Education meeting, along with John Campbell, who earlier in the week learned he won the Chicagoland Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“Bill Steinbach brings all the standards, resources, systems, practices, attitudes, and a diverse population of students together in a small space and have everyone learning and thinking to their potential,” Sher said. Bill goes way beyond and above and is awe-inspiring in his classroom and multiple extracurriculars like his robotics club. Bill answers the question “why?” with “why not?”.

“Suzanne Sosnowski builds warm and close relationships with many families but contends that her main goals for students are essential life skills: to develop their problem-solving ability, help them learn to communicate effectively, learn to collaborate with others, and become life-long learners,” Sher said. “Her impact on students is far-reaching across the entire school building and throughout the community.”

Ravinia teacher Sharon Steckel also told the board Tuesday night why she nominated John Campbell for the prestigious teaching award. “John has that rare, undeniable ability to spark curiosity and ignite the desire to learn. He connects with his students in such a way that enables them to achieve what they didn’t believe was possible. They’re composers and musicians and appreciate music for its diversity and complexity when they are with him,” she said.

Video links:

John Campbell Golden Apple Surprise Visit

Elizabeth Hodge Golden Apple Surprise Visit

Focussing On The Arts in Highland Park

Опубликовано: April 27, 2015 в 9:34 pm



Arts for many years. The 2015 festival was well received.

The Daily North Shore has this to say:

“Highland Park High School students took a hiatus from their usual lessons of reading, writing and arithmetic to celebrate the 50th biennial of “Focus of the Arts,” a three-day/four night festival that features a wide array of musical, visual, interactive, performing and applied arts. From spray painting to belly-dancing to presentations by ESPN sports agents, Focus presented to the students and community nearly every aspect of the arts.

“It is one of the premier school art festivals in the United States and there are few, if any, of this scale that are produced by public high schools,” said school Principal Tom Koulentes.”

To read the full story:

click here

HPCF Awards the 2014 Highland Park Golden Apple Award to Blake Novotny

Опубликовано: May 12, 2014 в 9:40 pm



The Highland Park Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2014 recipient of the Golden Apple Award is Blake Novotny.

A teacher of fine arts at Highland Park High School since 2000, Novotny is an outstanding teacher who changes his curriculum each year to connect with current social issues, news stories, or recent trends in the art world. Said one supporter, “Blake is a teacher who thinks with his heart. This is evidenced by the individualized instruction and feedback he offers his students, the leadership role he assumes in the fine arts department and as a (soccer) coach, his commitment to equity work within the student population, and the connections he builds between art and society across the entire school community.”

In 2010, the Highland Park Community Foundation and a local family foundation initiated an annual Golden Apple Award to recognize outstanding teachers in the Highland Park school systems. Nominations are made in a rotating cycle: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. A selection committee comprised of exemplary current and retired educators and administrators, and former Golden Apple award winners evaluate the extensive applications and complete a full day of observations. The recipient is chosen based on such criteria as instructional strategies, knowledge of content, interaction with students and staff, and contribution to school and community.

This year nominations were accepted for full-time teachers at Highland Park High School who have completed at least four full years of teaching. The committee received many excellent nominations, and after a rigorous and intensive review process, nominations were narrowed to three semi-finalists: Nairy Hagopian (Spanish), Blake Novotny (Fine Arts), and Barbara Obinger (Chemistry).

The Golden Apple Selection Committee met in May to determine the final recipient of the award. The final recipient, Blake Novotny, receives a $2,000 honorarium, a $500 gift certificate for an iPad, and a “Golden Apple.” All three of the semi-finalists will be honored publicly at a District 113 School Board meeting. By honoring exceptional educators, the Foundation hopes to demonstrate the strength and impact of excellent teaching in helping young people reach their potential.

In memory of Andy Livingston

Опубликовано: January 16, 2020 в 4:35 pm



Our Condolences

Andy Livingston was an influential leader of the Highland Park Community Foundation. As a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Board member, and member of our Advisory Board, Andy’s abundant contributions were appreciated beyond word. Devoted without measure to his family, Andy also cared deeply about his community. He was a good-hearted and compassionate, loved people, and lived life to the fullest. Andy will be remembered always and greatly missed.

We are honored that Andy’s family designated the Highland Park Community Foundation for donations made in Andy’s memory.

To make an online donation:

click here

Contributions may also be sent to:

P.O. Box 398, Highland Park, IL 60035

Treats for the Streets

Опубликовано: January 23, 2019 в 8:12 pm



On Monday, our community honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of service organized by the City of Highland Park’s Human Relations Advisory Group and the Park District of Highland Park.

The Highland Park Community Foundation was proud to coordinate a service project to benefit Highland Park and Highwood’s first responders – police, fire, and public works personnel – by creating “Treats for the Streets.”

See The Full Email

HPHS Science Olympiad team wins Spirit Award at regional competition

Опубликовано: March 22, 2014 в 9:42 pm



One year after the HP Community Foundation helped get the club up and running with a “start up” grant….the HP Science Olympiad Team is making our community proud!

Congratulations to Science Olympiad members for a great showing at the Regional Tournament at Oakton Community College. We took home an Award of Distinction – The Spirit Award. The Science Olympiad Spirit Awards are among the highest honors given to teams, and recognize students and coaches that have a positive attitude, exemplify teamwork, have respect for the rules and their fellow competitors, and exhibit sportsmanlike conduct.

(from left to right) Science Olympiad team members Tamar Aizenberg, Morgan Eisenstein, Dani Lewittes and Franni Schmidt pose with their gear after the chemistry lab event at the Science Olympiad’s regional competition on March 23.

Highland Park Working to Help Victims of the Oklahoma Tornado Tragedy

Опубликовано: May 20, 2013 в 9:47 pm



Oklahoma Relief Fund Established to Support Victims

The City of Highland Park is coordinating with the Highland Park Community Foundation to assist with relief in the aftermath of the devastating tornado that battered Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20, 2013.

“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by the horrendous storm that tore through Oklahoma,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering. “Highland Park is a caring and generous community; we greatlyappreciate the Community Foundation’s assistance in serving as a clearinghouse for donations to support those affected by the storm.”

The Highland Park Community Foundation was established in 1992 to build and maintain the Highland Park Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund helps maintain and expand the services of cultural, social service, educational and environmental agencies in Highland Park and Highwood. The Foundation also works to support victims of national disasters such as the Oklahoma tragedy. At this time, funds are most needed to provide housing, medical care, food and basic supplies for victims in Oklahoma.

Individuals interested in making a donation can send a check payable to the Highland Park Community Foundation with “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” in the memo line. 100% of all such donations will be forwarded to tornado relief efforts in Oklahoma.

Checks can be mailed to the following:

Highland Park Community Foundation
c/o Oklahoma Tornado Relief
PO Box 398, Highland Park, IL 60035

For further information, contact the Foundation at (847) 433-4100 or email