About the CCSD21 Community Education Opportunities Fund
The CCSD21 Community Education Opportunities Fund was established in 2019. The fund looks to build and expand upon the tremendous generosity shown by the community through the Katie Samsel Fund.
Katie Samsel was a former principal of Whitman Elementary School. When she passed away in 1974, a memorial fund was created by her family with the purpose of helping School District 21 students and their families. The function of the fund has varied, from providing eyeglasses to students in need, to helping families that were displaced from their homes due to fire or flood.
The CCSD21 Community Education Opportunities Fund will continue to flexibly provide for community needs through acute, targeted response or by achieving long-term community goals.
Donations to the CCSD21 Community Education Opportunities Fund are accepted year-round through the Lake County Community Foundation. To direct your donation to a specific purpose, please complete the “In honor of” field with one of these options:
- General Assistance Fund: This fund will be used to support ongoing food and home good needs.
- Katie Samsel Response Fund: This fund will be used to support direct requests for personal care and medical expenses.
- Donna Rae Steckling Educators Fund: This fund will be used to support early career teachers. More information below.
- Capital projects
- Classroom projects
Donna Rae Steckling Memorial Educators Grant
The Donna Rae Steckling Memorial Educators Grant was established in 2021 with the mission to foster learning and invigorate the classrooms of a new generation of educators. The grant provides support to Community Consolidated School District 21 educators, in the first three years of their career, as they create a warm, welcoming and stimulating learning environment.
Donna, a 25-year veteran in CCSD21, had a passion for education. She served as library assistant at Jack London Middle School and as a secretary in the Curriculum department at the Administration Center. When she passed away in 2020, her family created this grant to carry on Donna’s love of learning, her deep connection to CCSD21, and her compassion for helping educators. Additional donations are welcome to sustain the grant for years to come.