Alton Educational Foundation

We enhance educational opportunities, support academic excellence and encourage student achievement in the Alton School District.


What is the Alton Educational Foundation?

The Alton Educational Foundation, AEF, raises funds for innovative projects throughout the Alton School District. These funds are used to provide enhanced educational opportunitiessupports academic excellence, and encourage student achievement.

Currently, the Alton Educational Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of eleven local advocates for public education, including business owners, parents, teachers, retired educators, and district representatives. Over the past twenty years, volunteers have launched numerous fundraising efforts, including Redbird Raffles and memorial brick sales, and bench sales.

Mission Statement

The Alton Educational Foundation’s Mission is to raise funds for innovative projects that provide enhanced educational opportunities, support academic excellence and encourage student achievement throughout the Alton Community Unit School District.

Who are the Board Members?

The Alton Educational Foundation, AEF, Board is currently comprised of ten local advocates for public education, including business owners, parents, teachers, retired educators, and district representatives. Are you interested in being a board member

Cathy Droste


Cathy Droste was born and raised in the Alton/Godfrey area. She is a 1980 graduate of Alton High School and earned her BS in Special Education and MS in Educational Administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. In 2018, Cathy retired from the Alton School District after 33 years in education. In addition to serving on the AEF Board, Cathy is a member of the Alton Community Service League, St. Mary’s School Board, and is active in the St. Mary’s Parish Community. Cathy and her husband, Mark, reside in Godfrey. They have two sons, Alex and Nick, a daughter-in-law, Nick’s wife Maddi, and one grandson, George.

Ann McLaughlin

Vice Chairperson

I am a 2020 retired Alton School District teacher, Literary Coach and Assistant Principal. I married my highschool sweetheart, Miles, and we are approaching our 40th wedding anniversary in June 2022! We have 3 daughters. I currently work part time in the College for Life Program at LCCC. I am also proud to work for my church, the Godfrey First United Methodist Church, as the Director of Children and Family Ministries.

Carrie Schildroth


Carrie Schildroth was born and raised in the Alton/ Godfrey area. She and her husband Brian both proudly graduated from Alton High School as did their two daughters, Katherine and Rebecca. They currently live in Godfrey and are very active in the community. Carrie received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Education from Greenville College. Carrie has taught at
most of the elementary schools in the Alton School District and since 2015 has been a Computer Literacy teacher at Alton Middle School. She also teaches in the 21 st Century before and after school program and teaches summer school in the middle school program. Carrie is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Alton, currently serving as an Elder. She has also
served as a Deacon and a Sunday School teacher. Carrie also assists with the Girl Scouts and is
President of her PEO Chapter. In 2021 Carrie was awarded the YWCA Women of Distinction
Award. Outside of work, Carrie enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading and
Blues Hockey! Carrie is very excited to join the AEF and serves as the recording secretary.

Marisa Murray


Marisa Murray was born and raised in Alton/Godfrey. She is a proud graduate of Alton High School and happy to be able to give her time back to support the district.  Her favorite part of serving on the board is helping support the teaching staff in the various academic initiatives. Marisa received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Accounting from Bradley University in Peoria, IL. She is a CPA and has spent over 15 years in the accounting and finance industry.   Both Marisa and her husband, Tim, are Alton High School Alumni and currently residents of Godfrey.  They have two daughters, Nora and Abigail, one son, Charlie and a puppy, Marlie.  Marisa is an active member at St. Ambrose Catholic Church and has spent time volunteering in Girl Scouts as well as coaching girls’ volleyball.   Outside of work and school, they love to be outside at the park or enjoying a weekend away camping.

Gary Dunn


I joined the board in 2020. The experience has been rewarding by helping students, parents and faculty attain their personal and professional goals. My wife, Traci, and I live in Godrey. Our son, Sam, graduated Alton High School in 2017. He graduated Missouri State University with a BS in Accounting and is working on his M.B.A. at SIUE. I am currntly the Assistant Records Management Officer at SIUE, where I also earned my M.B.A. We attend Community Christian Church  in Alton and Zion Lutheran Church in Bethalto. Hopefully we can encourage you to become GOE members to keep our kids and faculty growing and striving for excellence. Education makes a difference in our society.

Fiona Griswold


Fiona Griswold assumed the role of Alton High School Librarian in 2021 after living and teaching in Lake Charles, Louisiana for the last nine years. A native of Illinois, Fiona earned her BA in English from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994 and returned to U of I for her MS in Library and Information Science in 2009. In addition to working as a school librarian, she has also worked as a public librarian, middle school English teacher, study abroad advisor, and copy editor. Fiona has two sons, Jack, a junior at LSU, and Julian, a senior at Edwardsville High School. She is happy to have an opportunity to contribute to the Alton community who has been so welcoming. 

Vicki Maher


Bio Coming Soon!

Amanda Marko


Bio Coming Soon!

Phil Trapani


Phil Trapani – Is a retired principal of Alton High School. He was responsible for planning and administrating the move from the old Alton High to the new Alton High School building. As Assistant Superintendent he was instrumental in the planning of combining two middle schools into the current Alton Middle School. After over 40 years of experience in education, in four communities, Phil and his wife, Teri, have made Alton their home.









Elaine Kane - Assistant Superintendent

Ex-Officio Member

Elaine Kane has extensive educational experience in the Alton School District, serving as a Reading Specialist, Literacy Coach, Curriculum Coordinator and currently Assistant Superintendent. She is a lifelong resident of Alton and a proud graduate of Alton High School. Elaine and her husband, Bob, also have four children representing AHS classes of 2017, 2019 and 2022. 

The Alton Educational Foundation has inspired Elaine as both a teacher and administrator in the district, and she is proud to serve on the AEF Board alongside the dedicated community members that help to fund innovation in our schools. 

Calendar (2023-2024)

  • Meetings: 1st Thursday of the month @ Johnson’s Corner
    • Meeting: August 3, 5:00 pm
    • Meeting: September 7, 5:00 pm
    • Meeting: October 5, 5:00 pm
  • Guardians of Education Recognition Event: Rescheduled Date TBD
  • Grant Application Due Date March 2024
  • Presentation of Grant Awards Early April 2024
  • Brunjes Scholarship Due Date March 2024
  • Brunjes Scholarship Award Date Early April 2024

501(c)(3) Request Form

Do you need the Alton School District 501(c)(3) request form? If so, the 501(c)(3) Request Form is ready for download. Simply, click the button to download the button as a PDF.


The Alton Educational Foundation publishes an annual newsletter to recognize the AEF’s efforts. Would you like to view a past newsletter? You can view them here: 2020.