Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club awards four grants to District 58 teachers


The Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club (DGJWC) awarded four grants totaling more than $2,000 to District 58 teachers for innovative programs and continuing education opportunities that will benefit students in their classroom and throughout the District.

“The Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club is proud to award these grants to four deserving teachers who, through their grant applications, demonstrated innovative ideas to enhance their instruction. It is our honor to provide them funding to help make these ideas a reality,” said Valerie Hardy, DGJWC education committee co-chair and grants coordinator.  

Congratulations to the 2019 DGJWC grant recipients!

  • Michael Bergmeier, Herrick art teacher, earned a grant for new art supplies at both Herrick and O’Neill middle schools.
  • Ashley Bidlencik, Kingsley sixth grade teacher, earned a grant to attend a social-emotional learning professional development conference. As a member of District 58’s Social-Emotional Learning Committee, she plans to share her learning from the conference with the committee to help students at both Kingsley and districtwide.
  • Caroline Forbes, Henry Puffer resource teacher, earned a grant to build an interactive sensory hallway for students.
  • Leslie Hesterman, Hillcrest librarian, earned a grant that will help her attend the American Association of School Librarians conference in November. She hopes the conference will build her literacy and reading instruction skills. When she returns, she intends to share her learning with her colleagues to benefit all Hillcrest students.

“Thank you, Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club, for your continuous generosity and support of the District 58 mission, and thank you teachers for applying for this grant opportunity,” said Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli. “District 58 is very fortunate to be a part of a community that so highly values the importance of education!”

For more information about these grants, please visit the Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club website at