Claremont Educational Foundation
In 1991, the Claremont Educational Foundation (CEF) was founded for the purpose to "save our schools" during a fiscal crisis caused by state budget cuts. Since those early days, our organization has evolved, but our mission has remained the same: "to protect and enrich quality public education in Claremont through community involvement.”
Who We Are
Claremont Educational Foundation is a local non-profit educational foundation devoted to raising money for all Claremont Unified School District (CUSD) schools. Our Mission: “To protect and enrich quality public education in Claremont.”
What We Do
Claremont Educational Foundation collaborates with the school district and the community to assist in providing all students the best education possible. CEF is the school district’s primary partner in providing support and enrichment opportunities that help every student at every school receive an impactful and achievement-filled education from CUSD. We grant funds to each school throughout the district, as well as educators and community partners, with a focus on art, music and technology, totaling more than $3.5 million dollars since 1991.
Why We Do It
CEF exists to help Claremont schools excel because we believe that improving our schools by working to close the gap left in state funding, improves our community. Because education is so much more than what takes place in the classroom, we offer enrichment programs and hold community conversations about issues that affect education. With the help of volunteers, community members, and business partners, our work benefits every child at every school in the district as well as impacts the greater community of Claremont.
How We Do It
In addition to our many revenue-generating programs and events, CEF relies on support from the local community as well as corporate donations to fund our successful annual gifting program. In 2019, over 40 businesses and professionals contributed over $100,000 in gifts and in-kind donations.
Please see our FAQs for common questions asked to CEF.
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A Message from The Presidents
We are delighted to serve as your Presidents for the Claremont Educational Foundation for the 2020/2021 school year.
Several years ago, CEF developed a leadership model in which the CEF Presidency role and responsibility is shared, allowing us to spread out the leadership duties and ensure smooth functioning for our organization. This year's leadership team are Deborah Kekone (President), Karen McMillen (Immediate Past President), and John Heitkemper (President Elect). Together, we have over 12 years experience with CEF. Between us, we are the parents of 5 children, ranging from 4th grade to college, including two who have graduated from Claremont High School. We are both long-time Claremont residents.
Why did we decide to become involved with CEF? We both have made a personal commitment to support quality public education in our schools because we have seen the impact of CEF first hand. Karen and John, as a parents starting at Sycamore Elementary, saw how CEF dollars allowed that school to provide a high quality art and music program for its students. And Deborah, as a parent with one child at Chaparral Elementary and the other a CHS graduate now in college, valued CEF’s goal to positively impact every student at every school in the district.
We hope you will join us in supporting our kids and our community!
Deborah Kekone, President
Karen McMillen, Immediate Past President
John Heitkemper, President Elect
2020-2021 Officers and Executive Committee
President, Development & Communications Co-Chair
Immediate Past President
President-Elect, Finance Chair
Development & Communications Co-Chair
SLICE of Summer Chair
“Early exposure in elementary school to music, which I know CEF makes possible, is so important. It provided me a foundation in music that led to my discovery of the double bass at El Roble and then the CHS Jazz Band where I was introduced to jazz bass. Currently, I am attending Oberlin College and Conservatory outside Cleveland, Ohio where I am double majoring in Jazz Bass Performance and Anthropology. Please consider a gift to CEF today to make sure the arts continue to be offered in the Claremont elementary schools.”
Kamran Curlin, CHS Class of 2018