In March 2019, the Student Excellence Foundation was proud to participate in the dedication of a renovated Bower Library Learning Center (LLC) in honor of Kevin Kane, the school’s former principal. The friends and family of Kevin Kane, the Bower PTA, CUSD 200, and the Student Excellence Foundation all contributed ideas, time and money to make this idea a reality.
When Kevin Kane passed away in May 2017, memorial funds received were earmarked for two organizations, one being Wheaton-Warrenville School District 200, specifically Bower Elementary, where Mr. Kane had been a beloved principal. Dena Kane Howser, Mr. Kane’s daughter, engaged the Student Excellence Foundation as the group in charge of the memorial funds with the stipulation that the funds were to go toward a project at Bower Elementary.
Mark Kohlmann, current Bower principal and good friend of Kevin Kane, was mentored by him when he began his career in CUSD 200. Kohlmann spoke of Mr. Kane as a “futurist” who was way beyond his time. He was encouraging flexible furniture when the new addition to Bower was first being built in 1986. Kohlmann says said Kevin was a strong advocate for the LLC, as all children interact within it. He was a “go-getter,” in Mr. Kohlmann’s words.
After Kevin passed away, the memorial funds were in trust with the Student Excellence Foundation as Bower staff planned how to use the funds. CUSD 200 planned major renovations to Bower in the summer of 2018, so it was decided this would be a good time to use the Kane Memorial Fund for more flexible furniture in the LLC as well as other innovative updates. One of these is the “reading ship,” a favorite spot for kids to “climb aboard” and read! The Bower PTA agreed to match the memorial funds to give even more support for these innovations.
The honor of recognizing such an outstanding educator and human being does not come often. Kevin Kane was not only both, but he was also a beloved Dad, Granddad, and loyal, longtime friend. Bower and its LLC are the benefactors of this recognition.
The photos and video below showcase the improvements made to the LLC at Bower Elementary.
If you are interested in making a gift to Community Unit School District 200 or one of its schools or programs in memory of an individual, the Student Excellence Foundation is the best way to do so. As the “charitable arm” of the District, the Foundation can receive funds and direct them toward the District, one of its schools, and/or one of its programs. For more information, please contact our Executive Director, Vicki Sebela.