The Partnership's 25th Anniversary Kickoff

In 1992 The Partnership for Educational Excellence was founded by Gillespie resident Nanci Grandone. She invited a group of friends and acquaintances to discuss the possibility of supporting Pre-K through 12 education in Macoupin County’s Community Unit School District 7 (CUSD 7).

Twenty-five years later, this 501(c)3 non-profit education foundation is celebrating this landmark anniversary. Its all-volunteer board of directors is proud to report that it has invested $570,000 in the school children of CUSD7 as more than 1,000 classroom mini-grants and $215,500 in 393 academic tuition scholarships for post-secondary education. And Nanci as well as two other founders, John Fassero, Jr. and Donna Prevedell, are still on the board!

All of these funds were entrusted to The Partnership by friends and neighbors, alums and local businesses, foundations and corporations large and small.

The Partnership is humbled by the faith and confidence that our “partners” have shown in the foundation. And it is determined to keep its mission alive by increasing its scholarships from $500 to $1,000 per student per year. Because up to 30 percent of each Gillespie High School graduating class receives a scholarship, this increase has prompted a fund raising campaign. The goal is raise $25,000, all to be used to match our many established $500 memorial scholarships, so that in future each new scholar can have $1,000 toward tuition.

All year we will be celebrating the accomplishments of our past scholars. We hope that you are heartened to read of their life choices and the value they place on post-secondary education. We also hope that old friends and new “partners” will consider helping future grads with a gift of any size. To mark this 25th year and our goal, we are encouraging gifts of $25 or group gifts from friends or colleagues to fund – and name! – an entire match ($500). But all gifts are received with gratitude.

Donations are tax deductible and are acknowledged with a letter/receipt when addresses are provided. For more information and to donate, you can contact The Partnership at P.O. Box 125, Gillespie IL 62033 or at