Meet the Alton Educational Foundation Board
F. Ryan Bemis, D.C. currently serves as President of the Alton Educational Foundation and has been a board member since 2010. He is a fourth generation chiropractor practicing in Alton since 1997. Ryan is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, IA. He and his wife, Kristin, have three daughters that attend the Alton School District. Ryan has spent countless volunteer hours coaching soccer in the Alton community. In his free time, he attends his daughters' sporting events and likes to play golf.
Nita Whitten currently serves as Treasurer of the Alton Educational Foundation. She is currently the Fiscal Manager of William M. BeDell, ARC. ARC is a not for profit organization that services children with severe and profound intellectual disabilities in the school districts of Madison County and surrounding counties. She has spent the past 24 years as an accountant for a variety of businesses in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Nine of those years were spent as Financial Controller with Argosy Casinos. She is currently the Sunday School Superintendent of College Avenue Presbyterian Church and has positions as an Elder and Deacon.
Martha Morse is a graduate of Alton High School and studied accounting and marketing at Western Illinois University. She is the Business Development Representative at 1st MidAmerica Credit Union. While working as Vice President of Member Services at the River Bend Growth Association, she worked with numerous civic and municipal organizations. Martha currently serves on the board for Friends of Wings and the Village of Godfrey Building and Zoning Commission. She has served as board member for United Way, Girls Scouts, St. Ambrose Home & School Association, YWCA, Alton Rotary, Alton Main Street, SCORE and Small Business Development Advisory Board. Martha is a resident of Godfrey. She and her husband, Allan are owners of Encore Bath & Remodeling.
Lisa Long has served on the AEF board since 2007, as president for six years and the Redbird Raffle Chair for 2 years. She also serves as secretary and membership chairman for the Summers-Port board. She has been involved in Alton Children’s Theatre (serving as president and grant writer), was Mini-Art Chair for West Elementary, swim meet director for Summers-Port Sharks, assistant manager for an Alton United Futbol team, concessions director for Tri-City Area Tidalwaves, and served as “All God’s Children Shall Have Shoes” chairman for Junior League of Greater Alton. Her education includes a BS in Business Administration and a MS in Management Information Systems. She was employed as a Senior Systems Analyst at Olin Brass in East Alton from 1992 - 2006. Lisa currently resides in Godfrey with her husband and two children, who are juniors at AHS. Both Lisa and her husband are life-long Alton/Godfrey citizens and graduated from the Alton Community School District.
Doug Mendenhall is a partner at Smith, Mendenhall, Selby & Cole. He brings more than 35 years of experience to the firm and focuses his practice on the representation of petitioners in workers' compensation cases and plaintiffs in personal injury matters. After earning his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1973, Doug went on to receive his J.D. from the University of Illinois in 1976. Doug is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He has lectured at continuing legal education programs for legal professionals on the topic of Illinois Workers' Compensation law. He is currently licensed to practice in Illinois. An avid golfer and Fighting Illini fan, Doug grew up in Alton, Illinois, attending Alton Community School District schools. He currently resides in Alton with his wife, Stephanie.
Phil Trapani currently serves as Vice-President of the Alton Educational Foundation. He is the former Alton High School principal/Assistant Superintendant of Secondary Schools for the Alton Community School District. Phil has worked in several communities as an educational leader and teacher for thirty-eight years. A five year member of the Alton Educational Foundation board, Phil continues his commitment to education. Passionate about the Alton community, Phil serves as a board member of the Greater Alton Development Board, and the Elijah P. Lovejoy Foundation. He is a member of the 100 Black Men, a regular volunteer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald Charities, and serves as Eucharistic minister at the Fountains living facility. He and his wife reside in Godfrey.
Susan Hatfield is a lifelong resident of the Alton/Godfrey area and a 1989 AHS graduate. She lives in Godfrey with her husband, Bryan, and their two children. Their son is a 2016 AHS graduate and their daughter will graduate in 2018. Susan graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1993 from the Lumpkin School of Business with a B.S. in Management, concentration in Administration. During those four years at Eastern, she was a member of a business co-ed fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and served as secretary for a year. Susan is a co-owner of a 4th generation family business, Piasa Enterprises, LLC, which originally started in 1932 as Piasa Motor Fuels. She worked summers while attending school and full time upon college graduation until they started their family. Susan's involvement in the Alton School District with her children include being a parent volunteer in the classroom and library at West Elementary, serving on the After Prom and After Grad committees, and attending the Alton School District Parent Advisory Council. She was the 2015 recipient of Those Who Excel in Community Volunteer Category by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Angela McDowell was born and raised in Tennessee and graduated from a high school in Springfield, Illinois. In 1992, she moved to the Alton area. She has been a counselor since 1991 and has a private practice professional counseling business called Angela McDowell Counseling Services. She is licensed and certified in counseling and addictions. Angela is an active member of the Illinois Counseling Association, Lewis & Clark Chapter of the Illinois Counseling Association, Illinois Mental Health Counselor’s Association, American Counseling Association, American Mental Health Counselor’s Association, River Bend Growth Association, and Alton Main Street. She has been blessed through volunteering in her community through the Junior League of Greater Alton, Options Now, Alton Women’s Home Association, Drug Free Alton Coalition, and Zonta Club of Alton-Wood River. She has enjoyed being an Alton School District parent volunteer through the Corridor 1 Parent Group, West Elementary School PTG, Alton Middle School PTG, Alton School District Parent Advisory Council, and the Alton Athletics Association. She and her husband have two children. Their son is a graduate of AHS in 2014 and their daughter will graduate from AHS in 2016. She is an avid reader, loves camping and being outdoors.
Ginger Woodman is co-owner of Woodman Collision Center with her husband Jess. They are life-long Alton/Godfrey residents and graduates of the Alton Schools. Both her mom and dad taught in the Alton District and her sister is currently a teacher at Alton Middle School. After graduating from SIUE she taught several years in Bethalto and then finished her career (2013) in Alton with another twenty-five years. Being certified in Gifted Education many of those years were spent teaching in the Gifted Program. She was awarded the Excellence in Education Award from the Illinois State Board of Education and was the 2013 Boys and Girls Club Teacher of the Year. She served many years on the Alton District Curriculum Council, LCCC Water Festival Committee, and as a board member for Options Now. Currently she is second vice-president and Carousel chair for the Godfrey Women's Club, supervises student teachers for Greenville College, works at Woodman Collision Center, and is a member of Calvary Baptist Church. Her two sons both work in the family business and have blessed Jess and Ginger with five grandchildren.
Elaine Kane is an Ex-Officio member of our board and is the Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction for the Alton School District. Born and raised in Alton, Elaine is a proud member of the AHS Class of 1989. She earned a BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Illinois, followed by a MS in Elementary Education and a Specialist in Educational Administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Elaine is an active member of the Alton Area Optimist Club, the YWCA Programs Committee and St. Mary's Church. She coordinates connections between community and schools through the Alton Reading Mentors and Reach Out and Read programs. Elaine and her husband Bob are raising four teenage children representing the Classes of 2017, 2019 and 2022 at Alton High School.