2024 Scholarship News

The 2024 application and current guidelines for the IRTA Foundation Scholarships are available.  Applications and current guidelines are posted on this page.

IRTAF Scholarship Information

Moler-Austin Scholarship Information

Helen Kennedy Scholarship Information

Rose Sandstrom Scholarship Information

One $2,000 scholarship is available in each of the six IRTA Areas of the state. These scholarships are only available to incoming juniors or seniors in college enrolled in a certified teacher training program. The deadline to postmark or email applications is March 7, 2024.  Thanks to a generous private donation by an IRTA member, there is an additional $3,000 scholarship in Area 4 & Area 6.

Other scholarships available in 2024, are the Moler-Austin Scholarship which offers two $4,500 scholarships to KENDALL COUNTY high school graduates that will be entering their Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year of college with a declared major in Education. The Helen Kennedy Scholarship which is a $2,000 scholarship and is available to graduates of any Illinois High School that will be entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of college with a declared major in Education. Finally, the Rose Sandstrom Scholarship is for $2,000 and is available to one incoming senior in college attending either Western Illinois University or Monmouth College with a declared major in Physical Education.

Applications for any of the above scholarships must be postmarked or emailed and sent to the IRTA office on or before March 7, 2024, and the recipients will be announced by April 21, 2024. The awards will be given as follows: one half in June for the fall semester with the balance to be awarded in January upon registrar verification of a 3.0 or above GPA on a 4.0 scale.

If you have any questions or need assistance in obtaining an application or to send an application, please contact Susan Goetz at or call 1.800.728.4782.

2023 IRTA Foundation Area Scholarship Recipients

The IRTA Foundation awards six $2,000 scholarships to incoming juniors or seniors in college that are pursuing a degree in education. Thanks to a very generous private donation from one of our members, Areas 4 and 6 each will award a second scholarship of $3,000. The eight winners were chosen through competition with other applicants from their own area of the state.

The IRTA Foundation congratulates all of the recipients and wishes them the best of luck!

2023 Area Foundation Scholarship Recipients

Hanna Brinker

The Area 1 recipient is Hanna Brinker of Lena, IL. She is an incoming junior and attends the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where she is majoring in Elementary Education.

Vivian Zhao

The Area 2 recipient is Vivian Zhao of Schaumburg, IL. Vivian will be a senior in the fall and attends the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She is majoring in Elementary Education.

Christy Arreci

The Area 3 recipient is Christy Arreci of Berwyn, IL. She attends the University of Illinois Chicago where she will be an incoming senior. Christy is a Teaching of English major.

Reese Markley

The Area 4 recipient is Reese Markley of Mason City, IL. Reese will be an incoming junior at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana where she is studying Mathematics Education.

Brandon Yazell

The Area 4 additional scholarship recipient is Brandon Yazell of Normal, IL. Brandon will be a junior in the fall and will attend Illinois State University where he has been accepted into the Geography Social Science Teacher Education program.

Sadie Gardner

The Area 5 recipient is Sadie Gardner of Shelbyville, IL. Sadie will be attending Eastern Illinois University where she will be an incoming junior. She is majoring in Elementary Education.

Maelee Sparks

The Area 6 recipient is Maelee Sparks of Grantsburg, IL. Maelee is an incoming senior and attends the University of Tennessee at Martin where she is enrolled in the College of Education.

Megan Kronk

The Area 6 recipient of the additional scholarship is Megan Kronk of Highland, IL. In the fall, Megan will start her senior year at Eastern Illinois University where she is majoring in Physical Education.

2023 Moler-Austin Recipient

The Moler-Austin Scholarship is available through the Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation. Two scholarships of $4,500 are awarded to Kendall County high school graduates pursuing a degree in education. This scholarship is available because of a generous gift from deceased IRTA member Identa Austin. Identa donated eighty acres of land to the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, and the profits from the sale of that land are used to fund the Moler-Austin scholarship.

This year there was only one applicant for the Moler-Austin Scholarship.

This scholarship is advertised in all the local papers in Kendall County. The ad runs the last week of December and the first week of January so students that are home for Winter Break will see the advertisement.

The 2023 recipient is:

Sydney Reppy

Sydney Reppy of Yorkville, IL who is a 2021 graduate of Minooka Community High School. Sydney attended Joliet Junior College and is enrolled at DePaul University where she is majoring in Secondary Education and English.

2023 Additional Foundation Scholarships

In 2023 two new Foundation Scholarships have been established. The Helen Kennedy Scholarship awards $2,000 to an incoming sophomore, junior, or senior in college. The student must be enrolled in an accredited teacher education program and a graduate of an Illinois High School. This very generous donation was made in memory of former educator Helen Kennedy.

The 2023 recipient of the Helen Kennedy Scholarship is:

Grace Hoppe

Grace Hoppe is from Springfield, IL. Grace is a 2021 graduate of Springfield High School and attends Illinois State University. She will be an incoming Junior and is majoring in Middle-level Education.

The other new Foundation Scholarship added in 2023 is the Rose Sandstrom Scholarship. Rose was a member of IRTA and President of her local Warren County RTA. She established the criteria for her scholarship and her surviving spouse and son initiated the start upon her death in November 2022. The Rose Sandstrom scholarship of $2,000 is awarded to one full-time student entering their senior year of college with a declared major in Physical Education. The recipient must be enrolled at Monmouth College or Western Illinois University.

The 2023 recipient of the Rose Sandstrom Scholarship is:

Emily Phillip

Emily Phillip of Monee, IL who is a 2020 graduate of Lyons Township High School. Emily will be an incoming senior at Monmouth College where she is pursuing a degree in Physical Education.