Illinois Retired Teachers Association


Scholarships

2022 IRTA Foundation Area Scholarship Recipients

The IRTA Foundation awards six $1,500 scholarships to incoming juniors or seniors in college that are pursuing a degree in education. Starting in 2023, the scholarship amount will be increased to $2,000 per Area. 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 in their future as educators!

2022 Area Foundation Scholarship Recipients

The Area 1 recipient is Danielle Hagens of Aledo, IL. Danielle has attended Black Hawk College and she currently attends Monmouth College where she will be a senior in the fall. Danielle’s mother is also a teacher and the fellowship and camaraderie she has witnessed is what inspired her to pursue a degree in teaching. Danielle is a member of the TARTANS program, which stands for Teachers Allied with Rural Towns and Neighborhood Schools and is a program not only developing rural teachers but is an effort to improve the quality of life in rural schools and communities. Danielle aspires to be a high school math teacher in a rural area.

The Area 2 recipient is Stevie Burton of Elk Grove Village, IL. Stevie will be a senior in the fall and attends Illinois State University. She is a Special Education/Specialist in Learning Behavior major. Stevie is involved in the honors program as well as Kappa Delta Pi, an honors society for education. She is also an ISU division one cheerleader and a volunteer student ambassador representing the Department of Special Education at ISU school sponsored events. During the summer, Stevie works with children with disabilities in a park district setting for an organization called NEDSRA which is a special recreation association.

The Area 3 recipient is Ryan Thiele of Naperville, IL. Ryan attends the College of DuPage and in the fall will be an incoming Junior at Valley City State University where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a major in Technology Education. He was an active member of his local Boy Scout troop and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in August 2019. Ryan was elected to multiple leadership positions including Senior Patrol Leader and took the required training to become an assistant scoutmaster. For the past two years, he has worked for the Boy Scouts in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota as a canoe guide. Ryan believes his leadership experiences will aid in successfully leading a classroom in the future.

The Area 4 recipient is Lyndsey Butler of Peoria, IL. Lyndsey attended Illinois Central College. She will be a senior in the fall and attends Illinois State University where she is pursuing a Middle Level Teacher Education degree. Lyndsey’s motivation for being an educator is students. She has a heart for making a difference in students’ lives and she hopes to help navigate students to their interests and fullest potentials.

The Area 4 additional scholarship recipient is Montana Mull of Normal, IL. Montana attended Sauk Valley Community College where she earned her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. She will be a senior in the fall and attends Illinois State University where she is pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. Montana has been interested in teaching since her freshman year of High School. She has worked part-time at a daycare while attending college full-time. She loves working with children and looks forward to being an inspiration to many young children as she helps them through their educational journey.

The Area 5 recipient is Addison Graham of Sullivan, IL. Addison will be a senior in the fall and attends Illinois State University. He is a Special Education major with a specialization in Low Vision/Blindness. Addison’s parents work for the Sullivan Schools and their desire to help young people find a connection in school is what guided him towards his field of study. His goal is to help someone read for the first time using the abilities they have.


The Area 6 recipient is Clay Brigham of Harrisburg, IL. Clay attended Southeastern Illinois College and will be a Junior in the fall where he will be attending the University of Southern Indiana. He is enrolled in the Science Teaching Program. Clay’s goal is to help lead the younger generation and to become a teacher that students can go to when they need help. He wants to show students that learning can be enjoyable.

The Area 6 recipient of the additional scholarship is Megan Kronk of Highland, IL. Megan attended Kaskaskia College. In the fall, she will be starting her Junior year at Eastern Illinois University where she is majoring in Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation Teacher Licensure. Megan’s mother and grandmother are teachers, so she grew up watching the hours they spent on their students and their classrooms. She always loved helping students in her mother’s classroom and volunteering at events at the school. More than anything Megan loves working with kids.

2022 Moler-Austin Recipients

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 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 2022 recipients are:

Anwen Hurd of Montgomery, IL who is a 2019 graduate of Oswego High School. She attended Waubonsee Community College where she received her Associate in Science and Associate in Art degrees. She will be an incoming Senior at Aurora University where she is pursuing her degree in Elementary Education with an ESL endorsement. Anwen loves to travel and see new things, listen to music, and watch shows and movies in other languages. She believes it is vital for students to welcome and learn about other cultures and people. Her goal is to teach in School District 308, the district in which she was educated.

Savanna Farren of Yorkville, IL is a 2019 graduate of Yorkville High School. She attended Waubonsee Community College where she received her Associate in Science degree. She will be an incoming Senior at Aurora University where she is majoring in Elementary Education. She plans to pursue a master’s degree as a reading specialist. Besides attending school, Savanna works as a gymnastics coach and has coached for 5 years. She would like her future classroom to be inquiry based. Savanna believes that students learn best when they play an active role in their own education.

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