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    Seattle Schools Scholarship Fund

    Each year since 1974, the Seattle Schools Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to graduating seniors of Seattle Public Schools and in recognition of students who have overcome significant life challenges to achieve their dreams.

    The scholarships are in the amount of $5,000 and are awarded to students each year for tuition expenses at any college or university or vocational training of the student's choice.

    The scholarship is funded largely from an annual contribution from the Seattle School Retirees Association, as well as generous donations from community members.

    Eligibility Requirements

    Candidates are selected by school counselors and the Scholarship Fund Committee Trustees.

    In order to be eligible to receive a Seattle Schools Scholarship Fund award, the student must:

    • be a graduating senior of a Seattle Public Schools high school during the year the award is awarded,
    • be a current resident of the Washington state, and
    • have demonstrated a certain level of academic achievement and potential for college success.

    Selection Criteria

    Consideration is given to the following criteria in determining both the candidates and recipients of the Seattle Schools Scholarship Awards:

    • financial need
    • recognizable contribution to their school and/or the community
    • performance in academic pursuits
    • candidates have overcome significant life challenges to obtain a high school diploma.

    Scholarship Committee

    2018-19 Board of Trustees

    Michael DeBell (Chair)
    Eric Benson (Vice-chair)
    Ronald Boy
    Linda Ellingboe
    Leslie Harris
    Myrna Muto
    Kathie Pham
    Lisa Rivera-Smith
    Clara Scott
    Dietrich A.C. Schmitz
    Richard Staudt
    Paulette Thompson
    Eleanor Toews


    Amy Fleming (Financial)
    Meaghan Kahlo (Archivist/Website Manager)
    Patti Leverenz (Financial)

    History of the Scholarship Trust Fund

    The Seattle Schools Scholarship Fund was established in 1974 to provide financial assistance to deserving graduates from Seattle Public Schools for first year college related expenses. The major goal of the fund is to reward students who have overcome significant life challenges to obtain a high school diploma and who might not ordinarily be considered for a higher education scholarship.

    These non-renewable awards of $5,000 each are distributed among young men and women from both traditional and alternative high schools in Seattle Public Schools who reflect the diverse ethnic population of the school district. Awards are disbursed directly to the institution.

    Scholarship Fund Sources

    An annual $12,250 contribution from the Seattle School Retirees Association (SSRA) has benefited the fund significantly over the years.

    An annual gift of $10,000 by the Tricia and Richard Taylor family honoring the memory of Sharon Woerner Loberg supports the scholars from Rainier Beach High School. 

    Donations have come from many sources including district employees and the community.

    Since the inception of the Scholarship Fund in 1974, the number and amounts of scholarships granted has increased to 26 scholarships of $5,000 each.

    The 2017 ceremony honored former Franklin High School teacher and longtime fund trustee Phil Konkel who passed away in 2016. His passion and tireless efforts dedicated to the success of the students of Seattle and the Scholarship Fund will be greatly missed. His legacy lives on through a generous bequest to the Fund of nearly $200,000.

    In 2004, Nora B. Adams, former teacher and principal in Seattle Public Schools, left a bequest of nearly $600,000 to the Seattle Schools Scholarship Fund. Nora B. Adams (1928-2004) was a teacher at  Sharples Jr. High and T. T. Minor Elementary and also served as principal at T. T. Minor, Bryant, Sacajawea, Dunlap, and Seward Elementary Schools.

    In 1999 the fund increased by $11,000 when contributions in honor of long-time school board member, Ellen J. Roe were made upon her retirement.

    In 1983 Superintendent Donald Steele recorded an album with country singer Tammy Wynette. All proceeds ($90,000) from its sales were directed to the Scholarship Fund.