Cathy Stroup, who passed away suddenly in August, was renowned in Leavenworth for her outstanding 33-year teaching career, with a focus on first, second and third grade at Osborn Elementary.
Cathy’s husband, Bob, who also taught for decades, decided to start a scholarship in her memory. Creating this new opportunity for graduating Cascade Kodiaks serves to channel some of the sadness of her loss into something that will amplify the meaning of her life’s work by paying it forward.
Bob, working with a lawyer and Dwight Remick, Cascade School District business manager, was able to design the scholarship so that the applicant must qualify to be considered by having a passion to pursue education, and specifically K-3rd grade elementary education.
A chance for a second scholarship installment can occur when the student declares an elementary education major at the end of sophomore year or the beginning of junior year of college.
The Stroup family and Cascade Education Foundation (CEF) will oversee the scholarship. CEF is accepting donations to the scholarship fund, and many people who knew Cathy and her positive impact on local youth have donated already.
Through creation of this scholarship, Bob and his family hope to smooth out the path for a candidate who exemplifies some of Cathy’s many qualities.
Retired teacher Pat Bergren worked alongside Cathy for years, initially because of having a shared space during delays in the Osborn Elementary construction. Bergren said, “[The shared space] was so successful and fulfilling that we subsequently opened the dividing wall between our new classrooms and continued team teaching for several years.”
Bergren admired her colleague, saying, “Cathy was an exceptional educator, calm, consistent, fair and always ready with a hug for whomever needed it. She was the consummate professional—punctual, organized, prepared, and devoted to learning and teaching. She was open to new ideas and was always working to improve herself.”
Former principal, Tim Lawless said, “I thank God I had the privilege of watching Cathy teach and for the honor of calling her friend. Imagine how many hundreds of students have benefited from having Mrs. Stroup as their teacher.”
Cathy and Bob both loved their jobs as teachers. “She was at the roots and I was up in the branches,” Bob said, referring to his work mostly at the high school level, and her focus on young children, building a base for success, teaching fundamentals, developing good habits, nurturing a love of learning and a belief in each child’s ability to advance and thrive.
While Bob thinks Cathy would shy away from the attention of connecting her name to this scholarship, he also mentioned that friends have said, “Cathy would be honored by what you’re doing with this scholarship.”
Bob stated a firm belief in the need for future teachers who demonstrate the strengths and dedication that Cathy brought to her career as a teacher. This scholarship is one way to recognize the importance of choosing this noble profession. The scholarship application details are still being finalized, but the application will be open this spring for this year’s graduating seniors to apply. If you would like to donate to this scholarship fund, mail a check to CEF (PO Box 683, Leavenworth, WA 98826) and write Cathy Stroup Memorial Scholarship in the sort line.
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