Parish educator’s college fund still going strong

Former teacher and principal Ethel Schoeffner may not have been a wealthy woman, but her frugal ways have paid dividends to over a 100 worthy students since 1991.

The Ethel Schoeffner Scholarship fund recently awarded its 104th St. Charles Parish high school graduate with a $500 per semester scholarship for students planning on majoring in education or nursing. The scholarship can be extended for up to five semesters for a grand total of $2,500, according to the St. Charles Parish School Board.

The fund was established in 1989 after Schoeffner left about $190,000 in her will for the sole purpose of helping students reach their academic goals in college while maintaining the rather large cost of higher education.

Scholarship fund board President Stanley Berard said in a recent report that the initial total left by Schoeffner of $189,538 has grown to $226,000 since starting to pay scholarships in 1991. The fund only uses the interest accrued to pay out for scholarships, according to Berard, ensuring that money remains in tact for future students to take advantage of.

A total of 17 scholarships were awarded for the fall 2006 semester, totaling $8,500. Three additional scholarships were awarded for the spring 2007 semester. The most recent recipients were Jesscia Aubert, Cassie Farrell and Keva Washington. Aubert and Farrell are attending Nicholls State while Washington attends Southern in Baton Rouge, Berard said.

The threshold for the fund has been set at $200,000, Berard said, with a minimum goal of granting five new scholarships per year. The amount actually granted depends on student eligibility and how much interest has accrued yearly.

In order to be eligible, students must be enrolled full time at an accredited state college or university with priority given to students attending Louisiana state colleges and universities. Only graduates of Destrehan and Hahnville High are eligible, according to the application that can be obtained at the school board office. Students also must be in at least their second semester of their sophomore year to use the scholarship.


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