Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Millionaire In The Classroom Next Door

When former Davison, Michigan teacher Edna Diehl passed away recently, she didn't forget the high school where she worked for 29 years:
A woman who spent 29 years as a teacher and counselor at Davison High School has left $1.3 million to the school district that will be used to fund scholarships for students.

Edna Diehl was known as a serious, sometimes even strict teacher. Past students say she cared deeply and wanted them to succeed in life.

"She was pretty serious most of the time. But she could also be fun outside of school," Connie Olejniczak, a student of Diehl's during the mid-1960s, told The Flint Journal for a Saturday story.

Most were stunned when she left the money to the school district when she died at age 88 in July.

The money will be held in trust by the Davison Educational Foundation and the interest used to fund scholarships.

The district expects the interest will generate about $60,000 a year, paying for two years' worth of college for five students every year, said Kevin Leffler, a school board member who also serves as president of the foundation.

Diehl was known for her ability to raise money for student trips, former students and colleagues said.

"It seemed like she was doing fundraisers all the time," said Dick DeLoge, a retired teacher who worked with Diehl for about five years. "I remember her having to count money all the time."

Diehl and her husband, Ben, who died in 1997, had no children, said former colleague Pat McGlashen. Diehl also started a retired teachers group that still meets monthly at a local golf club, she said.
More details (from another source) here.

I've always thought that if I could ever win the California State Lottery, I would make a substantial cash donation to the junior high where I've taught for the past 15 years.

It would be a kind of "going away" present.
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