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Recipients of Knox County Retired Teachers Association Scholarships

CEHHS Students Recipients of Knox County Retired Teacher Association Awards

Kirstine AndersenThe Knox County Retired Teachers’ Association (KCRTA) Scholarship Foundation has awarded six students enrolled in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences with scholarships in support of their educational pursuit. Held on November 14, 2019, the students received their awards at the KCRTA Scholarship Foundation’s Awards Ceremony and Luncheon held at the Foundry at the World’s Fair site.  The KCRTA Scholarship Foundation has awarded over $100,000 in supporting senior and graduate students attending colleges and universities in East Tennessee and pursuing teacher certification since its origination.

The awardees and the scholarships received are:

Sarah Benson, Bailey Graduate School of Education Student in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, Recipient of the Tom Underwood Scholarship presented by Nancy Gerhardt. (Featured Back Row, Right)

The Tom Underwood Scholarship has been a KCRTA standing scholarship fo rmany years in recognition of Tom’s committment to the Knox County Retired Teachers Association and the Knoxville Teachers Federal Credit Union. Tom underwood was a teacher, principal and elementary school supervisor in the Knoxville City Schools.  In 1971, he became the Executive Secretary of the KCRTA and supported Reuben Hunter in creating the Scholarship Foundation and in working toward pension reform for teachers.  In 1971, Tom also became the Treasurer Manager of the Knoxville Teachers Federal Credit Union which has provided support to Knoxville area retired teachers.  He was instrumental in expanding the scope and services of the credit until until 2011.  After retiring as credit union manager, he remained with the credit union as a consultant.  Presently, he continues as a resource there.

Katarina Steffen, Bailey Graduate School of Education Student in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, Recipient of The Reuben and Pat Hunter Scholarhip presented by David Sincerbox. (Featured front row, left)

The Reuben Hunter Scholarship is one of the original standing scholarships of the KCRTA Scholarship Foundation.  Reuben Hunter, who was a teacher and principal in the Knoxville City School System, is credited with initiating the establishment of the KCRTA Scholarship Foundation during his tenure as president of the KCRTA in 1993-1994.  The constitution and bylows for the foundation were signed on November 19, 1993, with Reuben as the first treasurer.  As a member of the Knoxville Pension Board, Reuben worke tirelessly with government officials, politicians and TRTA personnel for a solvent pension plan for teachers throughout Tennessee.  Since Reuben’s death, his wife, Pat, has continued to be generous in support of the scholarship program.  Pat was a school librarian for most of her teaching career.  The Reuben Hunter Scholarship is now known as the Reuben and Pat Hunter Scholarship.

Kirstine Andersen, Senior in Music Education, Recipient of the Colleen Bennett Scholarhsip presnted by Connie Silvey. (Featured front row, center)

As part of her estate, Colleen Bennett endowed a standing scholarship to support future teachers in their preparation for the teaching profession.  Colleen was committed to the teaching profession and to assisting prospective teachers. Throughout her careeer as a junior high and senior high librarian from 1937-1973, she was a member of various professional organizations that provided financial support for future teachers.  She encouraged her library assistants to enter the teacher profession, and she sponsored the Future Teachers of America Club at East High School in Knoxville.  Colleen earned both her BS and MS degrees from Peabody College through support from scholarships.  After retirement, she taught library science at the University of Tennessee and served as an assistant librarian in one of Knoxville’s public library branches.

David Levanthal, Bailey Graduate School of Education Student in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, Recipient of the Bill Crosland Scholarship presented by Anne Loy. (Featured back row, left)

The Bill Crosland Scholarship is a memorial to Bill’s service ot the studnets of Knoxville and Knox County for over 35 years as a teacher, principal and AEL Educational Consultant.  After retirment, Bill joined KCRTA and provided leadership to the organization in a variety of ways, including serving as its president and uspporting the revitalization of the scholarship program.  As a member of several professional organizations, Bill exhibited his leadership skills in support of fellow educators.  He was a model professional who exuded optimism and encouraged everyone around him.  Bill’s wife, Jennifer, was also an educator and has established a standing scholarship in his name.

Cassandra Dean, Bailey Graduate School of Education Student in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, Recipient of the Betty Berry Scholarship presented by Judy Fleenor. (Featured front row, right)

As a tribute to her commitment to education and to KCRTA, Betty Berry is being honored in 2019 with the presentation of an KCRTA Scholarship in her name.  Betty taught Biology at Central High School from 1969-1990 after earning her BS and MS degrees from the University of Tennessee.  Upon her retirement, her commitment to education continued through her work with the KCRTA.  As the legislative chairperson for many years, she developed relationships with local and state elected officials in an effort to improve benefits for Knoxville and Knox County teachers.  Betty represented this organization at Tennessee Legislative Sessions, NEA Conventions and other professional events, frequently traveling to Nashville, using her boundless energy to promote educators and education.

Sarah Wade, Bailey Graduate School of Education Student in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, Recipient of the Cindi Fuller Schowalter Scholarship. (Featured back row, center)

The Cindi Fuller Schowalter Scholarhip is givein in 2019 by the retired West Hills Elementary School Staff as a memorial to a dedicated colleague and loving friend. Cindi earned both her BS and MS degrees from the University of Tennessee and was a dedicated “big orange” fan.  She taught at Inskip and West Hills Elementary Schools where she touched countless lives for 39 years.  She loved her students and was passionate about teaching.  Cindi not only touched the lives of her students; but she also made an impact on future teachers as she graciously shared her knowledge, her ideas, and her passion with interns and student teachers.

Congratulations to these outstanding students!