Science scholarship honors former teacher Ms. Schwartz

Ana Espinoza, Editor-in-Chief

The science department honored the memory of a former teacher this month. Ms. Ileane Cooper Schwartz was a science teacher who worked first at Sousa Junior High School before arriving at Schreiber High School when the former became an elementary school.

Ms. Schwartz passed away at age 41 in 1990 and the science department has selected junior Jamie Sall, who took Marine Biology this year, to receive the annual Ileane Schwartz Cooper Science Scholarship this month in Ms. Schwartz’s honor.

“There are qualities that describe Ileane: dedicated to teaching and learning, an advocate for all students,” said former science teacher Mr. Michael Koenig. “She was very deeply involved and dedicated to teaching and fighting for all children. She was the most faithful: she was here in the morning, she gave up lunch, she stayed after school. We’re looking for a student who best represents the kind of attributes that Ileane Schwartz demonstrated.”

The criteria for the science scholarship include an interest in teaching, a commitment to community service, and a dedication to education.

Each year’s recipient is chosen via a departmental roundtable discussion, where teachers nominate and vote for students.

This is the only school science scholarship created and directly awarded by the science faculty.

In the opinion of the science faculty, Sall demonstrated all of these qualities. She was nominated by science teacher Mr. Michael Campanella.

“I feel very honored to receive this scholarship,” said Sall.

Sall volunteers at an animal shelter and is interested in occupational therapy. She hopes to work with and help children as Ms. Schwartz did.

“I plan on being an  occupational therapist with a degree in teaching,” said Sall. “I want to enter the field of occupational therapy so I can help improve children’s lives.”

Last year’s recipient was Jillian Knoll (‘13). The scholarship has been in place for 24 years, in Ms. Schwartz’s honor. There is a plaque in the science hallway on the main floor displaying the names of the award recipients.

Ms. Schwartz was a much appreciated teacher.

“It was important to keep her memory alive because she was in the school and she was one of the really beloved teachers,” said former science teacher Ms. Barbara Selwitz, who taught alongside Ms. Schwartz.

Mr. Koenig remembers Ms. Schwartz dressing up as an Earth mother for the summer solstice during her time as a high school teacher to entertain her biology class. He met her in 1971 at Sousa and the pair reunited at Schreiber as staff. He is the godfather of her son. Ms. Schwartz also left behind another son and a husband.

Although she fell ill five years after arriving at the high school, Ms. Schwartz is an enduring legacy.

“The scholarship is in memory of a former faculty member, even though I didn’t know her,” said science department chair Mr. Philip Crivelli. “So I think it serves to keep her memory alive, to keep the people who knew her well alive.”