Scholarship gift to Colorado State University - Pueblo honors former Pueblo teacher

Scholarship gift to Colorado State University - Pueblo honors former Pueblo teacher

PUEBLO –The siblings of a former Pueblo teacher have established an endowed scholarship at Colorado State University-Pueblo to honor her professionalism and to benefit future teachers.

Charlotte Koomjohn of Timonium, Md., and her brother John Koomjohn of Oswego, Ill., have established the Marcelle Koomjohn Endowed Education Scholarship Fund in memory of their sister, Marcelle (“Mar-ceel”), who was a dedicated fourth-grade elementary school teacher in Pueblo for 30 years before she passed away in May, 2010. The scholarship honors Marcelle’s exemplary professionalism for the benefit of students who have a strong academic record and who are dedicated to teaching elementary education in Pueblo schools.

“This endowed scholarship to CSU-Pueblo’s students honors Marcelle’s contribution to Pueblo as a passionate and dedicated teacher, and also goes that extra mile in helping new generations of talented young teachers follow in her footsteps,” said Emily King, private scholarships administrator for the CSU-Pueblo Foundation. “The Foundation is excited to manage this generous gift, which carries forth Marcelle’s memory in perpetuity.”

A reception to acknowledge the gift and the inaugural scholarship recipients will be held at 3:30 p.m. on August 29 in the Occhiato University Center Aspen Leaf Room. The CSU-Pueblo Foundation invites Marcelle’s friend and former colleagues to attend this event. Contact the Foundation at 719-549-2380 for more information.

Qualified recipients must be enrolled in the Teacher Education Program (TEP) in their junior year with a strong commitment to teaching elementary education in Pueblo. Recipients must demonstrate academic success by maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25.  Applicants must complete the online institutional general scholarship application by March 1 or the required deadline for CSU-Pueblo. To demonstrate financial need, applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application (by the required deadline each year). Financial need may be considered, but it is secondary to academic success and commitment to Pueblo schools.

One of four siblings and the youngest of three daughters, Marcelle (pronounced Mar-ceel) was born to immigrant parents and reared in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Through a range of college experiences—from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, to Washington University in St. Louis, finally to Idaho State College in Pocatello—she found her niche in elementary education.

Upon completion of her degree work at Idaho State, she took a position in the Pueblo public schools. For 30 years, first at Hyde Park Elementary in 1957, then at Highland Park Elementary in 1963, she remained a conscientious and dedicated mentor and guide to her young charges.

When she retired in August of 1987, she returned to Fort Wayne to re-establish residency and to become the major care-giver for her mother. A heart attack in 2005 significantly limited Marcelle’s physical activity in later years, and she died in May 2010.
“Sharp and alert to the end, she harbored as some of her fondest memories those of the pupils who had passed through her classroom,” said Charlotte Koomjohn. “To the end, she delighted in hearing from those pupils and about those pupils and their achievements. What could be more fulfilling than a scholarship in her name, lending an assist to others for whom the classroom beckons!”

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.