Teachers donations establish new Kiwanis scholarship program
August 28, 2008 · Updated 9:27 AM
MARYSVILLE A labor of love between two educators and volunteers blossomed into a gift for the future last week when staff from Kellogg-Marsh Elementary School contributed funds to establish the Kenneth Joseph Ploeger Memorial Scholarship.
Ploeger was a long-time community member who passed away Aug. 15 after a long battle with cancer. His wife Penny was a teacher at Kellogg-Marsh for decades and after the electronics technician retired he was a regular fixture in her classroom, volunteering to help kids read, to work in the kitchen, wherever he was needed.
A Kiwanis member, Penny was honored at the Oct. 2 meeting of the Marysville Kiwanis where K-M teachers Julie Yates and Melissa Brown presented the group with more than $600 to establish the scholarship in Kens name. Brown said the Ploegers were so well known at the Marysville school that she just needed to send a routing slip through the mailboxes to let her peers know of the fundraiser and they just did the rest.
Were very excited, Brown told the crowd at the Village Restaurant. We have some very generous teachers.
Marysville Kiwanis president Dave Voigt said the donations will allow the group to offer a second educational scholarship at the annual student achievement breakfast they hold with the Marysville Soroptimist Club each June. If the trend continues that could also grow.
There will probably be more in the future, Voigt explained. Well probably keep adding to them as we get the money.
For the former special education teacher it was a bittersweet memory to recall her husband while her former co-workers honored his memory. She was married to the former Marysville School District electrician for 40 years. They had two children, not counting the hundreds who came through her classroom during her decades of teaching.
He was an interesting individual and the love of my life, Ploeger said. He was always interested in the children.
Her husband joined the Navy at age 17 and got his GED later, so Ploeger hopes the scholarship wont be awarded just to college-bound students but also those who go on to vocational and technical careers, even beauty schools. Basically she would like to see it benefit anyone interested in community service who has good grades.