Danvers High School Graduates Awarded Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship

The family of Colleen Ritzer, Tom, Peggie, Dan and Laura, today announced the 2018 recipients of the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship, awarded to graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in education at a four-year accredited college. This year, the applicant pool was expanded to include students graduating from private schools who reside in Andover or Danvers. Through their receipt of this Scholarship, the recipients will strive to carry on Colleen’s legacy as a caring and compassionate teacher.

This year, the Ritzer family awarded over $50,000 in Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarships, including $18,000 to 2018 graduating seniors and over $30,000 to previous years’ recipients. Since its inception in 2014, nearly $190,000 in scholarships have been awarded to 48 future teachers.

The 2018 Scholarship recipients from Danvers are Jamie Boghosian, Grace Sanders and Shannon Treacy.

The Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund is supported by donations made in the wake of Colleen’s passing in October 2013 as well as the Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run and other tribute events held to honor Colleen’s life and legacy. The Scholarship is a permanent tribute to Colleen and builds upon her legacy by helping future teachers obtain a college degree so that they, too, can share their passion for teaching with future students.

“With the inaugural recipients of the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship graduating from college this year, the first generation of teachers following in Colleen’s footsteps will soon enter their own classrooms,” said the Ritzer family. “Our family is extremely grateful for the support the Scholarship fund has received which has allowed Colleen’s legacy to continue to inspire and impact students and teachers. We look forward to following the journeys of all the recipients, now and in the future, as they embrace Colleen’s passion for teaching and kindness.”

Applicants were required to complete an application that requested information such as extra-curricular activities, awards and recognitions and plans for college. They were also asked to submit a 500-word essay describing why they plan to pursue a degree in education and what, or who, inspired them to do so. The last piece of the application encouraged applicants to reflect on words shared by Colleen in her college essay in which she wrote:

“Teachers have been an inspiration to me ever since I was just a young girl. Starting in pre-school, I knew I loved helping the teachers and would one day want to be just like them. My dream is to become a teacher, one who shapes the minds and lives of children. My goal has always been to become a teacher that will impact students’ lives.”

Eligible applicants must be graduating Andover or Danvers residents who plan to pursue a degree in the field of education at an accredited four-year college or university. Guidance counselors encouraged well-rounded students who plan to major in education or a specific subject with a concentration in education to apply for a competitive scholarship.

Applications that met eligibility requirements were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of family members and educators including: Tom Ritzer, Colleen’s dad; Peggie Ritzer, Colleen’s mom; Susan Craig, Colleen’s aunt; Todd Butterworth and Sarah Giaquinta, Danvers High School math teachers; Kimberly Bergey, Andover High School guidance counselor; and Kimberly Rocha, Nashoba Regional High School English teacher.

Danvers Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Recipients

Jamie Boghosian, a Danvers High School graduate, will begin her college journey at Salem State University in Salem. Boghosian was actively involved with many activities, clubs and organizations such as a second grade French teacher with Tomorrow’s Teachers; a group leader of Fun Club After School Care; a youth leader of Danvers CARES; and a member of the National Honor Society, World Language and English National Honor Society, School Council, Ingrid Sound A Cappella, Chamber Singers and Mixed Chorus.

Boghosian was deeply involved with Tomorrow’s Teachers, which was advised by her French teacher. “It has been wonderful to watch Jamie in front of the elementary school classes teaching French,” said Boghosian’s French teacher. “She is truly a natural, and a future career in teaching is a perfect fit for her.”

The various extracurricular activities, in particular Tomorrow’s Teachers, reinforced Boghosian’s desire to pursue a career in education.

“I love seeing my kids learn new things, whether it be getting along with others, learning a new French word, or playing a new game in the gym,” explained Boghosian. “It was inspiring to see the children begin to understand something, and I loved being the one to help them.”

 Grace Sanders plans to pursue a degree in early childhood education at Stonehill College in Easton this fall. During her time at Danvers High School, she was a team captain for the competitive dance team; the chapter president and member of D.E.C.A.; a member of the swim team and book club; a fundraising leader for the Purple Purse Foundation; a teacher’s assistant at Garden City Children’s Center; a leader at Miss Nancy’s Girls Club and a counselor at a local summer camp. In addition to working with each organization, Sanders was a member of the National Honor Society and the World Language National Honor Society.

“She easily takes the lead, encouraging the collaboration and expanding services for our school community,” said Sanders’ guidance counselor. “In a word, she is committed to making a difference!”

In the third grade, Sanders was inspired by her teacher and decided that she wanted to become a teacher one day.

“I want to inspire children like I had been inspired. I want to teach children not only academic skills but confidence and happiness as well,” said Sanders. “I will always attempt to be the best version of myself as a person and a teacher.”

Shannon Treacy will attend Elon University in Elon, North Carolina where she will major in applied mathematics and education. While at Danvers High School, she was a member of the senior dance team and soccer team, and an assistant dance teacher. Treacy was also involved in clubs including Tomorrow’s Teachers, D.E.C.A. and Best Buddies. She was also inducted into the National Honor Society, the World Language and English Honor Society and the Art National Honor Society.

Treacy’s guidance counselor, spoke to her dream of becoming a teacher, “Shannon’s passion is to pursue the field of teaching/mathematics. A three-year member of our Tomorrow’s Teachers program, and with a talent in the area of mathematics, Shannon has created the perfect match.”

Like Colleen, Treacy dreams of having a positive impact on the students who enter her classroom. She strives to inspire her students, just as her teachers have inspired her through her educational journey thus far.

“When I daydream about my possible impact on future students, I have a desire to make them love a subject that may be challenging and sometimes resented by students,” said Treacy. “I daydream about making them look forward to going to school every morning from the moment they wake up.”

The Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund is held at the Essex County Community Foundation.