DANVERS — Six Danvers High School seniors are the first recipients of the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarships, announced during the high school’s senior reception last week.
The scholarships were awarded to students who intend to carry on Ritzer’s legacy in teaching by pursuing a degree in education. Ritzer, a 24-year-old math teacher at Danvers High, was killed in October, allegedly by one of her students. The scholarship fund was created in her memory.
Recipients are Catherine Lamoly, Samantha Walters, Mary Leahy, Andrea Lang, Lily Cuzner and Sarah Mountain.
A total of $12,000 was awarded to the students, with scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $2,500. The scholarship application required students to write an essay stating why they planned to pursue an education degree in the spirit of Ritzer, who wanted to help others as a teacher.
“I am determined to emulate her kindness, optimism and love for teaching,” wrote Lamoly, who will attend Roger Williams University.
Walters, who plans to attend Salem State University, wrote that, “Ms. Ritzer cared a lot about her students. No matter how many times kids complained about the materials we learned in our Algebra 2 class, there was never a dull moment, because she knew how to keep the kids happy.”
“The next four years of college will help me become one step closer to living out my lifelong dream of becoming an elementary special education teacher,” wrote Leahy, who will attend Wagner College.
Lang, who plans to go to the University of North Carolina-Wilmington for a degree in elementary education, wrote: “Being able to willingly and happily put others’ needs before my own and find joy in it is a skill that I have.”
Cuzner, who will attend High Point University in North Carolina, wrote, “I love working with kids and I plan on going to college so I can continue to pursue this passion.”