R.E.A. Scholarship Opportunities
Two 2019 graduates of the Olathe high schools received $1,000 scholarships from the Olathe Public Schools Retired Employees Association. OPS-REA conducts fundraisers to provide these scholarships for Olathe graduates intending to pursue education degrees in the state of Kansas.
The association also offers a $500 scholarship for a current classified employee of the district who is going to school to become a teacher. The 2019 recipient is a paraeducator.
Former Student Funds Four Scholarships
The Olathe Public Schools Retired Employees Association received a large donation to its scholarship program from a former Olathe School District student.
Hsaio (pronounced Sha) Su was a student at Oregon Trail from 1983-85. He spoke some English when he came to Olathe from Taiwan, and was placed in the gifted program in eighth-grade because he excelled at math and science. One of his independent projects in Vivian Sill's gifted program was to design a chess board that would allow three people to play against each other at the same time.
After ninth grade, Hsaio's family moved from Olathe. When he graduated in 1988, he chose Cal Poly Tech in California from a number of full scholarships.
He and Sill reconnected via Facebook and she mentioned her involvement with the retired employees' scholarship program. Hsaio donated $2,000, which will fund a year's worth of scholarships. The organization gives a $500 award to a senior at each of the four high schools in Olathe who is pursuing a career in education.
"I've always felt that teachers in America are under-appreciated," he wrote in a letter with his donation. "So this is just my small way of saying thanks to all of you, for being my teachers."