By Breck Smith – College of Education intern
Many teachers give their hearts to instill in us the things they see as vital to our education, critical to our success and important to our future. Mary Alice Hall-Vaughn, a beloved educator, may no longer be alive but she will continue to positively impact others through a scholarship that has been named in her honor.
Mary Alice’s life was cut short from an aggressive form of liver cancer in May 2014. Her husband, Chuck Vaughn, always admired the passion she had for helping improve and motivate students to excel in their education. After he lost Mary Alice, it became Chuck’s mission to help continue her work by serving others. Chuck enlisted the help of his two sons, C.J. and Joe, to help him create the Mary Alice Scholarship.
Their goal is to assist students at WSU who are pursuing a degree in teaching from the College of Education. The family was able to give out the very first scholarship this year to a recipient for the 2015 fall semester.
Mary Alice devoted over four decades of her life to teaching and giving back. She began her career as a behavioral intervention specialist at the Camarillo State Hospital where she taught life skills to autistic adult residents. She would later accept a position in the Peninsula School District where she taught special education and later kindergarten. She also continued her own education by earning her National Board certification in November of 2008 and in the years that followed she dedicated her time to training and helping guide other teachers through their process of applying and obtaining this same certification. She not only impacted the kids she taught in her classroom, but also offered a helping hand to other teachers seeking to advance their careers.
“I want to bring awareness to the fact that something good can come out of such a horrific event in ones life, and that not everything surrounding a death in the family has to be sad,” said their son, Joe Vaughn. “My mother would be proud to know that we started a scholarship in her name that helps future teachers pursue their goals. It makes me feel closer to her knowing that we can preserve her memory in such a positive way that can benefit others.”
To donate to the Mary Alice Scholarship you can contact Andrea Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.335.4956.