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Elementary school uses coin drive to donate to teacher’s scholarship fund at WSU

By Kara McMurray, College of Education

When Annette Allen, a teacher at Cottonwood Elementary School, passed away earlier this year from metastatic melanoma, her family established a scholarship fund in her name at Washington State University, with the funds to go toward future educators.

A former student of hers, Micah Boike, decided he wanted to be able to help contribute to that fund. Micah attended CES after he and his family lived in Japan.

“Ms. Allen was his very first teacher here and left a lasting impression on him,” Theresa Vasalofsky, Cottonwood PTSA president, said. “He wanted to honor her with a coin drive.”

Prior to the end of the school year, the PTSA was able to organize the coin drive and raise money for the scholarship. Vasalofsky said the school will continue to do the coin drive in Allen’s memory every year.

“We had it going for about two-and-a-half weeks. The whole school raised about $500 for the fund,” she said. “As long as I’m PTSA president, it’s going to be for Annette.”

Allen taught first grade for more than 20 years. She studied at WSU and was an avid Cougar fan, Vasalofsky said.

“She was a diehard Cougar fan. Her classroom was decked out in everything Cougars. Everything Cougars, she probably had it all at her desk or on her car,” she said.

To be able to have the school contribute to Allen’s scholarship fund was special, Vasalofsky said.

“It was very touching, it was very heartwarming,” she said. “It was interesting to see how much she impacted everyone.”

The next coin drive at CES will likely be next February, around Valentine’s Day, with the theme being “Love on Someone.” All of those funds will also go to the Annette Allen Scholarship.

Washington State University