Colleen Ritzer was a beloved Danvers High School math teacher and a lifelong resident of Andover. A 2007 graduate of Andover High School, she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2011 from Assumption College with a bachelor of arts in math and a concentration in secondary education and a minor in psychology. Colleen, the oldest of three children, received tremendous support and encouragement from her large and loving extended family in her journey to teaching.
Colleen began teaching at Danvers High School in September 2012 and through her passion for teaching, made a real impact in her student’s lives. She quickly earned a reputation as a passionate and popular teacher. Following her passing, one student summarized Colleen’s dedicated approach to teaching, sharing,
“In the two short months I’ve had Ms. Ritzer as a teacher, there are two things I have learned: Math is as good as you make it and being nice to people can leave a greater impact on their life than you think.”
In honor of that passion and to create a lasting legacy, Colleen’s family established the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship to benefit Andover and Danvers High School seniors who demonstrate a passion for teaching, academic excellence and love of family. Applicants must plan to pursue a degree in the field of education at an accredited four-year college or university in fall 2015.
For 2015, a Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship will also be awarded to a Nashoba Regional High School senior in honor of sophomore Michelle Farnsworth who passed in January of this year. (Upon graduation from college, Colleen taught 8th grade math at Hale Middle School. The students she taught now attend Nashoba Regional High School.) A school-choice student from Leominster, Michelle was a member of the high school field hockey and swam with the Wachusett Swim Club while balancing a demanding academic schedule that included accelerated Spanish 2, Algebra 2, Environmental Science, English and U.S. History. Michelle accomplished much on the field, in the pool and in the classroom. Despite the challenges she faced fighting a rare muscle cancer, Michelle always maintained a positive outlook, often sharing “Smile, because life is too short to be anything but happy.”
All students planning to major in education or a specific subject (i.e. math, science, etc.) with a concentration in education are encouraged to apply for these competitive scholarships that are awarded to well-rounded individuals who share Colleen’s passions of family and teaching.
Please speak with your Guidance Counselor about applying for the 2015 Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship. You may also click here to download an application.
Deadline for 2015 scholarship applications is April 1, 2015