Mary Rohrscheib Teaching Scholarship Winners

We are excited to announce that the Mary Rohrscheib Teaching has officially come to a close. This year we received almost 50 fantastic applications from all over the country, making the selection process extremely difficult. 

The Mary Rohrscheib Teaching Scholarship was created to help celebrate and encourage our next generation of teachers, and we believe that our two winners exemplify all the qualities that make teachers so special. Continue reading to learn more about these two fantastic students.

2023 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the 2023 Mary Rohrscheib Teaching Scholarship Winners Rebecca Habing, Maria Angela Cardone, and Peyton Hamilton!

To apply, each student wrote an essay about a special teacher who made a big impact on their life.

Meet Rebecca

girl standing in front of water posing for an portrait wearing a hat and black dressI’m Rebecca Habing and I am from Teutopolis, Illinois. I am going into my senior year at Eastern Illinois University as a middle-level education major with the concentration areas of Math, Science, and Language Arts. I hope to become a Math or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) teacher one day. In the future, I aspire to share my love of Math and other STEAM subjects with my students, and not only give them a passion for learning but also help them to learn life lessons along the way.

and the teacher who impacted her

My freshman and sophomore English teacher Mr. Wilson who, at the time, was not my favorite, really made a lasting impact on me. Not only did he greatly improve my English and writing skills, but he also taught me valuable life lessons that I have taken with me and still use today.


Meet Maria Angela

woman standing in front of ocean posting for portrait with long brown hair and tank top with geometric printMy name is Maria Angela Cardone, I am 21 years old and going into my senior year of college at Illinois State University. I am majoring in Elementary Education with an endorsement in ESL. I’m from the suburbs of Chicago and hope to teach second grade after graduation next spring!

and the teacher who impacted her

My second-grade teacher, Ms. Mitchell, sparked my interest in wanting to become an educator. She pushed each one of her students to be their very best all while staying true to herself and making sure we were all equally loved and cared for. She has and is still continuing to impact so many lives during her time as an educator not only in academics but also in life skills. Her passion for this profession stood out to me as a kid and I strive to pass on her wise wisdom and positive encouragement to my class of students one day!


Meet Peyton

Hi! My name is Peyton Hamilton, and I’m from Decatur, Illinois. I’m a 2023 graduate of Mt. Zion High School and am so excited to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to pursue a degree in elementary education this fall.

and the teacher who impacted her

My first special teacher, my grandma Mary, and my personal special teacher, Mrs. Larrison, both of whom helped to shape who I am today. My grandmother, a retired teacher and principal, first sparked my own fascination in teaching, but I was truly inspired by my third grade teacher, Mrs. Larrison, a woman who also looks up to my grandma. My grandmother made me passionate about teaching, but being in Mrs. Larrison’s class made me passionate about learning and showed me what teaching truly was. Mrs. Larrison not only taught us reading and math, but also worked to teach empathy and kindness. We came out of her class better learners and better people, and I hope to do the same with my future classes.

2022 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the 2022 Mary Rohrscheib Teaching Scholarship Winners Madison Brannon and Drake Rutledge!

To apply, each student wrote an essay about a special teacher who made a big impact on their life.

Madison Brannon, from Granville, Illinois wrote about her Kindergarten Teacher, Diane Alleman.

Drake Rutledge, from Lincoln, Illinois, wrote about Lincoln Community High School math teacher Chris Hammer.

I’d like to thank the almost 50 students who took the time to apply for this scholarship, and to encourage those students to share their excellent essays with the teachers they wrote about, it just might make that teacher’s day.

And I’d especially like to thank Barb Janes, a dear friend who taught with my grandmother, for her help with the very difficult job of choosing the winning applicants.

Congrats Madison and Drake!


2021 Scholarship Winners


Madison Hungate of Harrisburg, Illinois

Hello! My name is Madison Hungate, but you can call me Maddy. I am 20 years old, and I live in Harrisburg, Illinois, and currently studying to become a secondary history teacher. I graduated from Southeastern Illinois College with Honors this past spring and am entering into Southern Illinois University to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in History Education. My major focus of interest is on Western Civilization and American History. My main goal in becoming a teacher is not just to share my passion for history with others but to make education a better environment for my students. Education has become a really intimidating place for students, especially with the state that the world is in now.  I want to do everything I can to make my students as comfortable in the classroom as possible, while also making learning fun in honor of my own history teacher, who inspired me beyond compare to take the steps I am taking today. I am so excited about the educational journey and look forward to meeting my future students every day.

Anna Gould of Pana, Illinois

My name is Anna Gould and I am originally from Pana, Illinois. This upcoming fall, I will be moving to Saint Louis to attend Saint Louis University. I plan on studying Political Science and Sociology in hopes of having a career in the field of education.

In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my family, reading, and cooking. I have also spent most of my summers working at my local Autism Therapy Center as a tutor. I love meeting new people and going on adventures. I am looking forward to seeing what lies ahead in my future!

A Note of Thanks

I’d like to thank all those who took the time to apply and shared such wonderful stories about the teachers who inspire them. I’d also like to thank a dear family friend, and one of my grandmother’s former colleagues, Barb Janes, for helping with judging the applications, and my friends at BluShark digital who helped in so many ways with promoting the scholarship this year.

I know my grandmother would have loved so many of these essays, and am grateful to all those who were part of carrying on this tradition in her memory.



2020 Scholarship Winners


Tyra Austin of Decatur

Tyra Austin submitted an essay about the many ways her high school English teacher Ron Lybarger inspired and encouraged her. She wrote, “When a student experiences an educator who not only believes in them, but pushes them, and assists them in becoming the best versions of themselves, it impacts their lives for the better.” She observed that for Mr. Lybarger, “the classroom is a sacred place.”

Olivia Earl of Clinton

Olivia Earl shared memories of her fourth-grade teacher at Clinton Elementary School Celeste Flanagan: “Mrs. Flanagan was radiant with positivity and kindness. She always gave her students her full attention and worked tirelessly to make sure they felt comfortable in the classroom.” She remembered how special Mrs. Flanagan made her feel and how it made Olivia want to make others feel special too, “By her example, I realized that through love, patience, and understanding, I could make a positive difference in the lives of people around me.” She concluded, “Teachers impact students by giving them hope for a future bigger than themselves and a heart capable of changing the world.”

Adriana Rosales of Bloomington

Adriana Rosales submitted an essay celebrating the many ways she was inspired by Guille Delgado, her first and third grade teacher at Bent Elementary School. She wrote: “I have had many amazing teachers in the past, but Mrs. Delgado has definitely had a huge impact on my life. Not only did she show me that fighting for your beliefs takes you far in life, but she has also taught me to stay true to my roots and that putting my future students first, could make me play an important part in their lives. I hope that one day I can have a student that can get emotional from my emails such as I do from Mrs. Delgado’s, and that I can make her proud. Mrs. Delgado believed that her students could accomplish anything and here I am on my track to becoming a teacher thanks to her. I will forever be grateful.”

A Note of Thanks

I’d like to thank Ron Lybarger, EHS Principal Amy Zahm, Celeste Flanagan, and Guille Delgado, for joining me to present the checks and congratulate the winners. Their former students were delighted to see them again.

I’d also like to thank Ali Valdez for helping promote the scholarship, Barb Janes (a dear friend of grandma’s who taught with her) for her help in reading the essays and selecting winners, Anneke Godlewski for suggesting the essay prompt and help putting this together, my friends at Decatur Digital Solutions for setting up the web form to make applying easy, and all of the very impressive students who applied. It was encouraging to read such thoughtful essays from students in our community who are so passionate about becoming teachers.

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