First Springboro students receive scholarships from former teacher’s estate

Paul and Pham are first recipients of McCandless scholarships, which will benefit Springboro students for next 50 years

A former teacher who died in 2018 continues to pay it forward as her estate has provided a pair of $7,000 scholarships for two Springboro High School graduating seniors.

Seniors McKenzie Paul and Kaylee Pham were awarded the first Patricia McCandless Memorial Scholarships at the school district’s Senior Awards Night held Tuesday at the Vince Ross Memorial Auditorium.

The Patricia McCandless Memorial Scholarship provides a one-year, $7,000 scholarship to two Springboro graduating seniors. This scholarship honors the spirit and character of Patricia McCandless, who left her entire estate to Springboro High School after her death in 2018.

Both Paul and Pham are among Springboro’s “distinguished graduates” for achieving a very high GPA and strong ACT/SAT scores. Paul earned first honors for English and will attend Miami University. Pham earned first honors for science, and will attend Wright State, where she will also play soccer.

“Ms. McCandless, an English teacher at Clearcreek High School (what is now known as Springboro High School) from 1961-1968, made an unprecedented donation that will have a lasting impact on the students of Springboro for many years,” said Scott Marshall, district spokesman.

The estate for Ms. McCandless, which totaled $471,644.01 and was received by the district in June 2021, will be used over the course of many years towards scholarships for graduating seniors at Springboro High School, per McCandless’ wish. Marshall said the gift will provide enough funding to award scholarships for at least 50 years.

During the 2021-2022 school year, a committee of administration, staff, community members, and friends of Ms. McCandless worked on how to use these funds, capturing the interests and wishes of Ms. McCandless and honoring her “extreme generosity.” A selection committee determined the scholarship award recipients, based on applications submitted by students.

“A lot of research has been done over the last 11 months, to learn more about Ms. McCandless. In speaking with several close friends of Patty’s, and her colleagues from the University of Illinois and Ohio State, one word has been brought up by every single person to describe Ms. McCandless — ‘Kind,’ ” Marshall said. “Throughout Patty’s life, she impacted many individuals with her hard work, intelligence, and her patience. It’s beyond impressive that Ms. McCandless will continue to impact the students of Springboro for decades to come, by giving back to a district that helped pave the way for a wonderful human being. In a word, Ms. McCandless is inspiring.”

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