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Can one person make a difference?

By Evans, Todd

When I first moved to Sabetha, I was fortunate to meet and get to know a true gentleman by the name of Glen Stoller. Glen was dedicated to the youth of his hometown Sabetha. Glen Stoller was a member of the Sabetha High School graduating class of 1946. He served as a USD #441 Board of Education member for 16 years from 1975 – 1991. Glen was probably best known for running the clock at volleyball, basketball, football, and wrestling events. He volunteered to work almost every game, varsity as well as non-varsity, for approximately 40 years.

Much of this service was prior to my knowing Glen. I did know Glen as a volunteer who would run the clock at events, but what I really remember about Glen was how he would be an advocate for scholarships. I remember Glen telling me, regarding the scholarship that he and his wife Joelline awarded every year that the graduates needed the money for scholarships more than he did. His family still provides scholarships to area youth.

I remember when Glen told me he was visiting with several alumni about some scholarships. He was always very excited about this. I remember one alumnus in particular, Ned Rokey, who Glen visited with about starting a scholarship for his brother Ray who was killed in 1944 during WW II. Glen advocated for a scholarship as a way to memorialize Ray. Glen’s work is still going on today. The Ray Rokey Scholarship has been and remains one of the premiere scholarships that is awarded to Sabetha graduates.

Recently the USD #113 Educational Foundation Board of Directors has been exploring the best strategy available for the investment of principal funds for scholarships. One of the challenges is that over time, the preferred method for investment has become inefficient. Certificates of Deposits are a safe investment, but the return on investment is so low that the principal would need to be very high to provide the necessary interest.

Foundations were established to provide a vehicle, outside of the school district, to invest money in a non-profit organization. Recent scholarship contributions have declined. I think of the people who have been memorialized through a scholarship and I am unaware of a better way to leave a legacy for oneself or a loved one.

During USD #113’s academic banquets and graduations, many scholarships are awarded to district graduates. We have a number of scholarships now that will be non-existent in the future because over time the principal has been needed to pay for the scholarship.

I still admire Glen’s passion for serving the kids of our community. It helps me to realize that one person can make a difference. Please consider scholarships as a way to contribute to our youth as well as to provide a lasting memorial to those we have lost. 

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