Scholarship created in memory of teacher

Sharon Keller, April 2017. VOICE PHOTO

Sharon Keller an E. L. Crossley fixture for 30-plus years


E.L. Crossley Secondary School has created a scholarship in the memory of Sharon Keller, who died last November after having taught science at the school for some three decades.

“We wanted to do something to keep her name and legacy alive,” said Kim Yallup, an English teacher at the school who worked alongside Keller for 23 years.

“It doesn’t have to be awarded to a student who’s going into the sciences. It could be someone involved in Sharon’s [eco-club] too.”

Yallup spoke of Keller’s ideals—her deep commitments to the classroom and to bettering the school through grant funding and environmental activism—and of the school’s wish to keep these alive.

“Sharon worked at the Ministry of Natural Resources before she started teaching, so it could be somebody going in to that field too,” said Yallup.

Keller’s family requested that no memorial be held for her at the school, and so Yallup said that this scholarship is important to staff, students, and alumni.

With the absence of a memorial for Keller, Yallup said that the school and its teachers received countless messages from former students looking to share their recollections of Keller.

“That makes you realize the effect that she had on kids,” said Yallup. “This is a way [for people to remember her]—when they donate they’ll be able to say what they want to say.”

“We got her family’s permission to do this, and we went live with it last week,” said Yallup. “After we posted it to the alumni Facebook page, the first person who commented was someone who Sharon taught in 1984. It shows how long her legacy is.”

Yallup said that donations may be made to Keller’s scholarship on the E.L. Crossley website, where individuals can note that they wish their money to go to the Sharon Keller Scholarship.

“But we don’t just want this to be open to tech-savvy people. Anyone who wants to donate can mail a donation to the school, or drop off a donation, or contact myself or another teacher,” said Yallup.

The scholarship will be for $500 dollars, and Yallup, adding that the hope is to collect enough money to keep it going for at least ten years.

“Ideally the money would keep coming in and we could do it for longer, but we’re starting with a ten-year goal,” she said. “We haven’t decided whether it’s going to be five hundred for one person, or two-fifty for a boy, and two-fifty for a girl.”

Yallup said that the fund has collected about enough for its first year already, and is confident that once alumni hear of the award’s existence, support will come in.

“We want people to be talking about it,” she said. “We want them to remember a dedicated and passionate teacher.”

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