USD 367 Gifted Teacher Dies

By Jeff Gulley

Osawatomie teacher Cindy Schwarz died last Tuesday evening after being found unresponsive in her office at Trojan Elementary School.

Staff members performed CPR until Miami County EMS arrived. Schwarz was then taken to Miami County Medical Center in Paola.

News of her death traveled fast in Osawatomie that night. Schwarz, 51, taught gifted students in USD 367 for 18 years and had a special bond with her students.

“Ms. Schwarz was someone who transcended the role of teacher,” Samantha Moon, a former student said. “She was always more friend than instructor. Always there for her students, no matter what, she had faith in us, even if we had given up on ourselves. Without her, I would have been lost in school. I owe a lot to Ms. Schwarz. She believed in my dreams since the first day I told her I wanted to be a writer. I was eight then, and for next 10 years she pushed me towards that goal. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support and encouragement. She was a phenomenal teacher, but more than that, she was a great friend and an amazing person.”

Schwarz was born in Dayton, Ohio and attended Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After teaching art in Holbrook, Neb., for a number of years, she earned her gifted endorsement in 1991 and began working for the East Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative in 1992 and was placed in Osawatomie. During the 2007-2008 school year, she was named Kansas Teacher of the Year.

“Most of my best memories of Cindy is just her dedication to the students she worked with,” Trojan Elementary Principal Jeff White said. “How much she enjoyed taking students to the Mental Math Contest and working on Robotics will also stand out in my mind. She always was willing to work as hard as she needed to ensure the students got something special out of gifted. Also, how well she got along with everyone in the building. Always taking time out to talk with everyone and trying to help put a smile on everyone’s face daily is what she did best. I have always considered us a family here at Trojan and Cindy was like a sister to everyone. Her warmth, smile, and sense of humor is what we will miss most.”

Schwarz taught gifted students from Trojan Elementary, Osawatomie Middle School and Osawatomie High School. At Trojan Elementary, White said the students and staff members are dealing with the tragedy.

“ We are holding up really well here,” he said. “The staff has done a great job of supporting each other through this tragic event. We had extra counselors in the school on Wednesday to help with students and staff who needed extra support.”

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church in Osawatomie. Memorials are to the Cindy Schwarz Scholarship Fund to be awarded to an Osawatomie High School graduate.

Short URL: http://osawatominews.com/?p=830

Posted by admin on Jan 26 2011. Filed under News and Updates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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