A West Virginia University alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous has pledged $140,000 to create student scholarships in Harrison County in honor of two of his elementary and high school teachers.
The Antoinette McClung-Jack Roach Scholarship fund will provide undergraduate tuition, fees, books and living expenses annually for five Liberty High School students. The scholarship is renewable.
The donor created the scholarship in honor of Harrison County teachers Antoinette McClung and Jack Roach who motivated the donor and many other countless students to set and achieve high educational goals.
Jennie James, associate director of individual giving for the WVU Foundation, said the donor recognized how much of an influence two exceptional educators can have not only on individuals, but a community as well.
“Sometimes we forget the impact teachers have on our life, but this donor didn’t,” said James. “This gift not only honors two outstanding West Virginia teachers, but also gives students from Liberty High School the opportunity to attend WVU for a much less cost. It’s a selfless act and truly embodies what it means to be a Mountaineer.”
Antoinette Spatafore McClung, a Harrison County native, graduated from Salem College in 1950. In 1960, McClung continued her education becoming one of the first individuals to earn a master’s degree in library science from WVU.
At the request of Salem College President K. Duane Hurley, McClung led the 1962-63 efforts to upgrade Salem College library to full North Central accreditation.
McClung is humbled that a scholarship is being set up in her name for students from her home county to attend her alma mater.
“I’ve been flying high and thrilled ever since I received the letter,” McClung said. “This is so gratifying. I am humbled by this special person and I wish the very best for their future.”
McClung was an English teacher at the Unitus and Bristol schools, as well as librarian at Victory High School. She concluded her professional career with 33 years of service include a decade as a librarian at Liberty High School.
“I have no children, but I have plenty of family. I am as proud as I can be because my students were my children,” McClung said. “Although I may have been strict, I always told my students they have the skills to create a bright future. I am thrilled.”
Late Big Isaac native Jack Roach graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College and earned his master’s degree in elementary education and administration at WVU in 1952.
Starting his career in Harrison County, Roach taught in the Tenmile District at the two-room Jarvisville Grade School. He continued his career in elementary education and became school principal in Frederick and Montgomery County, Maryland schools.
Roach’s wife, Mary-Anne, believes her husband had a positive influence on many children.
“This is a wonderful tribute to my husband Jack. His goal was to touch the lives of children and lead them to their greatest potential so that they would live successful lives,” she said. “He never lost his focus on the child. Jack would be deeply honored that his legacy would carry on due to the generosity of this anonymous donor.”
In retirement, the Roaches returned to Jack’s roots in the Big Isaac community. Jack Roach passed away in 2011, but his legacy remains.
His wife added, “Whether in the classroom or behind the desk as principal, Jack kept this prayer close to his heart; Lord may I make a difference in all I do the words I say the actions I take that I may glorify you,”
Scholarship recipients will be recommended by Liberty High School and will be selected by the WVU Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. Preference will be given to those students who attend Liberty High School and take part in extracurricular school activities, community outreach and volunteerism.
To qualify for the Antoinette McClung-Jack Roach Scholarship, a recipient must be a full time-student, in good academic standing and demonstrate the need for financial support. If the scholarship recipient does not meet the criteria after the completion of any semester, the remaining distributions will be distributed to a student who fits the criteria.
The gift establishing the scholarship was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.
CONTACT: Bill Nevin, WVU Foundation
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