Bill and Ricky Korach establish endowed GSE scholarship

Bill and Ricky Korach, two well-known Lake Oswego educators and PSU Graduate School of Education (GSE) alumni, have established a new scholarship for aspiring teachers. The Bill and Ricky Korach Graduate Teacher Education Endowed Scholarship will continue their lifelong legacy and dedication to the profession. The scholarship will support GSE students preparing for careers as K–12 classroom teachers. Academic merit and financial need are both considerations. The scholarship will be awarded for the first time in 2016.

The establishment of this endowed scholarship is no surprise to anyone familiar with the Koraches and their enduring passion for learning. “Education is about hope, promise, and possibility,” they stated. “We feel fortunate to be able to provide an additional opportunity for PSU students now and beyond our lifetimes.”

The Koraches both received their Doctor of Education degrees from Portland State University in 1996.

Ricky earned her Master of Science degree from PSU in 1986. She taught English at Lake Oswego High School for 46 years and served as the English department chair for 30 of those years. She retired in 2011 after teaching more than 6,000 students. The school has named a wing of the building in her honor.

Bill began his career as an English teacher, served as the principal of Lake Oswego High School, and was the superintendent of the Lake Oswego School District for 27 years before retiring in 2014 as the longest-serving school superintendent in Oregon. He was named PSU’s Outstanding Alumni of the Year and earned Lewis & Clark’s Leadership in Educational Administration award. In 1998, the American Association of School Administrators honored him as Oregon Superintendent of the Year. Now retired, he will teach part-time for the GSE in the Continuing Administrator program.

During their tenures in the district, things were not always easy. In 1990, Measure 5 was passed statewide, which limited the amount of property taxes that could be collected for Oregon schools. Anticipating serious budget shortfalls, the Koraches focused their efforts on the development and support of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation—one of the most successful regional school foundations for providing critical funding to schools.

Both Koraches believe that nothing is more important than the education, safety, and well-being of children. Their professional lives have been dedicated to a heartfelt belief in the importance of service for others. They have chosen to provide an endowed scholarship within the PSU Graduate School of Education to continue that service into the future.

The donors wish to share their appreciation of Portland State University “for being in the forefront of innovative approaches to and for doctoral studies, allowing them [Koraches] to collaborate on complementary dissertations focused on teacher leadership.” They support the PSU Graduate School of Education because their philanthropy is focused “on educational innovation with meaningful initiatives that push the boundaries of the academic status quo.”

You can join the Koraches in supporting aspiring educators in the Graduate School of Education. To discuss options, please contact Jaymee Jacoby, GSE director of development, at 503-725-4789 or jjacoby@pdx.edu, or make a gift today

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