Schenk Scholarship Legacy Fund : Fund Spotlight
The children of Wilbur and Catherine T. Schenk wanted a way to honor their parent’s memories and support the educational pursuits of Forest Park High School’s graduating seniors. Wilbur Schenk was principal, then superintendent, of the Crystal Falls school from the mid-1950’s until he retired in the 1980s. Daughter Sue Schenk Drobny recalls her father as a strong yet caring school leader:
“His job was very important to him, he was a strict disciplinarian and expected you do your best, but also, I have heard in years since, was quietly and privately compassionate and helpful with students that were having issues with “life”.
As superintendent, Wilbur was responsible for calling “snow days” during the winter. He was known for rarely calling off school unless temperatures were 25 degrees below zero. His children recall the popular saying among students that “THERE WILBUR SCHOOL TODAY!”. They thought it seemed unfair at the time but are now proud of the fact they made the trek to school in the winter weather and survived to tell about it.
When Wilbur passed away in 1999, the Schenk children established a scholarship fund in his name. After their mother, Catherine T., passed away in 2008, they added her name, noting how her support helped Wilbur during his years of employment.
The Community Foundation of Marquette County began administering the scholarship in 2011. To be eligible for this scholarship students must have participated in extracurricular activities for at least two consecutive years such as varsity sports (player and/or managers), student council, band or drama. Students must have been accepted in a 2- or 4-year educational program at a vocational school, college, or university for continuing education in any field. Since 2011, this scholarship has supported over twenty graduates of Forest Park High School who have gone on to study at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, St. Norbert’s College, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Northern Michigan University, and Central Michigan University, among others.