GALLIPOLIS — Ann Sickels was a prominent figure in the community. She was a school teacher at Washington Elementary for 32 years, served faithfully in her church, and cared for the students she worked with. Several teachers from Washington have now established a memorial scholarship in her honor.
Donna Thompson worked with Sickels for several years, and is one the instigators of this new scholarship.
“She was an avid reader, she taught reading for years, it was her favorite subject,” explained Thompson. “She had a love for learning. She always wanted the kids to succeed and do well, to go on to higher things.”
Her passion for learning and student success is what drove Thompson and fellow teacher Lisa Schwall to create this scholarship fund.
Sickels fought cancer for a number of years leading up to her death. Even in the midst of her sickness she was active with Relay for Life, striving to help others. It was during this time that Thompson began hosting virtual horse races at the Elk’s club to raise money for the American Cancer Society in honor of Sickels. This year, the money went to furthering the education of students.
After expenses, $4,000 was raised this year, all of which was given out as scholarships. In order to be awarded the Ann Sickels Memorial Scholarship, students had to be Washington Elementary alumni, be in good standing with the school, show some community service and dedication to education, and submit an essay to the selection team.
“She loved teaching and all kids, and we want to honor her and give back in a way that she would love” said Thompson.
Several local businesses and organizations donated significant funds through the virtual horse race in Honor of Sickels. Feed Stop, Saunders Insurance Agency, Ohio Valley Electric Corporation- Kyger Creek, Norris Northup Dodge, Cummins Excavating, Main Express- Jackson Ohio, Dr. Julia Pasquale, Washington PTO, Washington Staff, Elks #107, and Emblem Club #199.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext2108.