Charros scholarships provide support to future
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 4, 2006
SCOTTSDALE - Julie Gieringer has come full circle.
The Desert Mountain High School teacher encourages students to apply for the
Charros Future Teacher Scholarship, a full-ride scholarship to an Arizona
She is in a unique position to give advice, having been a recipient of the
scholarship. The Scottsdale Charros, one of the city's largest philanthropic
groups, started the program to lure more students to teaching careers.
Swelling the teacher ranks is critical in a state struggling to recruit and
retain them because of reduced class sizes, boosts in student enrollment, and
teachers abandoning the field, educators say.
"Teaching is one of the most important vocations there is and we want our
seniors to know that we value their future contributions to the community,"
said John Schultz, this year's Charros scholarship chairman.
The Charros scholarship is awarded to two Scottsdale high school seniors who'll
major in education. Valued at more than $40,000, the scholarship pays for
tuition, books, a meal plan, housing, a monthly stipend and a new computer. The
deadline to apply is Dec. 8.
After seven years, the Northeast Valley is witnessing the fruits of the program,
as more scholarship winners return to the region to teach.
Gieringer, a 2002 Saguaro High School graduate, is in her second year of
teaching English and student government at Desert Mountain. She graduated from
the University of Arizona in three years.
Much of the program's support is not financial, she said.
"The constant devotion, trust and support, willingness to help from the Charros
was amazing," she said.
The Charros also fete high schools seniors and a teacher from each Scottsdale
Unified School District school at an annual banquet.
Marie Blanchard, 25, was one of the first students to receive the scholarship
when graduating from Arcadia High School in 1999.
Blanchard now teaches French at Shadow Mountain High School in the Paradise
Valley Unified School District.
"The scholarship gave me a great opportunity to get involved in school. And not
having a job on the side allowed me to completely focus on my studies,"
"I really love how the Charros are committed to education and teachers," she