Central College News

Education department announces Geisler Penquite Scholars

May 7, 2013
Pictured from left to right: Geisler Penquite Scholars Sydney Gray, Libby Larson and Emily Drey.

Pictured from left to right: Geisler Penquite Scholars Sydney Gray, Libby Larson and Emily Drey.

The Central College education department has named Emily Drey, Libby Larson and Sydney Gray as the 2013-14 Geisler Penquite scholars.

The Scholars Program honors students who exemplify the teacher education program’s essential values and skills, advocate for future teachers directly and work collaboratively to lead in ways that build upon the program’s positive reputation to recruit and prepare exemplary teachers for future generations. The award provides $5,000 per year for each recipient for their remaining college years.

Students eligible for the Geisler Penquite scholarships must be entering their third or fourth year at Central, be accepted into the teacher preparation program, hold a minimum cumulative 3.4 GPA and have high recommendations from faculty on campus and educators in the field.

“The nominations for this year truly represented the cream of the crop in our education program,” said Jennifer Diers, assistant professor of education and chair of the Geisler Penquite Scholars committee. “The selection committee commented several times as to the quality of the nominations this year.”

Drey, a sophomore elementary education major with a strategist I endorsement, is from Pella. She anticipates teaching students with disabilities and becoming a school counselor.

“I feel honored to have been chosen as a recipient of this scholarship,” Drey said. “I am motivated and am looking forward to continuing my education at Central.”

From left to right: Gary Timmer of the Geisler Penquite Foundation, Dr. Esther Streed, Sydney Gray, previous scholar Nathan Wall, Libby Larson, Emily Drey, Dr. Jen Diers and Maurine Timmer of the Geisler Penquite Foundation

From left to right: Gary Timmer of the Geisler Penquite Foundation, Dr. Esther Streed, Sydney Gray, previous recepient Nathan Wall, Libby Larson, Emily Drey, Dr. Jen Diers and Maurine Timmer of the Geisler Penquite Foundation

Larson, a junior elementary education major with a middle school endorsement in math and science, is from Marshalltown, Iowa. Larson has served in the education club leadership and hopes to teach at the middle school level after graduating. She also intends to obtain a coaching endorsement.

“It is such a privilege to be chosen as a Geisler Penquite Scholar. It means a great deal to me that the foundation feels I have the qualities to become a future teacher,” Larson said.

Gray, a sophomore elementary education major with reading and Spanish endorsements, is from Miles, Iowa. She enjoys volunteer service and hopes to one day teach k-6th grades.

“I am honored to be one of the recipients for the Geisler Penquite Scholarship and represent Central’s exceptional education program,” Gray said. “I am looking forward to working with the Geisler Penquite Foundation as we strive to advocate for the needs of all students.”

The competition for the scholarships is high, representing a skilled group of students. The selection committee commended the education faculty for their tremendous work with the education students. Committee members consisted of representatives from k-12 education, administration and current Geisler Penquite Scholars. The award recipients will join continuing scholarship award recipient senior Kathryn Manternach, who was presented an award last year.

Harold and Mavis Geisler, Cecil Geisler Penquite and Loren Penquite expressed an interest in young people and desired to see an educational environment that not only imparted knowledge of working with children, but also recognized important values for a future educator.

The Geislers and Penquites are well known for their endowment of the Central College library in honor of their parents and have commissioned two sculptures located on Peace Mall. The gift for the Geisler Penquite Education Scholars Program endows the academic excellence of the college and the work of Central students in the field of education for years to come.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity through the Geisler Penquite Foundation to offer this magnitude of a scholarship to our students,” Diers said. “It will have a lasting impact not only on these recipients but the students they will eventually touch in their careers as educators. Our sincerest thanks to the Geisler Penquite Foundation for their support of our work in developing future educators!”

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