San Mateo, Foster City Schools Receive Grant

The family of a former teacher has donated $20,000 to the San Mateo-Foster City School District.

The family of a former San Mateo-Foster City School District teacher has donated $20,000 to the district to help fund programs for the students.

Each year, a group of teachers who taught with Dorothy Grace get together and review how the funds should be spent, according to the district.

This year, the money was used for six $50 scholarships for 5th grade poetry, literacy and writing and one $100 scholarship for highest academic achievement in literacy at .

The school also uses the money to fund their Soul Shoppe program (Lifeskills assemblies, Peacemaker support, and parent education). It is also a source for library books, student writing books, postage for letter writing, class field trips, and teacher supply money to support instruction.

In addition, a yearly donation is made to the North Central Neighborhood Association in support of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech and Essay Contest, and $500 is given to the IMC to buy something that would benefit all teachers in the San Mateo-Foster City School District.

These are all programs or resources that Dorothy Grace would support while she was a teacher, according to the district.

Financial contributions are just one part of Dorothy Grace Boyajian’s legacy. She instilled a love of literacy and poetry in her students, and she brought the world and its events into her classroom.

A favorite quote from St. Jerome was, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best.” For 52 years, Dorothy Grace inspired students to “do your best.”

Dorothy Grace Boyajian taught in the San Mateo-Foster City School District for 52 years at Turnbull, North Shoreview, and Sunnybrae Elementary Schools.

She was known as the “poet laureate” of the school district, writing and presenting poems on many occasions. Sunnybrae Principal Heather Olsen says she was very involved in offering students enriching experiences, paying for her whole class to attend the ballet.

Dorothy Grace retired in 2004 and died in 2008. A professional portrait of Dorothy Grace Boyajian hangs above Heather Olsen’s desk. Principal Olsen says that Dorothy Grace is, “making sure that I am doing good work for Sunnybrae!”


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Jamie White February 13, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Dorothy was a wonderful woman and an amazing teacher! I interviewed her in 2000 for a profile I wrote about her, and she was so kind...52 years of educating children, wow : ) The scholarships are a perfect tribute to her...
Catherine Richards February 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM
This is a lovely story about a lovely person. Thanks for sharing this and please keep posting positive stories about our community.


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