By Elizabeth Lowe
CATONSVILLE – A scholarship that honors Catholic school teachers and the success of their children in and out of the classroom made the difference for William Tokarski Jr. to be able to attend The John Carroll School in Bel Air in the fall.
“John Carroll was my first choice,” said William, 13, an eighth-grader at St. Margaret School in Bel Air. “When I got this (scholarship) it made me very excited.”
William is one of three archdiocesan school students who are 2012 recipients of the Colleen and Erin Marlatt Scholarship Fund, Inc. Each received $10,000.
William’s mother, Tracey Tokarski, a teacher at St. Joseph School in Cockeysville, said she appreciates that the Marlatt scholarships recognize “the sacrifices we make to teach in a Catholic school.”
Patrick and Patricia Marlatt, an English teacher at Mount de Sales Academy, established the scholarship fund in 2002 after their daughters – Colleen and Erin, ages 20 and 23, respectively – were killed by a tornado in September 2001.
Students at the University of Maryland, College Park, they were in their car and ready to leave campus when it was picked up by the tornado, hurled over an eight-story dormitory and dropped a quarter-mile away.
“When you lose your children,” Patricia Marlatt said, “one of your greatest fears is that they will be forgotten. At least something positive, something good, has come out of the terrible tragedy.”
When Colleen and Erin were students at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson, Marlatt said she never knew “where the money would come from to pay those tuitions.”
The Marlatt scholarships, which more than 30 students from archdiocesan schools have received, are funded through fundraisers and donations.
At a May 17 scholars reception at Mount de Sales, Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia Anne Catherine Burleigh, principal, said the scholarship is “a great way to honor those who have given service to Catholic schools.”
Charles Urrutia, 17, a graduating senior from Calvert Hall College High School in Towson who will attend College Park this fall, said the scholarship will help to pay for tuition and other incidentals.
“Through the scholarship I can honor their memory and attend the school their daughters went to,” Urrutia said. “They’re helping my family.”
His mother, Kimberly Urrutia, teaches at Sacred Heart School in Glyndon.
Emma Rose Moore, 14, is an eighth-grader at School of the Incarnation in Gambrills who will attend St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis this fall. Her father, Andrew Moore, directs the McMullen Scholars Program at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, where he teaches social studies and foreign languages.
A Catholic school educator for 20 years, Moore said it’s wonderful the Marlatt scholarships recognize “Catholic school teachers for their commitment to education.”
Copyright (c) May 26, 2012 CatholicReview.org
Emma Rose Moore, second from left, and William Tojarski Jr., second from right, are 2012 recipients of Colleen and Erin Marlatt Scholarships. They are shown, from left, with Andrew Moore, Emma Rose’s father; Patrick and Patricia Marlatt, who originated the fund to memorialize their daughters; and Tracey Tokarski, William’s mother. (Tom McCarthy Jr. | CR Staff)