Sherri Yourdon Memorial Scholarship
The KNEA Sherri Yourdon Memorial Scholarship is a $1,000 award designed for a KNEA member who is a single mother pursuing an advanced degree. Preference will be given to candidates pursing degrees in education or related fields. Scholarship applications must be postmarked by February 1.
Students, parents and teachers lost a great educator, a good friend and a passionate advocate when KNEA Vice President Sherri Yourdon passed away August 7, 2009, after a yearlong battle with cancer. She was 61. Sherri was a voice and an activist for children and parents, especially single parents. Her efforts in schools and in the community were focused on making public schools great for every child.
Hundreds of colleagues, school officials and NEA dignitaries attended her memorial in Wichita. Former students, friends and political opponents praised her legacy and generosity of spirit.
On leave from her position as counselor at Reno Valley Middle School in Nickerson, Yourdon had served as KNEA vice president since being elected in 2006. Prior to that, she served as KNEA’s secretary-treasurer.
Her passion for helping students and partnering with parents to improve public schools was evident in her KNEA activities. She advocated for after-school programs through the Kansas Enrichment Network (KEN) and she enhanced KNEA’s working relationships with partners such as Safe Kids and the Kansas Parent Information Resource Center (KPIRC). She was also active in Read Across America activities.
A longtime political activist, Yourdon promoted knowledge of and interest in the political process at all levels and, in the 1990s, ran for the Kansas House of Representatives.
Yourdon earned her teaching degree at Wichita State University (WSU). She had been an active KNEA member since she started her teaching career in El Dorado in 1971, serving as local president, chief negotiator and as a delegate to state and national conventions.
Yourdon also taught at Hutchinson Community College (HCC) and at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility (a maximum security facility). During her 12 years there, HCF had the only prison newspaper in the state of Kansas. Yourdon also counseled part time for Court Services and the juvenile detention center.
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