Local Special Ed Teachers Receive Education Scholarships

Graduate Students Are First to Receive the Allison Cassens Scholarship

Lebanon, Ill. — McKendree University graduate students Renee Middendorf, of Freeburg, and Megan Warma, of Highland, are the first recipients of the Allison Cassens Scholarship for education majors. Dr. Temple Grandin, a prominent advocate for people who have autism, was a guest speaker at the university when the scholarship recipients were announced on Feb. 28.

The Allison Cassens Community Foundation established a new scholarship fund recently to benefit those studying elementary, secondary or special education at McKendree University. It honors the life and legacy of the late Allison Cassens, a special education teacher, internationally competitive swimmer, pilot and flight instructor who lost her battle with cancer in 2004 at age 33.

Middendorf is a part-time graduate student and a first-year teacher, of grade 6-8 students with autism, for Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree in art education from McKendree University in 2011.

Warma is a full-time student pursuing a special education and high school English teaching endorsement, and taking graduate level courses in special education. She is also a substitute teacher in the Edwardsville, Highland and Collinsville Public school districts. She taught previously at O'Fallon Township High School from 2007 to 2010, and Collinsville Christian Academy from 2010-2013. 




            Special Education Scholar           

With McKendree University graduate student Renee Middendorf (second from left), a recipient of the recently established Allison Cassens Scholarship, are Dr. Karee Orellana, assistant professor of special education; university trustee Allen Cassens and Larry Wehmeyer of the Allison Cassens Community Foundation Committee; guest speaker Dr. Temple Grandin; and Dr. James Dennis, university president. Not pictured is McKendree graduate student Megan Warma, also a scholarship recipient.