It was clear early on that Laura Ann Collins was dedicated to becoming an amazing educator. She started thinking about teaching before even graduating from Brunswick High School in 2004 by joining the Future Teachers of America. Later, after earning her bachelor’s degree at Radford University, she enrolled in Frostburg State University’s Master of Arts in Teaching program at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, graduating with honors in 2010.
But while pursuing this dream, Collins, who grew up in Frederick, Md., was also battling cancer. She passed away in July 2011, but her goal of teaching was fulfilled – following her graduation from Frostburg, she had the opportunity to work as a substitute teacher in many Frederick elementary schools, accepting jobs whenever she was able. Her last position was in the spring of 2011 as a long-term substitute at St. Thomas More Academy in Buckeystown, Md., where she taught kindergarten.
In memory of Laura’s passion for teaching, her parents, Donna and Todd Collins of Jefferson, Md., and her sister, Jessica McCabe, also a teacher, established the Laura Ann Collins Memorial Scholarship at Frostburg. Preference will be given to graduates of any Frederick County high school who have demonstrated financial need. Recipients must be enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at FSU, seeking certification in elementary education and have a grade point average of at least 2.75. Applicants are asked to include a brief statement describing their commitment to a career in elementary education.
“Laura was an amazing young woman who loved to be with people and especially children,” Donna Collins said. “She took a special interest in learning about each of her students and loved to design fun projects to help them learn each new concept. She always had many stories to share about her days in the classroom, and there was no doubt that creating a happy learning environment was very important to her.”
“Laura was great, enthusiastic, a very nice person to get along with,” said Theresa Pedersen, a pre-K4 teacher at St. Thomas More Academy. “She was a wonderful girl. She had such tremendous potential. I think the scholarship is wonderful and a perfect tribute to someone who was dedicated to children and education. I know the children she taught really, really loved her. … When their teacher is replaced by someone else, it can be hard, but she just moved right in and assimilated quickly, and the kids were very responsive. I think that’s a testimony to the kind of person she was.”
To learn more about how to support the Laura Ann Collins Memorial scholarship and the FSU Foundation, visit www.frostburg.edu/foundation or call 301-687-4161.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit http://www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity.
Web Address for More Information: http://www.frostburg.edu/foundation
For further information on this release, contact:
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Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303