The Keystone Oaks community was devastated last school year by the loss of two well-known teachers, David Armitage and Shawn O’Donnell, within months of each other.
The community quickly came together to remember and honor those teachers, and support their families. On Monday, Keystone Oaks teachers will continue their legacies with something fun.
The middle school and high school teachers will face off in a volleyball game Monday, Nov. 5, with proceeds to benefit the David Armitage & Shawn O'Donnell Future Teacher Scholarship Fund.
“Both of these men meant so much to all of us, I thought there should be a way that we can get a lot of money into this account for the memory of those two guys,” said Keystone Oaks Middle School teacher Amy Torcaso, who organized the event.
Previously called the Future Teacher Scholarship, the fund was renamed by the Keystone Oaks Education Association to honor the two teachers. Now in its eighth year, the fund has raised more than $12,000 for Keystone Oaks High School graduates who pursue careers in education.
The fund is especially important this year. Torcaso said the teachers are hoping to raise extra funds for accounts created to help the Armitage and O’Donnell children when they go to college.
“Between the two teachers, they have five young children,” Torcaso said. “We want to be able to make donations to them, for their educations as well.”
Torcaso said O’Donnell, 43, a high school football coach, social studies and driver education teacher, could relate well to the students. It’s a loss that students in middle school now won’t get to have him as a coach or teacher, she said.
Armitage, 33, coached at the middle school, and also was a math teacher. Torcaso said he was always able to get his message across to students, and provide support for other teachers on rough days.
Both teachers are missed, she said.
“They both knew how to get their content across to kids, and that can be such a challenge for all of us,” Torcaso said. “It says a lot when you have very few kids complaining about a teacher’s class, and with these two guys, no kids ever complained about their classes. They were amazing.”
If you’re going:
What: Volleyball game for the David Armitage & Shawn O'Donnell Future Teacher Scholarship Fund.
Where: Keystone Oaks High School gymnasium.
When: Monday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $3 for adults; $2 for students.