Scholarships & Awards
- The Marsh Wiltbank Uebler Scholarship
- The Jack DiMaio Memorial Scholarship
- The William Braune Athletic Scholarship
- The Anne G. Hurt Memorial Scholarships
- The Margaret C. And William H. Cantwell Award For Musical Excellence
- The Linda Ellison Stapleford Science Service Award
- The Rod Hammett Award
- The Board Presidents Scholarship
- The Helena R. Ashwell Award For World Language Excellence
- The Patricia A. Ireland Faculty Award
- THE COURAGE SCHOLARSHIP
- The Teresa T. Roach Scholarship
- THE ANDREW N. YATZUS SCHOLARSHIP
- DR. MIA SHORTENO FRASER CITIZENSHIP SCHOLARSHIP
In 1997, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wiltbank established and funded two scholarships to be awarded annually in honor of their daughter, Mrs. Marsh Wiltbank Uebler. Marsh volunteered as a morning aide in ECI, served on the Board of Trustees and the Steering Committee for the Square Foot Fund, and chaired the 1990 auction and 1994 holiday festival. The Ueblers’ son, Tom, is a member of the Class of '95. These two scholarships are awarded to a boy and girl in fourth grade each Founders’ Day. The honorees demonstrate sound academic performance and good citizenship with a potential for leadership and service within the school and the community. Qualities of kindness, consideration for others, gentleness and good humor should be evident in their character.
This scholarship was established in 1986 by former Independence teacher Mrs. Mary Lou DiMaio in memory of her husband, Mr. Jack DiMaio, and in appreciation of his kindness, wit, and enthusiasm for learning. In 1997, this fund began providing two scholarships per year, one for a boy and one for a girl. The criteria for this award, open to all rising sixth-grade students, include scholarship, personal integrity and character, outstanding citizenship, potential success and service to the school and financial need.
In 1986, Independence suffered the loss of one of its most loyal supporters, Mr. William Braune, husband of Mrs. Gail Braune, a former Independence teacher, and father of Stacey '94. To perpetuate Bill’s memory and the ideals he valued, his wife and daughter established this scholarship to honor a boy and a girl in seventh grade who best exemplify Mr. Braune’s beliefs. The criteria for this award include a student’s love of sports and encouragement of others while not seeking “star status.” The student should persevere and enjoy involvement in sports even if he or she isn't in a starting role.
This award honors the memory of Mrs. Anne Hurt, a valiant friend and an outstanding educator, who taught English at Independence for six years and was the mother of two alumni, Christi ’85 and Charles ’87. In 1986, Dr. John Hurt established this scholarship for the two Middle School students who most closely achieve the qualities inherent in Mrs. Hurt’s character. These students should demonstrate academic excellence, personal integrity and character, service to the school and involvement in school life. These students should also be those whose maturity allows them to be humble, humorous and kind. Financial need is also taken into consideration.
This memorial award was established in 1987 by Dr. Joan Neikirk, an Independence teacher, and her sister, Mrs. Virginia Vermillion, to honor their father, Mr. William H. Cantwell, a true appreciator of good music. It was later expanded to honor their mother, Margaret, also an appreciator of music. They were the grandparents of two alumnae, Katherine '88 and Julia '90. The Cantwell Award for musical excellence is open to all Middle School students and is awarded to two students per year who demonstrate exceptional musicianship, diligent study and preparation and a positive attitude toward all aspects of band work.
This award is presented at graduation by the Middle School Science Program in honor of Mrs. Linda Stapleford, a former science teacher and parent of Tom '88 and Liza '91. This recognizes a graduating eighth-grade student who enhanced significantly the quality of the school’s science program through voluntary service, such as preparing materials for experiments and cataloging equipment.
The Board Presidents Scholarship was established in 1986 and recognizes the service of all the individuals who have served Independence as President of the Board of Trustees. In our turn, we recognize two students each year who personify the core values of our school through the awarding of scholarships, each worth $3,500 applied directly to tuition. An applicant must be a rising sixth-, seventh- or eighth-grade student and must submit a formal application and an essay in order to be considered. Applicants are judged on the basis of overall academic achievement, contribution to school life, personal character and essay. A committee of faculty, administrators, the Head of School and the Board President selects the winners.
This award honors the memory of Mrs. Helena Ashwell, who, from Independence’s founding, taught French and Spanish and was head of the language department for 23 years. Helena’s love for the school was shared with her daughter Kim, who worked in Early Childhood, and grandchildren Katie, Kayla and Nikolas, who attended Independence before relocating to Phoenix, Arizona. The criteria for this award recognizes a graduating eighth grader who excelled in the world language arts and also demonstrated academic excellence, outstanding citizenship and service to the school.
This award was established by Dr. and Mrs. Michael Klein to honor Mrs. Patricia A. Ireland for her tireless devotion to students at The Independence School. Listening to concerns carefully, evaluating them thoroughly, and creating resolutions that put the students’ well-being foremost, Patti served as a role model for all faculty.
The award recognizes the exceptional Independence faculty from ECI through middle school. Each year, the achievements of one individual from this dedicated faculty are celebrated and shared at the spring commencement exercises. The recipients exemplify the attributes of Mrs. Ireland. The primary selection criterion is the recognition of the strengths and needs of the individual child. The recipients also display Patti’s other fine qualities of professionalism, compassion and good nature.
Inspired by a group of parents from the Class of 2012, this scholarship honors several parents we have lost from that class and the courage displayed by their children in the face of hardship and adversity. Tragically, since 2002, the Wright, Cutrona, Armiger, Nolte, Hogan and Fickes families have all said goodbye to a beloved spouse or parent. The Courage Scholarship was first presented at Founders’ Day 2017 in tribute.
This $1,000 scholarship, awarded to a currently enrolled rising sixth, seventh or eighth grader, recognizes a student who has demonstrated courage. Demonstrating courage comes in many forms, including facing suffering with dignity and faith, feeling fear yet choosing to act, following your heart, persevering in the face of adversity and standing up for what is right.
Established in 2016, this scholarship was made possible by the generous support of the Connolly family and inspired by the memorable impact Mrs. Teresa Roach, a retired Independence fourth-grade teacher and developer of the school's Economics & Entrepreneurial Education (E3) curriculum, had on Dr. and Mrs. Kieran Connolly’s eldest daughter. This $500 award, applied to tuition, is given each Founders’ Day to a current fourth-grade girl who demonstrates a particular interest in and affinity for economics and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Mr. Andrew (Andy) Yatzus was the husband of Mrs. Victoria Yatzus, Head of School, and the parent of three Independence alumnae, Katie (2004), Erin (’08), and Haley (’11). Mr. Yatzus was a dedicated friend and supporter of Independence for many years before Mrs. Yatzus became Head. Mr. Yatzus was a Senior Vice-President at WSFS Bank and served on The Independence School Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2003 and again from 2004-06.
The Andrew N. Yatzus Scholarship, established in his memory by family and former co-workers, is a one-time $2,000 award toward tuition for a rising sixth-, seventh-, or eighth-grade student. Among the criteria to be considered in the award selection, candidates must possess academic potential, the willingness to work hard to achieve success, and demonstrated strength of character, as these were all characteristics embodied by Mr. Andrew Yatzus.
The Scholarship Committee will announce the recipient at The Independence School Founders’ Day assembly in April.
In 2019, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fraser and their daughter, Bianca Fraser-Johnson, established and funded a scholarship to honor the memory of their daughter and sister, Mia Shorteno Fraser, aunt to Fraser (Class of 2023) and Vanessa (Class of 2027). A brilliant, hardworking, and compassionate individual, Dr. Fraser received a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University, a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, a Master of Science in Applied Psychology, and her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology, despite great adversity. She passed away on the cusp of beginning her career as a psychologist with plans to work with our country’s heroes, our veterans.
The Fraser family chose Independence for its mission of developing students who possess not only an exceptional spirit for learning, but also leadership and citizenship, just as Dr. Fraser had. The criteria for this $1,000 award, open to all rising seventh- and eighth-grade students, include a student’s love of learning, grit, and outstanding citizenship. Qualities of kindness, consideration for others, and generosity should be evident in their character.
The Scholarship Committee will announce the recipient at The Independence School Founders’ Day assembly in April.
ENDOWED PROGRAMS & SPECIAL INITIATIVES
The Rod Hammett Endowed English Fund
for Support of the Middle School English Program
Created through a pledge from an anonymous donor, in honor of a past Middle School English teacher, this gift recognizes the value and importance of a sound and flourishing English curricula for middle school students.
The Fasick Endowed Fund for Support of the Study Skills Program
Created by Betty and Ross Fasick with gratitude and honor to the Faculty and Administration of The Independence School, this gift recognizes the importance of the school-wide program begun by Mrs. Patricia Ireland in 1981 that is a hallmark of Independence’s student preparation for high school and college success.
The Kearns Endowed Fund for Support of the Lower School English Program
in honor of Grandchildren and Independence Alumni
Emily Kearns, 2003, and Jake Kearns, 2007
Created by James F. Kearns, Sr., this commitment recognizes the importance of an early and strong foundation in English and language arts for the continuing success of our students and graduates in all fields of study.
The IPA Endowed Library Fund in Recognition of
the Importance of the School Library to the Education of All Children
The Independence Parents’ Association created the Library Endowed Fund to recognize the importance of our library as vital to an Independence Education and to IPA as a partner in the educational process.
The Independence Auction Endowed Fund for Support of the Visual Arts Program
Auction 2008 committed its proceeds to an endowed fund for the visual arts. This fund recognizes the importance of the visual arts to all our students and entire school community.
The Amanda and Benjamin Johnson Endowed Fund
for the Support of Instrumental Music
Established by Daniel P. and Suzanne Johnson and Farrell L. and Patricia Goble, parents and grandparents of Amanda '03 and Benjamin '11, this fund was created to honor the talents of our Instrumental Music Department. This recognizes the dedication of the music department to our children in the teaching of music and creating an appreciation of music and poised, competent performers.
The Patriotic Legacy Endowed Fund
for Support of The Patriotic Program and The Patriot’s Trail
Established through Pike Creek Animal Hospital and the McKersie Family, Dawn, Al and Brooke ’12, this fund supports American history curriculum enhancements from grades three through eight. Included are traditional activities as a vital part of Independence’s history and citizenship curriculum, e.g. the Third-Grade Patriotic Program, and the Delaware, Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia and Boston experiences.
The Perkins Planned Gift for Endowed Support of the Early Childhood Program
in Honor of Their Grandchildren, Julia ’99, Nicole ’01, and Gordon ’04
This fund was created through a planned gift first formed in 1994 and finalized in 2007, by Charlotte and Lowell Perkins to support their philosophy that, “Quality early education is a necessary foundation for success in higher education and life.”
The Mary and Francis Julian Endowed Fund
for Support of Middle School Mathematics
in Honor of Their Daughters, Amelia ’90, Christine ’91, and Lisa ’94
This endowment was established to recognize the importance and value of a strong and stimulating mathematics program for all students, especially young women, as fundamental to future success.
The Catherine and Richard Julian Endowed Fund
for Support of Applied Science Activities
in Honor of Their Children, Richard Jr. ’93, Claire ’95, and Stephen ’00
This fund was created to support the practical and mechanical aspects of science through enhancements for grades four through eight, including field trips and experiences such as The Franklin Institute, the Kalmar Nyckel, Stream Watch and Science Olympiad.
The Genevieve and Bill Gore Endowed Fund
for Support of The Gore Family Auditorium
This endowment was established through a portion of Mrs. Genevieve Gore’s bequest; it will provide for maintenance and programming support of the Gore Family Auditorium.
The Patricia A. Ireland Endowed Financial Aid Fund
This fund was established by the friends of Patti Ireland to honor her twenty-nine years of dedicated service to The Independence School and to provide for a program close to her heart – need-based tuition assistance for students to attend Independence.
WCKM Endowed Technology Fund
This fund has been created through anonymous donors for support and enhancement of advanced classroom teaching and learning technologies.
The Class of 2009 Endowed Challenge Fund
This fund, donated by a family who wishes to be anonymous, was created to encourage participation and commitment by Independence friends and families in support of the school. This gift honors the graduating Class of 2009, of which their son is a member, and recognizes the spirit, excellence and future of the Class of 2009.
The Kathryn B. Knox, ACFRE, Fund for Professional Growth and Renewal
This fund was established by the friends of Kathy Knox, in honor of her retirement, to promote and support professional growth opportunities and experiences for faculty and staff.