Mary Elizabeth Schenck, pictured below, approached life with a special love, passion and sense of wonderment. Regardless of age, gender, race or position in life, any person who spent even a few moments with Mary Elizabeth left with a renewed sense of personal inspiration about themselves and their potential.
Preferring to work in disadvantaged neighborhoods, many times she would prepare food or bring bags of clothing in the morning to needy students. Additionally, Mary Elizabeth would regularly spend countless evening hours calling the parents of students who required extra homework instruction or just parental guidance.
For her, breakfast and the morning always heralded the potential of each new day. To all, particularly her children and students, her daily mantra and personal example was that in life each of us are responsible for the success of each day as it is a precious gift not to ever be wasted.
At age 74 in the middle of teaching life’s wonders to a new generation of her 14 grandchildren, she contracted cancer. She died at home and at peace, surrounded by her family. In life she never gave up, never gave in, and was gracious to the end.
Founded in 2007 by her oldest son, Tom, and his wife, Nancy, for her husband, her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren whose lives she profoundly influences. We honor her memory and accomplishments through the enduring legacy of this foundation for Mary Elizabeth Schenck.
The MESE Foundation was established upon Mary Elizabeth Schenck’s death and promotes an enduring legacy of her personal and education philosophy, exalting educators, who live and dynamically teach self reliance and personal responsibility, and the students who demonstrate those values. The MESE Foundation seeks to support teachers and students who will set a positive example to their colleagues and peers by courageously conquering challenges.
The IATOR philosophy is accountability in all areas of life. Mary Elizabeth felt that it was crucial to always be personally responsible, not for gain or advancement, but because it was the right thing to do. “I am the one responsible for the consequences of my actions” was the phrase that Mary Elizabeth wrote on her English class blackboard each morning for 27 years. After the writing of these words she would remind her students to think carefully about their actions during the day and to act responsibly in whatever they were doing. This phrase and the might of her daily action inspired thousands of children to take charge of their future.
For general inquiries, questions or to nominate a student or teacher for a MESE Fund Scholarship and IATOR Award.
Eden Bridge foundation
C/O Rob Teague
P.O. Box 1201
Lancaster, PA 17608-1201