Ritzer scholarship fund accepting donations

Colleen Ritzer Funeral Services
Hundreds of teachers lined the steps of St. Augustine Church in Andover for the Oct. 28 funeral of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer.

The Colleen Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund is currently accepting donations in memory of the slain Danvers High School math teacher. The Ritzer family established the fund to benefit students who are pursuing education degrees in college.

Donations to the memorial fund can be made online at www.eccf.org or mailed to the Essex County Community Foundation, 175 Andover Street, Danvers, MA 01923.

Ms. Ritzer taught math at Danvers High School and was pursuing a graduate degree at Salem State University. She was found slain on Oct. 23. A 14-year-old Danvers High School student has been charged in connection with her death.

Following her graduation from Assumption College in Worcester, Ms. Ritzer taught at Hale Middle School in Stow. She was a graduate of Andover High School.

In a letter to the Ritzer family, MTA President Paul Toner and MTA Vice President Tim Sullivan conveyed the sympathies of “all members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and all of our fellow educators.” The MTA is making a $50,000 donation to the scholarship fund to continue Ms. Ritzer’s legacy by “helping those who aspire to join our noble profession,” the MTA leaders wrote.
In the months ahead, they stated, the MTA “will continue to look for ways to honor Colleen’s life of service to her students, her school, her community and her profession.”

The MTA website has resources for educators on coping with grief and discussing school violence with students and parents. For links, go to www.massteacher.org/crisisresources. A tribute page to Ms. Ritzer is available here.