New Jersey Schoolteacher Leaves $1 Million to Students With Learning Disabilities

Genevieve Via Cava loved teaching and loved her students. Now, seven years after her death, they are learning just how much.

The teacher in Dumont, New Jersey, devoted 45 years of her life to helping students with learning disabilities. After her retirement in 1990, Via Cava continued to visit the school district for which she worked, checking in on classes and sometimes stopping by the superintendent’s office.

Via Cava died in 2011. And this April, the Dumont Public Schools received something they never expected: a check from her estate for $1 million.

The former educator, who had no children or immediate family of her own, had amassed a small fortune through her exceptional saving habits. She left the astonishing donation in her will to fund scholarships for special education students seeking post-secondary education.

School superintendent Emanuele Triggiano calls Via Cava’s gift “a blessing.” In her frequent visits, Via Cava had told Triggiano about her passion for her students and how much she liked working at Dumont.

“One day she quietly told me she accumulated a large sum of money and she planned on donating it,” said Triggiano, who was pleased but didn’t give it much thought at the time.

Beginning with next spring’s high school graduates, scholarships will be available to one or more special education students planning to continue their education. The amount will depend on how much interest is generated by the $1 million gift, with a maximum amount of $25,000 per student.

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SOURCE: CNN, Madeleine Thompson and Kwegyirba Croffie