School lunch: Scholarship recipients sit down with benefactor

Each year, future educators in Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College gather to meet Ira A. Fulton and thank him for his namesake awards that help them pay for their degrees. The luncheon is traditionally held at a school where ASU teacher candidates do their student teaching. Kyrene de la Paloma, a Chandler elementary school in the Kyrene School District, was the host site for this year’s luncheon on April 13.

Dr. Fulton and Mari Koerner, dean of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, first visited the 5th-grade classroom of Emily Patten (BA elementary education, ’12). This gave Dr. Fulton a chance to meet Patten’s students, ask them questions and answer their questions in turn. The luncheon was held in the classroom of ASU iTeachAZ Site Coordinator Cindy Ballantyne. Dr. Fulton met with Fulton Scholarship recipients and the student teacher cohort from throughout the district for lunch, introductions and conversation. The future educators shared their appreciation and experiences, and Dr. Fulton offered his thoughts and congratulations.

This was a particularly significant year for the Fulton Scholarship Luncheon, as 2016 is the 10th anniversary of the commitment by Ira and Mary Lou Fulton that named Mary Lou Fulton Teachers college. It was also the first of the annual luncheons since the death last autumn of Mary Lou — herself an ASU-trained educator — who was remembered by Dean Koerner as “the first lady of our college..

Despite Mary Lou Fulton’s absence, Ira Fulton was at the luncheon as always, encouraging tomorrow’s teachers and asking how they are progressing.

“He truly is an admirable person that I can’t stop talking about,” iTeachAZ student Brooke Cheser said after the event. “He is so full of passion and a fire within to support and love teachers. This once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet such a great man will live on in all of us!”