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McDonald memorial decided

Clarksville community comes together to brainstorm ways to honor educator

Principal Dorothy McDonald has always cast an endearing shadow over the Clarksville Elementary community.

Now her memory will be doing just that for years to come, when a mature tree is planted near the school's playground dedicated to the deceased educator. A public ceremony will be on May 13 when the tree will be planted. McDonald's family will also be at a school assembly honoring her memory.

The children are preparing a song about how to make a difference to sing for the family, said Clarksville Principal Melanie Painter.

The decision on how to remember McDonald was made at a community meeting held at the school. Though it preceded a PTA meeting it was open to the public at large, and several dozen people came out to share their thoughts and memories.

Many ideas were bandied about, and in the end several were adopted. A scholarship fund already started will be built upon with a goal of making it endowed. With existing funds and a $2,000 donation from the Clarksville PTA, there's still about $10,000 to be raised to reach that goal.

The guidelines of the scholarship were laid out by McDonald's family. It will be a $1,000 scholarship to be awarded annually to a BC graduating senior going on the study in the field of education or human services. Applicants will also have to write an essay outlining his or her generosity and commitment to caring for others in a family and community.

"That was Dorothy, she loved learning, she loved teaching, she loved taking little minds and developing them," said Tanya Choppy, president of the Clarksville PTA.

The PTA will place a portrait of McDonald in the school's lobby. The nature trail surrounding the vernal pond will also be dedicated in memory after the educator with will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at the May assembly, and students are now submitting names for the trail.

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