Scholarship begins in Montessori student’s memory

Middle schools across the district are holding recognition celebrations for their eighth graders this week and next. But eighth graders in the Montessori program at the Thurgood Marshall School had another special recognition.

At a ceremony May 29 at the school, Montessori students, teachers and families remembered student Dominick Cashatt, who died in a house fire in January 2013. They announced the Dominick Cashatt Scholarship at Rock Valley College in his honor.

Montessori students release a balloon in  Dominick Cashatt's memory May 29.

Montessori students release a balloon in Dominick Cashatt’s memory May 29.

Each year for the next five years, five students — all Rockford Public Schools graduates in need — will receive an $800 scholarship. The scholarship is being funded through donations by students, parents and community members.

Dominick’s death prompted his teachers Alan Leon, Amy Orvis and Richard Muniz to write a guest column in the Register Star on Jan. 12, 2013. An excerpt:

Everybody loved Dominick. There was so much about him to love.

Heart as large as the school, Dominick Cashatt accepted everyone for who they were. Kind, loving, trustworthy and nonjudgmental, he was a safe place — no masks needed.

Dominick met life with a “humor, an infectious smile and an ever-ready high-five,” the column continued.  Always standing tall for the underdog — a frequent mentor for younger students — it was impossible not to like Dominick and hard not to love him, his teachers wrote.

Dominick is still missed. The 19 students recognized May 29 for completing Montessori eighth grade — the first Montessori eighth graders in RPS history — paid tribute to their absent classmate. They left an empty seat where their dear friend Dominick would have sat. Now, some fortunate students can fill seats at college in his memory.

Mary Kaull is communications coordinator at the Rockford Public Schools. Contact her at mary.kaull@rps205.com. Like the district on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.




1 Comment

  1. Cathy Adams

    What a wonderful thing to do in his memory. He truly was a super child and it was very sad to have his life taken along with the others in his family. They were hard workers and were missed by so many in the church family.

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