Dr. Carol Merlone Scholarship Fund
Est. in 2019 as a scholarship fund by Dr. Carol Merlone.
They often say that an investment in education pays a lifetime of dividends. Carol Merlone, Ed. D. firmly believes in the power of education and often uses her own experience as an example.
“A little girl who grew up in Ansonia, became a superintendent, and found herself traveling to the United Arab Emirates as a speaker in the third annual International Education Symposium in 2011, presenting on the brain and education,” Carol reflected. “You never know what doors education can open.”
Her 35-year career included 14 years of classroom work, nine in administration, and 12 as superintendent, all of which were spent in Ansonia with the exception of her first six months of work in Derby.
“I knew the children and families very well and have nothing but great memories. I wanted to give back and knew that, by establishing a scholarship fund at the Valley Community Foundation (VCF), I could make an incredible impact on the lives of students even though we may never even meet.”
The Dr. Carol Merlone Scholarship Fund will support a graduating student from Ansonia High School in the top 20% of his or her class who will be pursuing a career in education at a college or university.
“I truly believe everyone should have the opportunity to receive a good education. As a superintendent, I awarded many scholarships. I recall our business office managing them until we made the decision during my tenure to transfer our scholarship assets to VCF for administration,” Carol said. “Having a professional, trustworthy third party, like VCF, we were able to simplify our process and have the funds invested professionally, which has made the available scholarships for Ansonia Public Schools and its students stronger than ever before.”
“That transfer made me think about what I could do when I retired so that I could continue to give back,” Carol continued. “As superintendent, I set aside my pay raises to help fund supplies that students needed, like uniforms. In fact, that line item came to be called ‘Carol’s Closet.’ Eileen Ehman, grants manager of Ansonia Public Schools, suggested I ask our Board of Education to move my last raise to start a scholarship fund with VCF. I then gave an additional contribution above that amount to make up the difference so the fund could be endowed in perpetuity.”
To Carol, this scholarship fund is offering more than financial support to students. It represents opportunity as well. “I have always said once a student, always a student,” she said. “I believe every student should have the chance to be whatever they want to be. I really love the Ansonia kids and I want each one of them to succeed.
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