Wasil Katz Scholarship Fund
Est. in 2020 as a scholarship fund by Harriet Karkut in memory of her uncle.
Teachers often leave lasting impressions on those with whom they interact. For the educators that create scholarship funds, their values are exemplified through a legacy that will last in perpetuity.
Many teachers and students alike fondly remember Wasil Katz. Wasil spent 30 years educating elementary school children in Shelton.
“Wasil was always concerned about his students and their future,” Wasil’s niece, Harriet Karkut, recalled of her uncle. “He wanted them to have the best opportunities possible.”
A lifelong resident of Shelton and a veteran of the United States Army, Wasil enjoyed spending time with students and singing with the Stratford Congregational Church. “He had great musical talent,” Harriet said. “He sang operettas and loved teaching groups of kids about music. He was born with a passion for it and sang with a very good voice.”
Before her uncle passed away, Harriet spoke with CPA, Ray Oppel, about some financial matters since she was taking care of both her uncle and her mother for a time. Ray fondly remembered Wasil from school, back in a time when he was a student.
“Mr. Katz was my sixth-grade teacher and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to see him again before he passed away,” Ray said. “I also informed Harriet about my role on the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) Board of Directors and told her how simple it would be to establish a scholarship in his name.”
Although Harriet’s role as caregiver had come to an end, she wanted to continue to honor Wasil’s memory and ensure that his legacy would live on through the students who were so important to him. That is why she decided to establish the Wasil Katz Scholarship Fund at VCF. A testament to Wasil’s dedication to learning, this fund will support graduating Shelton High School students who pursue a teaching degree at a college or university.
“Wasil would have loved to know that a scholarship would be made in his name to benefit students aspiring to be educators themselves,” said Harriet. “I cannot think of a better way to honor his memory and his life-long commitment to teaching.”
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