print this page email this page decrease font size increase font size

Myrtle Kilcrease: Keeping education alive with a gift annuity


Myrtle Kilcrease (M.Ed. '77) has always been passionate about preparing the next generation for tomorrow's challenges. A Chicago Public School teacher for more than 30 years, she was also instrumental in expanding the methods educators use to teach reading. Now retired, Myrtle is still looking toward the future—through a charitable gift annuity she created for Loyola's School of Education to assist tomorrow's teachers in their pursuit of higher education.

A Kentucky native, Myrtle always knew she wanted to be a teacher. Moving to Chicago to begin her career, she spent 14 years at Hookway Elementary School on Chicago's south side. There she taught grades ranging from kindergarten to fourth and served as an intensive reading-improvement teacher.

In the early 1970s, the school system developed a reading-resource program designed to retrain teachers. "My principal chose me to be part of the program and we conducted seminars citywide to train teachers in different methods of teaching reading," Myrtle says.

It was also in the 1970s that Myrtle focused on her own education, earning a master's degree through Chicago's Consortium of Universities and Colleges, which included Loyola, DePaul and Concordia. "Most of my master's degree program was completed at Loyola, where I learned creative ideas that added a new dimension to the reading-resource program," she says.

One of Myrtle's fondest memories of her time at Loyola was the opportunity to attend a summer program at the University of London, where she was able to compare the differences between the American and British school systems, as well as travel in the British Isles and France.

Myrtle's impact on the students at Hookway Elementary was a powerful one that was felt years later. In the mid-1970s, the school's PTA honored her as an outstanding teacher—and more than 20 years after teaching a combined second- and third-grade class, those students gathered at a reunion to express their appreciation to her. "Hearing about the impact I had on their lives so many years later was very rewarding."

Myrtle's commitment to higher education was a key factor in her decision to establish a gift annuity, which will benefit Loyola's School of Education. "It's important to get the very best people in any field, especially education," she explains. "I hope this annuity will help students to do their best—and when they complete their formal studies, I hope that they, too, will give back to Loyola so that we keep the spirit of education alive."



© Pentera, Inc. Planned giving content. All rights reserved. Disclaimer