For the first time in school history, a campus student has received a scholarship from Fresno County Teachers of Tomorrow program. Jon Tantraphol,'03, was awarded a $250 scholarship on May 14 during a luncheon at the University Picadilly Inn, Fresno, that celebrated the Day of the Teacher.
While art teacher, Sharon Scharf, had never nominated a student before, she felt Tantraphol had the qualifications to be considered for a countywide scholarship.
"Jon was the fist student who I felt that was qualified for a Teachers of Tomorrow scholarship," Scharf said. " I encouraged him to apply for this scholarship. I believed he had great potential and he had a chance of winning this award even though he was from a private school."
Despite a learning disability, Tantraphol said he felt he should apply for the scholarship to encourage others and to be an inspiration for others.
"This was truly something that will help me achieve my dream of becoming a teacher," Tantraphol said. " I would like to thank all the teachers that have been a wonderful inspiration to me. I also want to thank Principal [Gary] Schultz for taking a chance on an average kid with a learning disability."
Filling out the application was really easy according to Tantraphol. Scharf explained all he had to do was write a one-page explanation of why she nominated him. The application also needed him to write a two-page composition on why he wanted to become a teacher.
Peter Mehas, superintendent of Fresno County School District, presented the scholarship to Tantraphol and Scharf said she was thrilled to watch a student of hers receive such a prestigious award.
"I would also like to give a big thanks to Mrs. Scharf for being such an excellent example of inspiration to all her students," Tantraphol said. "Everyone can fulfill their dreams especially by having such great teachers to help them achieve excellence."
Scharf said she is hoping that this award will bring attention to campus' Teachers of Tomorrow program. Next fall she will reorganize the program and hopes that others will attend the Teachers of Tomorrow camp at Fresno State. Those interested in the program can call Scharf at 297-9464, ext. 159.