This Fund honors the memory of Dorothy K. Witte (1912-2008) who taught in East Aurora School District elementary schools for the bulk of her career. She had previously taught briefly in several Lutheran schools prior to having her three children, Elizabeth, Jonathan, and Robert who all graduated from East Aurora High School. After her husband Paul’s death at age 46, she began teaching in the East Aurora School District 131, at Brady Elementary, to support her young family. Her career in education became her life’s passion which spanned 25 years (1958-1982).
Dorothy’s dedication to helping students who had behavioral and learning difficulties led her to be the “go to” teacher for working with students with educational challenges. Often her students were the only English speakers in their home, so she took Spanish lessons to be able to communicate more effectively with the parents of her students. She occasionally made home visits when families felt uncomfortable attending school conferences. Her dining room table at home was often cluttered with lesson plans, teaching supplies, and papers to grade. She was known to stay in her classroom until well after dark working to prepare for class the next day.
Her daughter Beth (1940-2011) followed her mother into a career in teaching/education. Her sons Jon and Bob initially studied to be teachers, but eventually went into the medical field as physicians. They now establish this scholarship to honor their mother and the teaching profession which has been a consistent thread through their family. The funds awarded are intended for a recipient who seeks to pursue a career as a public school educator, helping those who most need the expertise of a skilled and caring teacher.