Tempe Philanthropist Ira A. Fulton Visits Curry Elementary
On April 17, Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College celebrated their annual Fulton Scholarship Luncheon at Curry Elementary. Tempe Philanthropist Ira A. Fulton was an honored guest at this event. Fulton visited a classroom at Curry Elementary as well as had lunch with future teachers and scholarship recipients, who will be graduating from the college this spring.
Fulton and his wife, Mary Lou Fulton, are the largest individual donors in ASU’s history. Visitors only need to walk through campus to realize the impact the Fultons have had on the university. Their names are proudly displayed on schools and buildings. The ASU’s Teachers College is named for Mary Lou, who passed away in 2015.
“Everything that I have, I owe to my teachers,” said Fulton. “I wouldn’t be here talking with you today if I didn’t have teachers that saw something in me that I couldn’t see. They made me who I am.”
The Fultons have shared their success generously. In addition to the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Ira and Mary Lou encouraged others to give to the university through the Fulton Challenge grant-match program. The Fultons’ financial support includes the gifts that established the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, the ASU Decision Theater, and scholarships to support future teachers.
Kali Rehyer, an upcoming graduate of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, was one of the scholarship recipients and honored at the recent luncheon. In her last year of school, Rehyer has been student teaching in Jessica Foster’s second-grade classroom at Rover Elementary.
“Jessica is absolutely amazing and has taught me more than I thought possible while working in her classroom,” said Rehyer. “I feel ready to start teaching in my own classroom next year!”
Stephanie Castro, another upcoming graduate of the teachers college, also had great things to say about her experience student teaching at Curry Elementary. Castro recently accepted a third-grade teaching position at Thew Elementary starting in the fall.
“The Tempe Elementary School District is a great place to be,” said Castro. “My mentor teacher, Jonathan Powell, has given me great advice and support and has consistently made sure I am reaching my goals. I knew I wanted to stay in the District because of that.”
Fulton was able to visit Powell’s third-grade classroom where he sat down for a Q&A with students. Although shy at first, the students quickly opened up because of Fulton’s welcoming presence and wealth of knowledge.
“I love you all, because you are our future,” said Fulton. “You might be little third-graders today, but soon enough you will grow up to be leaders and parents making a big difference in this world!”
Fulton then asked the class to give a round of applause for both Powell and Castro for the hard work that they do ensuring an enriching educational environment for their students every day.
Fulton then returned to the luncheon to interact with the scholarship recipients. Curry Elementary Principal Ken White was also at the luncheon and extended his gratitude to the future teachers and imparted them with important advice.
“Keep remembering how hard you have worked to get to where you are today,” said White. “Most importantly, remember to love each child like they are your own.”