Ruth and Norman Rales–Patricia Baier O’Neill Scholarship Recognizing Academic Excellence to be Launched in October

September 14, 2022

Applications will open soon for the newly created Ruth and Norman Rales–Patricia Baier O’Neill Scholarship Recognizing Academic Excellence. These $10,000 scholarships for graduating high school seniors were announced earlier this year by the Norman R. Rales and Ruth Rales Foundation to honor the lives and contributions of Ruth and Norman Rales and Patricia O’Neill, who died Sept. 14, 2021, after having served the longest tenure in the history of the Montgomery County Board of Education. 

The Rales’ $10 million gift is the largest donation ever to the Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation. 

Annually, the program will award 200 scholarships worth $10,000 each to the highest achieving graduating seniors from low-to-moderate income households in Montgomery County to help ease the financial burden of attending college, beginning in 2023 through 2027. In total, 1,000 exceptional students will receive scholarships, in recognition of their hard work and achievement.

“As we remember Pat O’Neill’s towering legacy, I could not be more excited to see students begin to see the possibilities that these scholarships will offer as they prepare for college and their next steps,” said MCPS Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight. “This gift is an incredible statement on the power of education and a heartfelt commitment of support for our students.” 

This scholarship honors the legacies of Ruth and Norman Rales, whose generosity and spirit of giving lives on through the Rales Foundation, and Patricia Baier O'Neill, who is remembered for her lifelong commitment to public service and to the children of Montgomery County. The Rales family has deep roots in Montgomery County, and the Rales Foundation has a history of philanthropic collaboration with MCPS.

Student applicants must be MCPS graduating seniors who have taken rigorous courses and hold a weighted GPA of 4.69 as of their Sept. 1, 2022 transcript. Students will need to submit an essay that will be reviewed by a committee established by the Educational Foundation. Applicants must also demonstrate a household income of $108,000 or below to be eligible. 

More information about the application process will be available in mid-October. 



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