MCPS Educational Foundation Announces 194 Inaugural Recipients of the Rales-O’Neill $10,000 Scholarship

April 11, 2023

The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Educational Foundation has announced 194 recipients of the 2023 Ruth and Norman Rales-Patricia Baier O’Neill Scholarship Recognizing Academic Excellence. These prestigious scholarships are being provided to high-achieving MCPS graduating seniors across all 25 high schools in Montgomery County. The recipients will each receive $10,000 to help ease the financial burden of attending college.

Last September, the Rales Foundation announced a $10 million, five-year commitment to the MCPS Educational Foundation, the largest donation ever to the Foundation, to provide up to 200 $10,000 scholarships per year to high-achieving MCPS graduating seniors from low-to-moderate income households, beginning in 2023. The donation was made to honor the lives and contributions of Ruth and Norman Rales and Patricia Baier O’Neill, who died in September 2021 after having served the longest tenure in the history of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

"Our parents, Norman and Ruth, believed deeply in the power of education, and we are proud to recognize the hard work and achievements of these exceptional young people, carrying forward our parents’ values in the community where we grew up,” said Joshua Rales, President and Trustee of the Rales Foundation, speaking on behalf of himself and his brothers, Steven and Mitchell, also Trustees of the Foundation. “It is a further privilege to honor the legacy of Pat O’Neill, a tireless champion of educational opportunity in Montgomery County, with this inaugural Rales-O’Neill class. We hope this scholarship will play a small role in inspiring and supporting these students as they pursue their goals and aspirations in the next chapter of their academic journey."

To be eligible for a Rales-O’Neill scholarship in 2023, students were required to be MCPS graduating seniors with a weighted GPA of at least 4.69, come from low-to-moderate income households, and submit an essay.  

“What an extraordinary commitment the Rales Foundation has made to an awe-inspiring group of young people, who will go on to do amazing things in this world,” said MCPS Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight. “Thank you for this beautiful way to honor our students, and to carry on the legacies of your parents and our beloved Mrs. O’Neill.”

Rick O’Neill, Mrs. O’Neill’s husband, also expressed heartfelt gratitude.

“We know that Pat would be pleased and honored to be part of this scholarship program and so proud, as are we, of each of the exceptional students awarded a scholarship,” he said. “Pat devoted her professional career to all of the students of MCPS and was thrilled to have the opportunity to do so. Our family is so appreciative of those at the Rales Foundation, MCPS and the MCPS Educational Foundation who have dedicated so much time and effort to implement this very special scholarship program.”

The students will be honored during a celebration at the Music Center at Strathmore on Wednesday, April 19.

Class of 2023 Ruth and Norman Rales-Patricia Baier O’Neill Scholarship Recognizing Academic Excellence Winners


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