MCPS Educational Foundation Awarded More Than $2.3 million in Scholarships During Evening of Excellence

May 16, 2024

The Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation (MCPSEF) recognized more than 225 recipients of 18 scholarships and awards including the 2024 Ruth and Norman Rales-Patricia Baier O’Neill Scholarship Recognizing Academic Excellence at the Evening of Excellence celebration on May 15. 

The prestigious Rales-O’Neill scholarships are provided to high-achieving MCPS graduating seniors with financial need, dedicated to community service in nearly all 25 high schools in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The recipients will each receive $10,000 to support their postsecondary education plan.

"We are proud to recognize the hard work and achievements of these exceptional young people, carrying forward my parents’ values in the community where we grew up,” said Joshua Rales, President and Trustee of the Norman R. and Ruth Rales Foundation. “It is a further privilege to honor the legacy of Pat O’Neill, a tireless champion of educational opportunity in Montgomery County, with the 2024 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."

James O’Neill, Pat’s husband, adds, “The O’Neill and Baier families wish to express their thanks for this wonderful scholarship opportunity provided by the Rales Foundation and the invaluable work of the MCPS Educational Foundation and to congratulate all of our student recipients.  Pat would be so humbled at being included with the Rales family in the naming of this scholarship and so proud of our MCPS student recipients whose commitment to education, community and public service reflects the very values Pat stood for.“ 

“This valuable scholarship will help provide the means for students to pursue their goals and chase their dreams, which is exactly aligned with MCPS’ effort to ensure an excellent education for all students,” said MCPS Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Monique Felder. “I know these young adults will go on to achieve incredible things. Thank you for your generous and continued support of our students and their futures.”

2024 is the inaugural awarding of the Gilles Driesman Scholarship, for students in construction management and in honor of builder ad small-business owner Gilles Driesman; the Cesar Pie Cyber Defender Scholarship, for students interested in cybersecurity and in honor of CSIOS Corporation’s Chairman Cesar Pie, a veteran, renowned cyber strategist, and influential Hispanic leader in cybersecurity; and the Lamphier-Castelli New American Dream for the Future Scholarship, for newcomer students and created by MCPS school media specialist Andrea Lamphier to recognize their incredible courage and persistence.

MCPSEF also recognized the following Class of 2024 scholarships and awards:

  • Elise M. Lavidor Book Award

  • Frieda K. Lacey Scholarship

  • Hazel M. Bratt Language Scholarship

  • James Brawley Memorial Award

  • Joseph D. Byrd Scholarship

  • Joy Odom Mathematics Scholarship

  • Laureen O’Neill Robbins Memorial Award

  • League of Educators for Asian American Progress Scholarship

  • Ledyard Bruce Marsh Scholarship

  • Pamela Bryant-Roland G. Hollins Scholarship 

  • Dr. Paul L. Vance Scholarship

  • Roger M. Smith Scholarship

  • Wilma Watkins Ulmer Memorial Scholarship

Class of 2024 MCPS Educational Foundation Scholarship Awardees


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