SPRINGBORO, Ohio — Patricia McCandless taught at Springboro High School for only seven of her 79 years. She left, in fact, before it became Springboro High School. Between 1961 and 1968, when McCandless taught English there, it was still Clearcreek High. She resigned near the end of the decade to chase an advanced degree and a new career in library science.
But she thought of Springboro again before her death in 2018. McCandless’ will contains one of the most generous gifts the district has ever received: her entire estate of $471,644.
“Even in her passing, you know, with this donation from her estate, she is going to impact a majority of students for decades to come,” said Springboro Schools spokesman Scott Marshall on Monday. “And that is just…I can’t think of a better example of paying it forward than that.”
Why Springboro? McCandless spent most of her life working for libraries. Marshall and his colleagues went searching for answers from the people who knew her, including friends, classmates and students who had attended her English class at Clearcreek High.
They found it in Ray Perez, a one-time superintendent for the district. Perez had been McCandless’ teacher during her own time in high school, and he hired her to teach English — her first job out of college — in 1961.
“(He) was kind of an inspiration for Patty, somebody that left a big mark,” Marshall said.
The district is creating a committee of staff, community members and McCandless’ friends to decide how her gift will be used.
“You know, this is such a large amount of money,” Marshall said. “This is something that we're going to take very seriously and be very careful with to make sure that it can have the biggest impact on the most number of students over a long period of time. “