For retired teacher Virginia “Ginny” Menera Trevor ’65, education, she has learned, often provides structure and stability to a child’s life.
“When you have students—especially who come from different backgrounds—it is important that they know what to expect when they come to school each day,” she said. “Offering that security and experiencing ‘aha’ moments made teaching a joy.”
Although Trevor changed schools 11 times between kindergarten to 12th grade, the Long Island, N.Y., native loved school. She recalls playing school as a child.
“Apparently, I was a bit of a bossy pants,” she said. “So when we played school, I was always the teacher. It was no surprise that I chose to become a teacher.”
Growing up during a time when young people—especially women—weren’t expected to go to college, her parents, James and Mildred Menera, encouraged her and her siblings to do so. The State University system made that possible for her.
Her father actually chose Oswego for her when he learned that her other choice didn’t have an on-campus residence hall available to her.
“My father said no to off-campus housing, and so that was that,” Trevor said. “I went to Oswego.”
Then during her sophomore year, her parents came to visit her and her father had a fatal heart attack on campus.
“I was going to leave school to help my mom back home, but she said, ‘Your dad wanted you to finish,’” she said. “And so, I stayed. I was very lucky to have had my parents’ support.”
Trevor said her Oswego education prepared her well for an elementary teaching career that spanned 33 years.
After attending her 50-year Reunion in June 2015, she decided to establish a scholarship to honor her parents, thank her alma mater and support the next generation of teachers.
The James and Mildred Menera Memorial Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually to a full-time, upper-level student in the School of Education who maintains a minimum GPA of 3.0 and has a demonstrated financial need.
Trevor and her siblings agree that their parents—neither of whom completed high school—would never have foreseen their names attached to a college scholarship. They all support the tribute.
“I hope this scholarship supports someone who really cares about kids and cares about education,” Trevor said. “Teachers are vital to a community.”