John Cary Scholarship

Special Education Foundation established the John Cary Scholarship in 2016. In naming the $5,000 scholarship after him, the Foundation recognizes John Cary, the late superintendent of Special School District of St. Louis County, for his commitment to excellence and his tireless support of students with disabilities.

The Foundation has awarded scholarships to deserving students entering post-secondary education since 1988. SEF is awardng five John Cary scholarships totaling $25,000. The 2022 recipients were:

  • Caroline Bellido, Parkway West High School, attending the University of Oklahoma
  • Lucy Davis, Parkway West High School, attending Webster University
  • Isabelle Lencz, Valley Park High School, attending Missouri State
  • Takia McMorris, Parkway Central High School, attending the University of Missouri – St. Louis
  • Augustine “Gus” Taylor, Oakville High School, attending Saint Louis University

Criteria for Scholarships: The John Cary Scholarships will be given to graduating students who have received services from the Special School District of St. Louis County — special education and/or technical education – and who are planning to attend a four-year college or university. The selected students will reflect the characteristics most admired by John Cary — resiliency, courage and determination. The scholarship committee looks for evidence of future success by considering academics, leadership and community volunteer activities, and success in athletics and/or the arts. Well-rounded individuals, particularly those with exceptional achievement in a particular area, are likely to be successful applicants. Overcoming obstacles carries weight in the screening process. Financial need and teacher recommendations are also considered. The funds may be used for tuition only.

Teachers, after your students apply for a scholarship, you will fill out the Teacher Next Steps form and submit a letter of recommendation.

The next deadline for scholarship applications will be announced. For more information or if you need help with the online application, please contact the Foundation at 314-394-7030 or email

There are other scholarships available to students served by SSD:

  • James E. Westbury Memorial Board of Education Scholarships
  • Bonhomme Lions Scholarships
  • Allison M. Haake Memorial Scholarship

 The foundation awarded scholarships to these students in 2021:  

  • Bryce Batcheller, Rockwood Summit High School, attending Truman State University
  • Michael Bayer, Oakville High School, college undecided
  • Catherine Kister, Oakville High School, attending Lee University
  • Jaxon Luraschi, Pattonville and North Technical High Schools, attending Lindenwood University
  • Noah Williams, Kirkwood High School, attending Washington University in St. Louis

In addition, Richard McNary of Ritenour High School is the recipient of the Christopher Davis Scholarship, and will be attending Harris Stowe State University.