The Montgomery County Public Schools Education Foundation announced Tuesday a new $10 million academic scholarship from the Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation in honor of the late Patricia O’Neill, who served on the board of education from 1998 until her death in September 2021.
The foundation’s gift is spread over five years and will award $10,000 to 200 students annually whose families earn less than the county’s medium household income.
“We are here to celebrate a great lady,” said Catherine Leggett, former first lady of Montgomery County, during the evening’s tribute. “She was indeed an enthusiastic public servant whose greatest aspiration and love was to simply serve the children of Montgomery County.” She also noted, “Pat’s service to the Board of Education was history making.”
Other speakers praising O’Neill included members of the current and former board of education, county council, Superintendent Monifa McKnight, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen and O’Neill family members.
The Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation is located in Bethesda and helps provide children and families facing challenging circumstances with opportunities to thrive through enhanced education, health and social services.
Watch the entire event here.