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Mary Jane Kruse Scholarship Awarded

By JoAnna Ness, Sep 19 2018 02:59PM

Caitlin Lanning has always favored her English classes. “I enjoyed reading and proofreading essays and seeing the different writing styles of my peers. I love that unlike a lot of math classes, there is more than one right answer in English and the process of getting there is the important part.” Caitlin likes reading and spending time with friends talking about books and creative work, and she has always tried to encourage others to get excited about reading.

Caitlin’s 6th grade English teacher inspired her love for creative writing and short stories. As she approached her senior year at MSD of Steuben County, she wanted to find a way to match her passion for English with her career path. An AP Literature assignment sparked an idea for Caitlin’s future, when they were tasked with comparing a first draft of a famous story with the final version that was published. “I liked to see how much a first draft can change to its final product. One day I want to be able to go to a bookstore and say, ‘Yeah, I helped edit that book!’” said Caitlin.

This spring, Caitlin received the Mary Jane Kruse Memorial Scholarship award, allowing her to begin the journey towards that dream of working for a publishing or editing company. “I was honored and excited to receive the scholarship! It was the one I was most hopeful about receiving.” The scholarship will help cover the remaining costs of her tuition as she begins classes at Indiana State University as an English major this fall. Though she doesn’t know where her career will take her, Caitlin plans to stay connected to Steuben County. “I think of it like the ‘home is where the heart is’ saying,” she said.

Mary Jane Kruse taught English in Defiance, Ohio, and then at Fremont Community Schools and Angola High School. After working at MSD for over 26 years, Mary Jane decided to establish this scholarship through her estate in 2007 to provide a scholarship for graduating seniors and non-traditional students in Steuben County. Caitlin is the first person to receive the Kruse scholarship in three years.