A family’s gift continues a teacher’s life-changing legacy for new educators

A scholarship that supports student teachers arose from a tragedy that robbed the community of an open-hearted educator who helped shape the lives of hundreds of youngsters.

Marvin Brossette and family members created the Mary Edna Adams Brossette Memorial Endowed Scholarship in 2003 after an auto accident claimed Mary Edna’s life.  The scholarship provides a stipend to full-time education majors at LSUS while they are student teachers.

Mary Edna and Marvin were looking forward to their golden years when another car hit theirs head-on as they traveled in Arkansas. At the time, Mary Edna had embraced a second career as supervisor of student teachers in the LSU Shreveport College of Education. She taught in Caddo and Bossier public schools for more than 30 years before she joined the LSUS faculty. She took joy in preparing kindergarten students for success in school and life.

“She knew how to love people unconditionally,” says Marvin. “She was dedicated to setting the right kind of example for her students and fellow teachers, but she was never judgmental. She led by example. She touched so many lives. I just adored her.”

Mary Edna came from a family of educators, and she was pursuing an education degree at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches when she and Marvin met in an English class. Romance blossomed, and they married a few months after Marvin proposed. Mary Edna followed Marvin to Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and finished her college education there so Marvin could earn a chemical engineering degree.

Marvin was the first person in his family to finish college. He says Mary Edna and her family influenced him to continue learning after college. He attended the Harvard University Management Leadership Program and took advantage of informal learning opportunities while working for UOP, a company that developed technology used in the refining and petrochemical industry.

“I saw the value of education through Mary Edna and her family,” he says. “Her mother and both her sisters are retired teachers. I regard education as the one of most important basics in life. I think teachers are often called to their professions, almost like ministers.

“We chose to support student teachers to honor Mary Edna’s work specifically because there are few scholarships available for college seniors,” Marvin says.

Student teaching is like a full-time job and it is difficult for a student teacher to also work, so this scholarship really helps. It offers much-needed financial support at a crucial time in a student teacher’s training.

“Our family feels that the principles that Mary Edna lived by will be perpetuated by teachers that have been helped by this scholarship. The scholarship has already helped 33 teachers to obtain their degrees,” he says.