B-A teachers create scholarship in honor of Mary Beth Banks


File photo

Mrs. Banks, shown with Mr. Bickel, Mr. Conlon, and Mrs. Gonder, was a fixture at the Bellwood-Antis Middle School.

Julie Bauer, Staff Writer

The Bellwood-Antis community mourned this week after learning that last Saturday, April 14, a beloved B-A teacher died at 67.

Mary Beth Banks.

Mrs. Mary Beth Banks taught fifth grade at Myers Elementary School and the B-A Middle School for 30 years before retiring in 2013. Even after her retirement, Mrs. Banks continued to volunteer at the elementary school from time to time.

Her loss was felt deeply by her colleagues.

“She was a wonderful woman who was an inspiration to everyone she worked with,” said middle school teacher Mrs. Susan Nycum.

“She was a great inspiration to all of her students,” said Mrs. Christine Gonder. “She was loved by all. She was a great storyteller.”

A scholarship is being created in Mrs. Banks’ memory. Bellwood-Antis teachers and administrators are hoping to create an annual scholarship that will recognize college-bound seniors who plan to major in Education.

“The scholarship idea came from her colleagues and friends.  Everyone thought a great way to memorialize her would be to provide some level of support to a BA senior who is planning to pursue a career in education,” said middle school principal Dr. Donald Wagner.

Time spent with Mary Beth was full of smiles and laughs.

— Dr. Wagner

Seniors who are interested in this scholarship need not fill out an application. “This year, we will select from the already submitted scholarship applications. Next year, we would like to include members of her family and form a committee to develop more formal scholarship criteria,” said Dr. Wagner.

There is much worth remembering about Mrs. Banks. “She was extremely dedicated to her students and was huge supporter of BASD,” reflected Dr. Wagner. “What I remember most about her was that she found joy and happiness in all aspects of life.  Time spent with Mary Beth was full of smiles and laughs.”

‘Mrs. Banks was born in Tyrone on September 20, 1950, and she graduated from Bishop Guilfoyle High School in 1968. In 1972, Mrs. Banks graduated from Lock Haven University with a degree in special education and elementary education.

You can read a complete obituary here.