Teacher honored with scholarship in her name

Local News

MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — A community is honoring a teacher who risked it all for her students, and saved their lives. 

The Mattoon High School teacher who stopped a student from seriously hurting others will now have a scholarship in her name. An alumni group is trying to raise $50,000 for it Thursday.

They say it’s to show their gratitude to Angela McQueen. She didn’t want to talk about what happened, but did say this latest gesture was a surprise.

“It’s an honor..”

This PE teacher says she never expected any of this to happen.

“To have your name stuck on something like that, it’s kind of cool.”

The Angela McQueen Citizenship Award. An alumni scholarship group says it’s to show thanks for her unselfish actions on September 20th.

That’s when McQueen tackled a student who tried to shoot at others in the cafeteria. One student was hurt, but no one was killed.

The committee says each donation will have a direct impact on students.

“That’s huge, because college can be expensive, and as much as we can help these kids out that would be awesome.”

The award will be given out every year to a graduate of Mattoon High School.

Those who live in town say they’re glad McQueen is being recognized.

“I think she was an awesome brave person for taking charge like that, to keep something that was so tragic, it could have been really tragic, a lot better.”

McQueen says students have already taken initiative to make sure that September’s shooting doesn’t happen again.

“They’re just trying to spread some positive things, and make a real difference in the world, they’re basically trying to be difference makers  and to me that’s awesome, to me that’s the idea of good citizenship, is seeing those kids those kinds of things, and to me that’s exciting.”

McQueen says those students have a goal of making a special positive gesture every week.

She says this week they made a big chain for one of their teachers who’s battling cancer.

Last month a doctor said the teenager accused of firing the gun at Mattoon High School is fit to stand trial. That’s because they say he understood what he was doing and he took the law into his own hands.

The doctor says the teenager had a “very real severe mental illness,” plus he was bullied, but he was also a bully from time to time.

His pre-trial hearing will be at the end of March. 

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