Our Mission

The mission of the Warren W. “Billy” Cherry Scholarship, named in memory of a much loved and respected Evanston educator, is to perpetuate his acceptance of all people, his commitment to the highest standards of educational excellence and his energetic dedication to enriching the children and institutions of Evanston. The Cherry Scholarship was established in 1993, three years after Warren Cherry’s untimely death.

“I knew from the time that I was seven years old when my mother passed away, and teachers were there for me, that I wanted to be there for students and let them know they could be successful.”

Chairperson’s Message

The challenges continued for Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund during the pandemic. However with the remarkable support of our donors, community of friends and WCSF board, the Fund continues to award scholarships for ETHS graduates who are interested in education and/or working with youth. In the last five years, Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund has awarded $400,000.

The Award Dinner came back! On May 1, WCSF honored the 2022 Class of Cherry Scholars with Mayor Daniel Biss as keynote speaker. The Fund awarded $90,000 to 19 ETHS graduates.

On June 27, WCSF hosted its 29th Annual Golf Outing at the Wilmette Golf Club. The event raised a remarkable $105,000 for ETHS graduates! It was a fun time for all!

WCSF welcomes two new board members: Michael Levine and Colin Sallee. After many years of committed service, Nicki Pearson retired from the board. We thank her for her tremendous efforts and ongoing support the Cherry scholars.

Pat Hughes Sr. has WCSF’s deep appreciation and gratitude for his ongoing support to the Fund. As the Fund’s bookkeeper, Pat shares his years of professional knowledge and expertise. Thank you, Pat!

As always, my thanks to everyone on our outstanding board and to our amazing community of friends. Please mark your calendar for our Annual Golf Outing on Monday, June 26, 2023.

In closing, as these challenging times continue, the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund reaches out to young men and women so their dreams may become reality.
Thank you in advance for your support.

About Warren “Billy” Cherry

Warren was a charismatic educator and community leader. He lived the Golden Rule and worked relentlessly to create equity and balance in services and access. He was widely known and respected. His impact was legendary.

It is less widely known that “Billy” (as he was known by his ETHS classmates, friends and family) while popular and active in high school, was not a serious student. Back in the 1950s, few recognized his tremendous potential to lead and to help others realize their potential.

Warren “Billy” Cherry went to barber school after high school graduation and had a brief career as a barber before enrolling at Trinidad Jr. College in Trinidad, Colorado. His education culminated in a PhD program at Northwestern University.

Warren’s service to the Evanston/Skokie community included teaching at Timber Ridge School (now Bessie Rhodes Magnet School) and serving as Associate Principal of Skiles Middle School (now Martin Luther King Lab School). He was Principal at Central and Lincoln Schools. He also found time to serve on the boards of the ETHS Boosters Club, the Girl Scouts, the Justin Wynn Memorial Fund, the Mental Health Association, United Way, the McGaw YMCA and tutored at the Salvation Army.

Beloved by all, his life was cut dramatically short by cancer when he died in 1990. A small group of friends, colleagues, educators and fans (yes, fans) established the Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Fund in 1993. Today, the fund has made funding a college education a little less burdensome for 164 Cherry Scholars.


Patty Cherry Reece


Robert Reece


Ann Stevens

1st Vice President

Mimi Spivack

2nd Vice President

Sandra Vitantonio


Lynn Hammell


William Speth

Member at Large


Pam Akins-Schanette

Ann Bodine

Elijah Brewer

William Bridges

Denny Cummings

Joan Ducayet

Timon Jandora

Rose Johnson

Joe Keitel

David Levine

Scott Lorenz

Tania Margonza

Bethany Mullins

Nathan Norman

Nicki Pearson

Oliver Ruff

Gerri Sizemore

Abby Trueblood

Courtney Wooley

Advisory Board

Allan Alson

Steve Bernstein

Daniel Bliss

Joseph Flanagan

Paul Goren

Delores Holmes

Laurie Levy

Denise Martin

Rev. Robert Oldershaw

Stuart Opdycke

Elizabeth Tisdahl

Eric Witherspoon