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

Thirty years ago, a group of parents, teachers, friends, and family came together and created the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund to honor the memory of an outstanding Evanston educator, community leader, and friend of children.

WCSF was founded with a noble goal; to encourage and empower Evanston Township High School graduates who have overcome difficulties on their educational journeys to become future teachers or youth service professionals by providing them with the financial means to pursue their dreams.

On April 30, 2023, we awarded a record $130,000 to 23 Scholars, a long way from our initial $2,500 award in 1993. This was done with an all-volunteer staff.

While we feel good about our record-setting year, the need for passionate and dedicated individuals in these vital professions has never been greater. We are more determined than ever to expand our reach and impact. Our financial goal is to endow the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund so that we can award up to $150,000 per year to Evanston High graduates in 2924 and beyond.

Please continue to support the Fund. Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or $5,000 can help Fund the Future and provide tuition assistance to more deserving Cherry Scholars than ever before.

With your help, we can enter the 31st year of the Cherry Scholarship Fund by paving the way for our community’s future leaders.

Thank you for your continued 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


Abby Trueblood

1st Vice President Mentoring

Mimi Spivack

2nd Vice President

Sandra Vitantonio


Lynn Hammell


William Speth

Scholarship Chair


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