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

It’s been a remarkable year for the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund, beginning with the Award Dinner in April that saw both a record number of recipients and a record amount awarded. A total of $100,000 was distributed among 27 recipients.

In June,  our Golf Outing raised more than $52,500 — the most yet. It’s been amazing! I want to thank Golf Outing Co-Chairs Bill Bridges, Jeff Doman, Pat Hughes, Sr., Joe Keitel, John Powell, Bob Reece, Bart Rocca and their committee members.

WCSF welcomes four new board members: ShaRita Alexander, Joan Ducayet, Tania Margonza and Bethany Mullins. Fred Hunter and Matthew Hunter left the board and we thank them for their service. We are ever grateful for the constant support from our outstanding board and the community.

Looking ahead to 2020, please mark your calendars and plan to join us at our Award Dinner on April 26 and our Golf Outing on June 22 at the Wilmette Golf Club.

We need your help so we can continue investing in the education of our youth. We hope you will consider donating to the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund. It is important to note that several Cherry recipients are now teaching our future leaders. Without their scholarships, their dreams might not have become reality.

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


Dennis O’Callahan


William Speth

Member at Large


Pam Akins-Schanette

ShaRita Alexander

Lun Ye Barefield

Ann Bodine

Elijah Brewer

William Bridges

Joan Ducayet

Courtney Hammell

Lynn Hammell

Timon Jandora

Rose Johnson

Joe Keitel

David Levine

Tanya Margonza

Bethany Mullins

Nicki Pearson

Jake Rohde

Oliver Ruff

Gerri Sizemore

Abby Trueblood

Toly Walker

Advisory Board

Allan Alson

Steve Bernstein

Mark Dennis

Joseph Flanagan

James Fox

Paul Goren

Seth Green

Delores Holmes

Laurie Levy

Denise Martin

Harvette Nelson

Rev. Robert Oldershaw

Stuart Opdycke

Evelyn Raden

Elizabeth Tisdahl

Eric Witherspoon

Cheryl Wollin