Clifford and Louise King Scholarship

Louise King was born March 22, 1910 near Sidell, IL to Squire and Frona (Miller) Burroughs. Clifford King was born June 30, 1912 near Chrisman, IL to Ora E. and Floy (Patchett) King. Both graduated from Sidell High School and Louise received her bachelor’s degree in 1931 from Northwestern University Evanston. She graduated with the highest distinction and received the Phi Beta Kappa Scholastic Achievement Award. Clifford received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1938 and his Master’s Degree in 1940, both from the University of Illinois. Louise and Clifford did further graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

The couple was married on August 25, 1936 in Wheaton, IL and in 1948 Louise gave birth to their son, Terry. Clifford started teaching at a one-room school in Edgar County and taught all eight grades. He later taught seventh grade in Sidell. Louise started teaching in the Atwood-Hammond and Sidell school systems before coming to Sherrard in 1938. She taught English, Latin, and Vocal Music at Sherrard High School before retiring in 1973. After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree, Clifford began working at Sherrard High school as a history and English teacher, as well as a dramatics coach. In 1942 he became high school principal and in 1949, he formed the first unit school district in Mercer and Rock Island counties, the Sherrard Community Unit #200. Clifford went on to become its first Superintendent of Schools and held this position until his retirement in 1973. During Clifford’s tenure he passed seven bond issues and never lost an election. He was in charge of two additions to Sherrard High School and the building of Coyne Center, Matherville, and Sherrard Grade Schools.

Louise and Clifford were members of the National Education Association, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Retired Teacher Association, and members of the American Association of Retired Persons. They were active members of the Preemption Methodist Church, where Clifford served as trustee, treasurer, and chairman of the church council. They also enjoyed working for the Salvation Army and distributed surplus government commodities in Sherrard for many years. Louise loved reading, classical music, theater and the arts, flowers, birds, and traveling. Clifford loved reading to children, traveling, fishing, yard work, growing flowers, fruits, vegetables, and sports. The couple traveled to every state in the United States except Alaska, visited Canada many times, Europe three times, and the South Pacific once.

Clifford and Louise established a scholarship fund at the Community Foundation to carry on their passion for education. They felt it was their duty to do what they could to help students in our area achieve their educational goals. The Clifford and Louise King Scholarship Fund is awarded to students majoring in education with a plan to teach at the elementary or secondary level. Those interested need to receive recommendations from at least two high school faculty members. Students will also be asked to prepare a short essay concerning why they have chosen to become teachers. 

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