the letters WCRTA each in a different color square. text below squares reads Winnebago County Retired Teachers Association. Below the logo is a picture of a smiling woman with grey hair, silver earrings and necklace, and a brightly colored jacket. Below her picture is her name, Blanche J. Martin

WCRTA - Blanche J. Martin Scholarship

To provide educational resources for current college students pursuing a degree in elementary education.

Not Accepting Scholarships at This Time Not Accepting Applications This scholarship is not accepting applications at this time. Learn How to Register & Apply


It is likely that many other applicants for this scholarship will have similar experiences. Therefore, what sets you apart from other prospective educators that makes you deserving of this scholarship? What unique qualities or experiences will you bring to your teaching career? What kind of teacher do you aspire to be? 


Applicant must:
A. Reside in Winnebago County, Illinois, or have attended a high school in Winnebago County, Illinois;
B. Be a current college student or graduate student; and
C. Be pursuing a degree in elementary education.


An outstanding educator all of her life, Blanche J. Martin was a principal, a director of education, an assistant superintendent for elementary education, and a regional superintendent of schools in Winnebago and Boone counties.

She received many awards beginning when she was a student teacher at Lincoln College in 1939 and continuing through her years as an assistant superintendent for the Rockford Public Schools and as the Regional Superintendent in our two adjacent counties. Ms. Martin died in 2007 leaving to the Winnebago County Retired Teachers Association (WCRTA) an endowment to be used for scholarships. Her wish was that the scholarships be awarded to recipients who will become teachers in elementary schools. WCRTA faithfully honored that wish, awarding scholarships to future teachers every year.

In 2022, WCRTA reached out to CFNIL to established a permanent scholarship endowment with the same criteria and purpose. This foresight will ensure that the legacy of Blanche Martin and the spirit of the WCRTA membership will be carried forward through scholarships for future teachers, in perpetuity.

Blanche J. Martin Obituary:

Blanche J. Martin passed away Monday, April 23, 2007, at the age of 87. Born on March 10, 1920 in Logan County; the daughter of Louis Martin and Ida E. Raber. Blanche received an Associate of Arts Degree from Lincoln Junior College in 1939, a Bachelors Degree in 1960 and a Masters degree from Illinois State University in 1964. She did further studies at Northern Illinois University. She taught school in Lincoln, IL and in Springfield, IL and was the Elementary Principal.

During her time in Rockford schools she was the Principal, Director of Elementary Education, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education and was elected Regional Superintendent of Schools in Winnebago and Boone Counties. Blanche held many offices in professional organizations such as, State President of IASCD, and past President of Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, President of Northern Illinois Cooperative in Education, Board member for Winnebago County Retired Teachers Association and member of the NEA and IRTA. She served two terms on State Teachers Certification Board and two terms as Member-at-Large on ASCD Board.

Blanche received many honors for her dedication and hard work. She was named Conservationist of the Year by the State Department of Education in 1993, Named Outstanding Educator by Northern Illinois Cooperative in Education in 1984, McKinley Award for outstanding performance as student teacher while attending Lincoln College in 1939 and appointed by Hon. John B. Anderson to be his delegate to the White House Conference on Education. Blanche loved playing golf, bowling, walking and biking. She was an enthusiastic sports fan as well. She loved singing in a Classic Chorale and Magic Memories (a senior citizens group that loves to sing the good old songs), to volunteer at Provena St. Anne Center, and was a member of Lincoln Christian Church.