District works to fund scholarship

By Anthony Antoine | aantoine@wcia.com

Published 08/25 2014 10:41PM

Updated 08/27 2014 09:31AM

URBANA -- District #116 is raising money for a scholarship in memory of a favorite former teacher and they're doing it in an interesting way. The superintendent had a bow-tie tying workshop. It's the first program to start raising the money.

Organizers would like to raise $25,000 to get the scholarship program off the ground. The event was less about learning how to tie a bow-tie and more about supporting the man who gave so much to the Urbana School District.

Greg Chew walked the halls at Urbana High School for 35 years. In that time, one thing was clear.

Former student John Thies says, "He loved students and he loved drama."

He was a respected English, speech and drama teacher. Former students use these words to describe him.

"Kind, passionate, energetic," says Thies.

Chew died  from cancer in May. Superintendent Don Owen talked with Chew weeks before he died.

Owen says, "He wanted to make sure there was a commitment from him to help students pursue something farther on in performing arts."

This bow-tie tying class is the first step to getting there.

"Our goal is to raise around $25,000," says Owen.

The district raised less than that, but it's committed to getting there, because Chew was so committed to his students.

"Two big things Mr. Chew instilled in students; one was passion, the other was creativity. You didn't have to have to be outgoing, as long as you had passion and creativity, Chew can pull that out of you," says Owen.

Chew didn't wear a tie very often, but he would be happy to see the district taking steps to fulfill one of his last wishes.

Owen says, "I think he would be very amused. He would laugh."

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