The late Genevieve Via Cava, devoted New Jersey schoolteacher, continues to educate students in how much their learning meant to her…even in death. It was recently revealed that she left $1 million from her estate for students graduating next spring in the Dumont Public School District through scholarships that will be available to special education students who plan to continue their education following high school. This amount will rely on how much interest is acquired by the $1 million largesse, with a maximum amount of $25,000 per student. School superintendent, Emanuele Triggiano calls Via Cava’s donation “a blessing”, as he was baffled and confused as to what inspired her to do such a generous act.
Via Cava had been a teacher for 45 years until she retired in 1990; she was responsible for teaching students with learning disabilities and she loved her work so much that she continued to visit her school district after her retirement, stopping by the superintendent’s office and checking in on classes to visit the students and teachers. Via Cava acquired her small fortune through prudent saving habits and economic awareness, and with no children or immediate family of her own she generously thought of the schools when deciding who to bequeath her estate value to.
Via Cava was able to accumulate this much money by saving any chance possible. Richard Jablonski, close friend and will executor of Via Cava, explained, “She used to come into my store and go to the 70-percent-off rack and that’s all she would buy… she [Via Cava] wouldn’t even splurge on the hearing aids she needed,” which emphasizes the great measures she went to in order to save.
Dumont Public Schools will be experienceing Via Cava’s love and devotion for many future years, yet they aren’t the sole beneficiary of her generosity. April Savoye, Via Cava’s attorney, expressed that the late schoolteacher also left $100,000 each to five additional organizations, these including the Ramapo Animal Refuge and the Salvation Army.
Teaching, in itself, is a burdensome task already, not to mention educating students with disabilities. Teachers, similar to “Grunts” in the military, are also extremely underappreciated and underpaid for their considerable efforts and time given to their duties. Via Cava clearly recognized this, as most educators do, but despite all these deterrents, she continued to do what she loved for the majority of her life. That’s the motivation many teachers live by, not for the money, but for the lives they can affect and lead to success through the time and effort they must devote.
Following her passing in 2011, Jablonski now states, “Via Cava was always talking about how much she loved her work , and now, her name will go on forever, and rightfully so.”