PULLMAN, Wash. – In memory of a devoted Pasco teacher killed in an accident last month, Washington State University has established a scholarship to benefit future teachers from the Tri-Cities area.

David Ruiz, a 2005 graduate of the WSU College of Education, died in a July car crash in Mexico. He was 32.

Ruiz came from a family of migrant farm workers, graduated from Brewster High School and overcame great obstacles to achieve his dream of teaching students in both English and his native Spanish. After his WSU graduation – where his achievements were highlighted at that year’s commencement – he was hired at Mark Twain Elementary School in Pasco. He was teaching third grade there when he died.

The story of his impact was told in the recent EduCoug article, “Teacher David Ruiz lived his dream, but not for long enough.” 

Students graduating from high schools in Kennewick, Pasco or Richland who are certified in the College of Education at any WSU campus will be eligible for the Ruiz scholarships. The actual award amounts will depend on contributions to the fund, said Kim Holapa, director of development for the college.
Donations can be made online at the WSU College of Education Scholarship Fund, with a notation in the “special requests field” that the gift is in memory of David Ruiz. Donations may also be made to the WSU Foundation and designated to the David Ruiz Scholarship Fund, WSU College of Education, PO Box 642114, Pullman WA 99164-2114.