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Good InfoVirginia Teacher Retired After 67 Years And Just Left $1 Million to...

Virginia Teacher Retired After 67 Years And Just Left $1 Million to Her School ‘Family’

Lillian Orlich – PWC schools

Even after her death, Lillian Orlich is still serving the students of the Virginia school system where she taught for 67 years before retiring at 89.

In her will, she left them $1 million.

Known as “Ms. O” by generations of students, Lillian passed away on March 7. Within a month, employees at Prince William County Schools learned the news of her generous donation.

It may be surprising that a high school history teacher could save a million bucks, but she never married or had children, and friends say she lived a frugal lifestyle.

She spent most of her career at Osbourn High School in Manassas and Osbourn Park High School in the county outside of Washington, DC. By the time she retired, the students and her colleagues had become her family.

“I don’t have any living relatives,” she once told the Washington Post. “These are my relatives.”

The $1 million donation was paid to SPARK, the education foundation for the PW county schools. It will be used to expand a scholarship she set up with SPARK after retiring six years ago—which has already benefitted dozens of students who received cash grants for college.

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The money will also be distributed across the foundation’s six focus areas, which include STEM education; social and emotional learning; digital innovation; school improvement; and particularly on educator preparedness because Orlich was a long-time teacher.

“Lillian Orlich’s devotion to this community is unprecedented because she dedicated her life’s work over the course of the last 3 quarters of a century investing in our future leaders,” said PWCS Superintendent of Schools Dr. LaTanya McDade.

Described as “a true Prince William County legend,” Lillian arrived early every day, often coming to the school at 3 a.m. She even worked through the summers—and for years she brought in food for the staff every Monday, according to the Post.

“The footprints she’s left in our hearts and minds can never be erased and her legacy lives on in the lives of the students and staff she impacted,” said McDade.

“She was the best teacher I ever had,” Michael Simpson told GNN.

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Melissa Boyle, President of SPARK, said they were honored and proud to continue her legacy. “This is a rare and an inspirational moment in this school system.”

Shortly after she died at age 95, a memorial service was held for her at Osbourn Park High, in the auditorium named after her.

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“Her compassion and unwavering commitment to selfless service has profoundly impacted countless generations,” said one Prince William County School Board member.

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