Bill and Sonia Caldwell

“Teaching a work of heart.”

After his wife Sonia’s death from leukemia in May 2006, retired professional Bill Caldwell wanted to not only honor her memory but also her professionalism and dedication to excellence in education.

Sonia had been a teacher since 1968, teaching fifth grade at Elkhart’s Mary Daly school for the last 15 years. Specializing in reading and math, she headed the school’s Chapter I curriculum development, helped develop Daly’s mentoring program and encouraged leadership in her students via their peers. Sonia had high standards for her students – some, as adults, came back to thank her.

Upon the recommendation of Mary Daly’s principal and teachers, Bill contacted the Elkhart County Community Foundation. After consulting with ECCF’s president, he established a Memorial Fund in Sonia’s honor through an Excellence in Teaching award for a Mary Daly Teacher. This annual distribution to the school helps inspire excellence in teachers with great potential, thereby increasing the quality of teaching at Mary Daly.

The Sonia Caldwell Teaching Excellence Fund fulfills Bill’s dream of keeping her name alive in education because, for Sonia, “teaching was a work of heart…”

Catherine Wells-Bentz