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Late Teacher Leaves Surprise Gift For Aurora School District

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(Credit: Adam Jan/AFP/Getty Images)

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AURORA, Ill. (CBS) — Janet Kircher Isler started teaching second grade in Aurora in 1942, and she would stay with the district for nearly 30 years before she retired.

When she died last December, she left quite a surprise for her beloved school district, as WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

“We were surprised when we received a letter from one of our former teachers [who] left us $110,000 in her will, that’s a pretty unusual situation for us,” said West Aurora District 129 spokesman Mike Chapin.

Chapin says the money will go toward the A+ Foundation, which serves as a college foundation to raise funds to enrich the curriculum. It will be deposited with the Community Foundation to establish an endowment fund under the A+ Foundation in her name.

Isler was born in 1918 in La Crosse, Wis., and began teaching at Greenman Elementary. She also taught at Lincoln, Freeman and Smith and was president of Lincoln School’s PTA in 1953.

She died on Dec. 6, 2010 in La Crosse at the age of 92.

Chapin says the gift says a lot about Isler and her dedication to education.

“She was not a wealthy woman, she wasn’t a millionaire and yet this was where she wanted her substantial amount of her savings to go,” Chapin said.

Since Isler liked to travel, Chapin says the district will also use the money for student geography programs.

West Aurora School District 129 serves 12,800 students, with one high school, four middle schools, and 10 elementary schools.

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