Sunday, June 10, 2018
Genevieve Via Cava was a special-needs teacher in Bergen County, in northern New Jersey, alternating between the middle and high school levels during her teaching career that spanned decades. Superintendent of the Dumont School District, Emanuele Triggiano, was not surprised that the late teacher bequeathed a cash donation to the Board of Education. What was a shock was the amount - $1 million dollars, which will be used to provide scholarships of up to $25,000 for one or more students annually, starting with next year’s high school graduates, and that it was set up so that the $1 million would generate enough interest for the scholarship to continue in perpetuity.
Cava's long-time friend, Richard Jablonski, was the executor of her will and had an explanation of how the decedent was able to give such a large gift after years of living on a teacher's salary. “Her family went through the Depression, and I think a lot of that had a big influence on her life, being so frugal,” he said. She would not buy the hearing aids she needed, seemed to have few outfits and stopped going on vacations after her husband died.
See Jacey Fortin, New Jersey Teacher Leaves Students $1 Million Gift in Her Will, New York Times, June 8, 2018.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.