SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Lincoln High School teacher who died just over a year ago is still having an impact on students.
When Lincoln High student Jahnessah Rondell suffered the loss of her grandma last year, it affected her school work.
“I started to fall behind because I didn’t want to be here,” Lincoln High School senior Jahnessah Rondell said.
A program called Patriot Post helped her get back on track.
Teachers Tiffany Svennes and Annie Lanning started the program to help students catch up on their studies.
Lanning died in the May Derecho last year, leaving a big gap for those who knew her.
“Annie was one of the best colleagues I could possibly ask for,” Patriot Post teacher Tiffany Svennes said.
Lanning’s family started the “ALL the Words” scholarship in her honor.
It’s for seniors in the Patriot Post program.
“When Annie took up teaching, it was somebody going to their calling like a person in the clergy or something because this is what Annie wanted to do, and so the only right way to honor her memory was to find some way to help her students out,” Annie’s brother David Lanning said.
On Monday, Rondell became the first recipient of the $500 scholarship.
“There couldn’t be a better recipient for it because she knew Annie, and she also has a story of really turning it around, doing some amazing things in her senior year that I know Annie would be proud of,” Svennes said.
Rondell says she will attend Southeast Technical College and plans on opening her own day care someday.
“I love little kids. I have a lot of siblings, so little kids have just always been around, and it’s what I love to do,” Rondell said.
Teachers like Lanning have helped her follow her passion.
Annie’s brother David says his sister knew not all learning happens in the classroom.
That’s why seniors can still be eligible for the scholarship even if they aren’t seeking higher education.