Tea With Gwen Attracts Admirers of Longtime Educator Gwendolyn Schlange

December 5, 2014

She served as a teacher at Little Lake Elementary School in Hemet for some 40 years. She dedicated herself for more than 20 years as a trustee on the Mt. San Jacinto College board. Gwendolyn Schlange was honored for her decades of commitment to students and education by about 70 people during “Tea With Gwen” on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 at MSJC’s San Jacinto Campus.

Schlange elicited laughter and applause and sentimental tears as she regaled guests with tales from the classroom and her love of teaching.  She said how honored she was to receive a full scholarship to Whittier College and to be a Fulbright scholar.

“You have a responsibility to pay it forward,” Schlange said.

Schlange decided to step down from the MSJC board as her term ended this year. She said she wants to focus on raising scholarships through the MSJC Foundation. Tea With Gwen was part recognition for her years of dedication and part fundraiser for the scholarship that will bear her name.

Schlange attended her last official board meeting in November, but will return for the Dec. 11 board meeting has Bill Zimmerman will be sworn in to serve Trustee Area 3, Schlange’s former area.

Zimmerman and his wife, Julie, attended the event. Ann Motte, MSJC Board Chair, was also in attendance and told Schlange how much she appreciated working with her throughout the years. Other guests included Linda Krupa, Hemet city councilmember, whose daughter was one of Schlange’s students; Lori Van Arsdale, an MSJC Foundation board member who serves on many other regional boards; Charlotte Jones, former Hemet Unified School Board member; Myrna Rohr, MSJC Foundation Board member; and a host of other family, friends and fans.

Beautiful fine china tea cups and pots graced the tables, cookies and mini-cupcakes were served and a tea pot give-away put smiles on the faces of eight recipients. As part of the fundraiser, MSJC Foundation member Sherri Domenigoni set up copies of her book, The Lemon Lily Fairy, for sale with a portion of the proceeds to go to Schlange’s scholarship.

Hemet resident Charlene Booth told guests that Schlange was responsible for the scholarships her two children received. Her daughter is now attending UC Davis and her son is taking the courses he needs at MSJC to transfer to a four-year university. Her mother and her son were also in attendance to celebrate Schlange.

“She has encouraged us for decades,” Booth said.

For more information on Schlange’s scholarship or the MSJC Foundation, call (951) 487-3171; e-mail rorlauski@msjc.edu or visit www.msjc.edu/foundation