Michael Richard Heraty
Donations can be made at Bank of the San Juans in Pagosa Springs in the Michael Heraty Memorial Spanish Scholarship account or
Michael was always a good student, the kind who rarely had to study. He was innately intelligent and because he loved learning, school came easy to him. The only time he was ever concerned about a class was when he was accepted into Brophy College Prep as a freshman and would be taking Spanish with students who had already had instruction; many for 7+ years. It was the only time we saw Michael actually nervous about school. As a freshman, with no previous language experience, Mr. Andrew Schmidbauer lit a Spanish spark that started an intense bonfire in Michael that never went out. The passion grew greater as he progressed through Mr. Fred Garner’s classes and Mr. Jose Mendoza. He was accepted into the National Spanish Honor Society and earned the highest AP score in Spanish in the State of Arizona in 2010 upon his graduation; giving him 14 college credits earned. The ultimate honor was being chosen by his Brophy teachers to receive the “Frank ‘Paco’ Cox Non-Native Speaker Award” his senior year – an award given to the one student who most demonstrates mastery of a non-native language. He not only mastered the language, he became so fluent that when traveling in Mexico, locals assumed he was native. To say he excelled and loved the language would be an understatement – Michael embraced the language and the culture with his heart and soul and thus began the traveler’s journeys…
In honor of Michael’s passion, his family is establishing a scholarship fund made available to any student demonstrating the desire to learn Spanish or any type of Latin based studies. This scholarship will be awarded beginning with this graduating class of 2015 to a high school senior both at Brophy College Prep and Pagosa Springs High School who wants to further their education through additional studies or an immersion trip to a Latin country. Exact details regarding potential amounts and application process will be released by the end of April.