Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

After saving for years, retired special education teacher donates $1 million for scholarships

Genevieve Via Cava grew up during the Depression, and learned the importance of saving — in fact, she stashed away so much money over the course of her life that she was able to leave $1 million in her will to the Dumont Public Schools.

Via Cava spent 45 years with the New Jersey school district teaching special education students. She retired in 1990, but kept in touch with her former colleagues, reminiscing about her years teaching. She died in 2011 with a sizable fortune, and after her estate was settled, a check was sent this April to Dumont Public Schools for $1 million. It was "a blessing," Superintendent Emanuele Triggiano told CNN.

Starting next spring, the money will fund scholarships for special education students who want to go to college, up to $25,000 per pupil. Via Cava's friend Richard Jablonski told CNN they would often run into her former students while running errands, and they were always excited to see their teacher. "Her name will go on forever, and rightfully so," he said. In addition to her donation to the school district, Via Cava also left $100,000 each to five other organizations, including the Salvation Army and the Ramapo Animal Refuge.