Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation

For good. For ever.

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by attracting and holding permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making and providing leadership on key community issues.

McGuirk/Ganiard West Side School Scholarship Fund

Built in the 1890s, the one room school that sits at the southwest corner of Lyons and Adams Street was originally called the West Side School. Over time, as local industries grew and country schools closed, its student population doubled in size. This influx in students led to overcrowded classrooms, and as a result a new school was authorized for those who lived west of the Chippewa River.

Built during the Depression as part of the Public Works Act, the new West Side School had four classrooms and opened in the fall of 1934. Superintendent George Ganiard was present in February 1935 for the dedication of the K-4 building. One name change and several additions and improvements later, the school still stands as the present-day Ganiard Elementary School.

Jim McGuirk was raised on the west side of Adams Street and attended Ganiard Elementary School as a child. He feels strongly about supporting others as they further their education beyond high school. Inspired by the Ganiard History Project Scholarship Fund, McGuirk created the McGuirk/Ganiard West Side School Scholarship Fund in 2013 for Mt. Pleasant High School seniors who attended Ganiard Elementary in their youth.

McGuirk recognizes the value of people working toward a college degree to make themselves valuable and marketable in the workplace. He believes that getting an education opens doors for opportunities in life and wants to help students take that first step in becoming a valuable asset to the businesses and industries they seek to enter.

McGuirk/Ganiard West Side School Scholarship Criteria:

  • Applicant shall be a graduating senior from Mt. Pleasant High School;

  • Applicant must have attended Ganiard Elementary School as a child (indicate which grades and teachers in the essay application); and

  • Applicant must plan to attend an accredited college, university or trade school located within the state of Michigan.

Scholarship Preferences:

  • Applicant academic ability as demonstrated by a minimum 3.0 GPA

  • Applicant financial need (as expressed in the written essay)

2019 Scholarship Award: 2 - $500

Application Deadline: March 8, 2019