Cindy Curran and Bill Grevas both believed in the importance of education.
As a fifth and sixth-grade science teacher at St. Mary’s Grade School, Curran introduced the Young Einstein program to the school, which allowed her students to learn about many science topics and then mentor to younger students. She often invited “historical” characters such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison to her classroom in full costume.
In 2017, not long before her Dec. 9 death from cancer at age 57, Curran was awarded the Kansas Association of Independent and Religious Schools’ Distinguished Teacher Award and inducted into the KAIRS Hall of Fame.
“Cindy developed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in her classroom before STEM even existed,” said Nick Campagnone, superintendent of schools in the Salina Catholic Diocese. “She had a textbook, but she always found a hands-on activity to go with it.”
Grevas, who died of cancer at age 56, had a varied career that included executive director of the Greater Salina Community Foundation, vice-president of institutional advancement at Kansas Wesleyan University and executive director of Salina Big Brothers Big Sisters. During the 1990s, he was development director at Sacred Heart Junior-Senior High School and was on the school’s endowment board.
“He had great overall support for the school, whether it was his expertise in marketing and development or his support of sports or teachers,” said Sacred Heart principal John Krajcek. “Both his kids attended from Sacred Heart and after they graduated, he continued to support the school.”
To help honor the memories of Curran and Grevas, Sacred Heart Junior-Senior High School and St. Mary’s Grade School is sponsoring the Bill Grevas & Cindy Curran Memorial 5K Run/Walk for Education.
The 5K (or three mile) run or one mile walk will begin at 8 a.m. at the high school, 234 E. Cloud.
“Cindy was an avid walker, and Bill was an avid runner, so we’re pleased to be able to do something like this in their honor,” Krajcek said.
Entry fee for the run/walk is $30 for adults, $15 for youth ages 13 to 18 and $10 for youth ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under can participate free. Awards will be given at the end of the race in multiple categories.
Race packets can be picked up in advance at Sacred Heart from 9 a.m. to 4 pm. Wednesday and at the run/walk beginning at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.
Proceeds from the race will be used to benefit both St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart. Funds in Grevas’ name will be used to help fund extracurricular activities at Sacred Heart, while Curran’s will go towards two scholarships she helped set-up at St. Mary’s under the name Mrs. Curran Enthusiasm for Science Award.
The scholarships are to be given to two sixth-graders, a boy and a girl, who have demonstrated a proficiency and/or love of science, Campagnone said.
“The scholarships will help these students continue their education at Sacred Heart,” he said. “We wanted to do something each year to keep the scholarship going, so we asked the families (of Curran and Grevas), and they agreed to this run.”
Campagnone said Curran and Grevas would be pleased to have their names associated with what he hopes will be an annual event to benefit Salina’s Catholic schools.
“Both had an impact on these schools, and both liked to walk and run, which is one of the reasons we thought it was a good way to honor both of them,” he said.