Nichols Middle School students will hold their fifth annual walk-a-thon on Friday, June 3, seeking to raise at least $20,000 to support the American Heart Association and a scholarship fund honoring Sandy McDermott, a math teacher at the school until her death in 2008.

The first walk-a-thon was held in the spring of 2007.  It began as a Nichols Student Council event that partnered students, staff, parents and the community in a philanthropic event to raise money for a worthy cause. Students choose to walk for the American Cancer Society and raised over $11,000.

The second year of the walk-a-thon the Nichols student council re-dedicated the event to honor Sandy McDermott, a beloved Nichols teacher who died suddenly of a heart attack at school in February 2008.

The name was changed to “Nichols has Heart – A Walk-a-thon in Memory of Sandy McDermott.”

For 23 years students at Nichols had the opportunity to experience the dynamic teaching excellence of Sandy McDermott, an inspirational and tenacious math teacher who always brought out the best in students.

Nichols students raised over $20,000 for the walk-a-thon in 2008.  Half of the proceeds were dedicated to a scholarship fund established by the student council and the school staff in Sandy McDermott’s name.  Beginning in 2009 the Sandy McDermott Scholarship Committee awarded two $1000 scholarships to Evanston Township High School seniors who had attended Nichols.  The remainder of the proceeds were dispersed to the American Heart Association and the Nichols PTA. 

In both 2009 and 2010 the students again raised $20,000, and added more events to the walk-a-thon, including a Nichols community picnic, a school carnival, and the addition of Park School as a partner.

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