The Ashland Schools Foundation is scrambling in the final days of 2008 to come up with $1,400 needed to establish a permanent scholarship students can begin to use in 2009.

The Ashland Schools Foundation is scrambling in the final days of 2008 to come up with $1,400 needed to establish a permanent scholarship students can begin to use in 2009.

Former Ashland music teacher Russ Otte retired in 2007 after 27 years in Ashland and has established a foundation for a permanent scholarship for an AHS senior student in music, with priority given to choir students who intend to pursue vocal performance and music education.

The Russ & Rose Otte Choir Scholarship also honors Russ' wife Rose, who until the time of her death in 1996 was a strong advocate for teens. She supported many projects and served on the Ashland Schools Bond Committee.

This annual award will be administered by the local scholarship program at AHS, and will be endowed through the Oregon Community Foundation.

Heidi Gottlieb, parent of an Ashland High School graduate, has fond memories of Otte.

"I've had the pleasure of watching my child grow in love and skill in music, develop a cornerstone for individual and group success under the musical direction of Russ Otte," Gottlieb said.

After his retirement, he continued to support AHS students and offered a music theory course to interested high school students. Otte recently moved to Portland but continues to express interest in current and future AHS music students.

In order to begin this scholarship with the graduating class of 2009, Oregon Community Foundation requires a minimum $10,000 be received in a single deposit by Dec. 31. Otte launched the campaign with a personal contribution of $5,000. An additional $1,465 which was donated in 1996 as memorials for Rose Otte had been held in trust for this purpose by Ashland High Arts Advocates. Donations from parents and the community have also been trickling in. As of Dec. 5 the fund needed $1,400 to reach the goal.

Ashland Schools Foundation is serving as the collection agency prior to payment of the single deposit to Oregon Community Foundation. Checks in any amount should be made out to: ASF — Otte Scholarship Fund, Ashland Schools Foundation, 100 Walker Avenue, Ashland, OR 97520.

All contributions are fully tax-deductible, and the Ashland Schools Foundation will send a formal acknowledgement of the donation.

For information call Heidi Gottleib at 482-9331. For more information on Otte, see Tidings articles at www.dailytidings.com/2007/0605/stories/0605_otte.php and www.dailytidings.com/2007/0620/stories/0620_oped_at-length.php.