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Katherine D. Carter Scholarship

Katherine (Katy) Carter, a graduate of Willamette University, moved to Tumwater in 1996 with her family.  Her two children attended Michael T. Simmons and Tumwater Middle School and both graduated from Black Hills High School.  As her children moved into middle school, Katherine went back to college to become a teacher and received National Board Certification as a highly qualified instructor.  She taught math and exploratory science classes at Tumwater Middle School for ten years before being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2013. She also coached the girl’s basketball teams. During that short 10 years, she touched the lives of many TMS students.  She had a unique ability to help students with the transition to middle school and worked with each of her students individually to help them grasp the concepts of mathematics. Katy identified with the kids that struggled with math and would coach them through the year to help them master the concepts.  Many of her former students would later reflect back to her math class as the turning point in the K-12 education.  Students that had given up on being able to learn math became the personal challenge of Katy and allowed them to transition to high school with confidence. 

Katy was a great collaborator.  She felt that working with her fellow teachers at both middle schools and high schools improved her teaching.  She also felt strongly about getting students involved in community service and encouraging them to take leadership roles.  She was never prouder than seeing her students plan and implement a project, learning the power of giving, and of collaborating with others.

Katherine’s courage and positive attitude shine even as she struggles with ALS.  She has been the face of this awful disease for many students and people in the community. 


  • Awarded to student(s) pursuing a BS/BA degree in mathematics, engineering, technology or a science.
  • Scholarship may be used for community college in preparation for above.
  • Ongoing involvement in community service activities (must have at least 100 hours of documented service, grades 7-12).
  • Priority given to former Tumwater Middle School students.
  • Minimum GPA in core classes of 2.5 (math, science, language arts, social studies).


  1. Applicants must complete a Tumwater Education Foundation Scholarship application, along with the following supplemental information.
  2. In 750-1,000 words answer the following questions:
    • Service in the community requires commitment. Please describe your past and current commitment to service in the community. Why are you committed and how do you believe your service has impacted the people and/or the organization that you serve?
    • How does your commitment fit into your academic and long-term career goals?