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Teacher leaves $1 million to the school where she spent 67 years nurturing students

This Virginia-based teacher who continued teaching till the age of 89 ensured to serve her school 'family' even after death.

Teacher leaves $1 million to the school where she spent 67 years nurturing students
Cover Image Source: YouTube | @nbcwashington

While many teachers simply stick to the syllabus, some strive to inspire the students with crucial life lessons. The dedication of such inspiring teachers improves the education system. A teacher from Virginia even made sure to leave a lasting impact on the school systems even after her death. For 67 years, Lillian Olrich offered her relentless service as a teacher in the Prince William County Schools and even after her death, she left $1 million for the schools of this Virginia school district, per NBC Washington.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Max Fischer
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Max Fischer

Olrich dedicated her life to nurturing students in various Prince William County Schools (PWCS) until she retired at age 89 in 2017. Fondly referred to as "Ms. O," Olrich also worked as a counselor, teaching several generations of students. In a 2013 interview with the media channel, Olrich mentioned, "You know what's a highlight for me? When a student comes in here and says, 'Ms. Orlich, you taught my granddad.'" Her legacy is remarkable and will live on for many generations to come. Within a month after her passing, during her memorial service at Osbourn Park Auditorium, the PWCS employees learned about her incredibly generous donation of $1 million to the school district's educational foundation, SPARK.


In an X post, the PWCS said, "Her $1 million donation will aid and promote educational activities and opportunities for students and educators." Lisa Zargarpur, an Osbourn Park High School board member where Olrich worked for several years, told the news channel, "It means a lot! And it doesn't surprise me. This is Lillian Orlich, giving and giving and giving." One may wonder how a teacher in the USA could have saved a million dollars, but Olrich was neither married nor had any children. All she cherished as a family was her students and her colleagues. "I don't have any living relatives. These are my relatives," Olrich mentioned during an interview with The Washington Post in 2017.


"I am survived by the many lives helped and touched by my teaching, loving and caring," the legendary teacher requested to include this in her obituary. After Olrich retired, she set up a scholarship program that supported students with cash grants for college, per the Good News Network. Now, this $1 million donation would add to that scholarship, helping more students achieve their college dreams. "Lillian Orlich's devotion to this community is unprecedented because she dedicated her life's work over the last 3 quarters of a century investing in our future leaders," Dr. LaTanya McDade, PWCS Superintendent of Schools, said.

"I thought that I would die on the job," Orlich told The Washington Post in 2017. "I thought that one day they'd find me here and that I'd be dead as a doornail." However, considering her health condition, she chose to retire nearly seven years ago. "This was a lady who showed up early for work to make sure she got all of the paperwork done so she could spend her time when the students were there with the students," Zargarpur said. Olrich's reassuring influence and demand for excellence continue to impact generations of students.


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