William H. Ostwald Memorial Scholarship



Dr. William Ostwald was a beloved and respected administrator in the Marquette Area Public Schools for over thirty years. Dr. O, as he was affectionately called, was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and grew up playing hockey. After playing professionally for several years, he moved to Marquette to attend NMU and to play for the Iron Rangers. He also coached junior hockey, winning four U.P. and two state championships, as well as coaching a semi-pro team in Traverse City. After he and his wife Tina served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, he joined MAPS first as a counselor and then as assistant principal at the high school. He earned a Ph.D. from Michigan State in 1988 and became the principal of Graveraet Middle School until his retirement in 2003.

Dr. O was seen by all as a visionary leader, though sometimes his methods were unconventional. He worked tirelessly to even the playing field, to encourage those students who needed the most support. He believed that a school was only as good as its weakest student and balanced compassion and empathy with “tough love.”

Even in his retirement he continued to inspire educators. He consulted for other school districts in the area and taught in NMU’s education program. Throughout his career as a teacher, coach, counselor and administrator in the Marquette Area Public Schools, he touched the lives of many other administrators, teachers, parents, student teachers and students. He was an advocate for students in need, reaching out to parents in the community for donations to purchase clothes, shoes and other necessities for his students. Dr. William Ostwald will be remembered for his keen intellect, insightfulness, and commitment to people of all ages and paths.

Recipients of this award:
  • should be an individual who works hard, shows compassion and kindness and demonstrates a high level of grit; this scholarship is not intended to be awarded based on grades, or school achievement
  • should demonstrate leadership qualities, without necessarily having the title of leader-someone considedered to be an “unsung hero”
  • would be unafraid to ask pertinent questions in class, be open-minded to others’ opinions, and have a positive attitude
  • should be someone who exhibits an interest in the well-being of others, regardless of social circle or grade level, and routiely go out of their way to help.