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The Jimmy Scherrer Memorial Fund

Jimmy Scherrer Fram

James C. “Jimmy” Scherrer
Jimmy Scherrer passed away suddenly on August 17, 2015 at the age of 37.  Originally from the Pittsburgh area, Jimmy grew up in Whitehall and graduated from North Hills High School.  He went on to Indiana University of Pennsylvania to study elementary education and eventually became a math teacher in the Los Angeles School District. Jimmy returned to Pittsburgh to earn his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh. Most recently he was an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at NC State. 

The Jimmy Scherrer Memorial Fund is designed to honor his passion for teaching and learning, particularly for elementary teachers and mathematics coaches working in contexts where students live in poverty. This fund will provide tuition support for elementary teachers who want to get their Master’s Degree at NC State and become a K-5 Mathematics Specialist in North Carolina.

Ways to Give

  • Online: and click on ‘Choose a Fund’
    • Scroll to the bottom and check the box for “Other – I would like to give to a different area”, click Continue, and type the name of the fund into the box: “College of Education’s Jimmy Scherrer Memorial Fund”
    • Enter the amount, click ‘Next’ and follow the instructions to complete the transaction.
  • Checks payable to “NC State Foundation” with a memo notation that it is for the “College of Education’s Jimmy Scherrer Memorial Fund” and mail to: NC State University Foundation; Alumni and Donor Records; Campus Box 7474; Raleigh, NC 27695-7474

Supported by the NC State Foundation 

Remembering Jimmy Scherrer

“We recognize this unexpected passing is a great loss to Jimmy’s colleagues, students, our college and the education community at large. Jimmy’s passion for his students, teaching, and research were intense and punctuated by his first hand experience of both working with students in poverty and writing about the realities of their lives in order to move the educational community in the United States forward to grapple with the problems of unequal resources and unequal capabilities to improve student outcomes.”

  • Dr. Mary Ann Danowitz, Interim Dean of NC State’s College of Education

“I hope Jimmy’s memory will continue to push us to become always better, to honor students, to fight for more equitable education, to attend to the needs of those who are less fortunate.
…I have used the image of a shooting star to talk about our relationship with Jimmy. He showed up in our sky, we are not sure exactly how or when, and he became part of a brighter sky that he crossed with intensity. His light encouraged us to dream and make wishes. And without any notice, his light turned off and he was gone. And here we are, with a sky that is not as shiny, and with our wishes of achieving greatness.”

  • Dr. Paola Sztajn, Head of the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Department

“Jimmy was the true epitome of an outstanding teacher-scholar. Because of that, his legacy will live on through his work and influence on each of us. I know I speak for many that we are all grateful that we got to spend two years with Jimmy Scherrer – the go getter, the visionary, the thinking giver, and the humanitarian. We will always miss you, Jimmy, and we will do our best to keep your spirit alive in our work in the College of Education at NC State.”

  • Dr. Temple Walkowiak, Assistant Professor in Elementary Education

“I will remember Jimmy for his energy, his brilliance, his persistence, his kindness, and the way he would greet me when I walked into his office: ‘Hey, Dr. Kimble!’ I felt a sense of confidence that he believed I might actually survive graduate school, and I think he gave that level of confidence to all he encountered. The College of Education family at NC State and the education community as a whole have lost a bright man.”

  • Becca Kimble, Doctoral Student in Educational Psychology

“Jimmy taught us the importance of providing cognitively demanding math tasks, allowing students to discover and immerse themselves in math, how to get students thinking with just a few words – ‘Tell me more,’ how to analyze what we say to students and what we do with what we hear from students, how we need to not look at score as a defining characteristic of our students or ourselves, and so much more. Jimmy also showed us that sometimes rules have to be bent or boxes need to be stepped out of in order to do what is best for our students.”

  • Kelly Carroll, Masters Student in Elementary Education