George Kolak was born in Ironwood, MI in 1929. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy, and fought in the Korean War from 1950-1952. George was considered a gifted educator who came to Beloit in 1957. He started his career with the Beloit School District as a teacher at Waterman Elementary School. He also taught special education, gifted and talented, and regular education students at both Aldrich and Parker school. He served as Todd Elementary School principal from 1966-1974 and as the elementary school principal in Clinton from 1975-1981. George was then recruited back to Beloit to be the principal of Merrill Elementary School from 1981-1991. There, he developed the school’s theme, “We are Family,” which is still in use today. George was also instrumental in creating Merrill’s first computer lab, which was later named in his honor. He retired from the district in June of 1991, but came out of retirement to become the Coordinator for the Even Start program until his death in 1992. In 1998, the School District of Beloit’s administrative building was formally renamed as the Kolak Education Center.
George Kolak’s thirty-five years as a teacher and principal were always dedicated to educating and encouraging students to be their best. He believed all students could learn, and he treated everyone equally. He celebrated diversity, self-worth, and pride. He always believed in being positive and empowering people to reach their goals and to make things happen. George was a champion of education, and he will be remembered for many things. As a former district administrator once said; “George Kolak will be remembered most for his spirit, his underlying beliefs, fun and spirit of the moment.” This scholarship is awarded to a student pursuing the field of education.
- A senior at Beloit Memorial High School
- Has demonstrated good citizenship while at school and in the community
- A participant in school and/or community activities
- A student pursuing a degree in Education