By Celine Klosterman
BURLINGTON — Roy Ertz says he got a “darn good education” from the Sisters who taught him at St. John and St. Paul schools in Burlington.
So last week, he donated $88,000 to benefit today’s teachers at Burlington Catholic schools. The money will go toward a new retirement fund for faculty and staff at Notre Dame Elementary and Notre Dame Junior/Senior High. From 2011-2021, the funds will help Notre Dame match contributions to the Betty and Roy Ertz Retirement Fund. Betty, who died in 2005, was Roy’s wife for 63 years.
Ertz said he made the gift “out of a realization that my own life was very strongly influenced by my 12 years of Catholic education. I wanted to give something back.”
He also wanted to honor the memory of the Sisters who taught him, said the retired military and civilian pilot and former service-station owner. “They were very good teachers, top of the heap.”
The donation is Ertz’ latest act of support for Catholic education. He belonged to a committee in the 1950s that oversaw the building of Notre Dame High in 1957, and he and Betty sent their eight children to Catholic schools.
Ron Glasgow, principal of Notre Dame Junior/Senior High, said Ertz’ donation helps solidify the establishment of a retirement plan, which Glasgow had looked into since becoming principal three years ago.
“It was a matter of ethics to me that I’d get this done for the faculty and staff,” he said. “After giving years to Catholic education, they certainly deserve more than a pat on the back.”
Most Catholic schools in the Davenport Diocese offer a retirement plan.
Glasgow said it took time for the creation of a retirement fund at Notre Dame to gather support, but the schools ultimately began offering a plan for teachers and staffers this year. This summer Notre Dame held a golf tournament that raised $7,000 for the plan, which is being funded without tuition money.
The 25 participants who signed up this year will get $100 in June toward their retirement. Notre Dame hopes to eventually match contributions of up to 2 percent of participants’ salary, said Deb Trine, the schools’ business manager. Ertz’ donation will further that goal, she said.
Ertz hopes his gesture will inspire others to support Notre Dame. “I’m a great believer in Catholic education,” he said.