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Arsenal Tech teacher creates scholarship to honor memory of former student

William Gadd (right) speaks with WISH-TV reporter Randall Newsome about a former student.

William Gadd wants everyone to remember Kierstyn Roberts, one of his former students at Arsenal Technical High School.

He wants people to know how the high-achieving student in his senior-level government and economics class was devoted to her friends, family, and faith. Gadd wants everyone in Indianapolis Public Schools and the Indianapolis community to remember how Roberts was positive and never shied away from a challenge.

Gadd has created a college scholarship to honor a graduating student at Arsenal Tech to honor the memory of the always cheerful young woman who was optimistic as she valiantly fought colon cancer for 13 months. Roberts, a 2017 graduate, passed away on Nov. 30, 2021.

“I had the privilege of being her teacher in high school and then her mentor as she studied at Indiana University,” Gadd said. “She was an incredible student and just as an incredible person. I’ve never met someone so optimistic and so positive. When she found she had Stage 4 colon cancer, he was positive she was going to beat it.”

In the months since her passing, Gadd has worked with friends and family to keep alive the memory of Roberts. He’s created a Go Fund Me to solicit gifts for the scholarship.

“When she passed, we celebrated her life – we didn’t have a funeral,” he said. “She was the kind of person that everyone wanted to be near because she was just so happy. For those who knew and loved her, please help in support of keeping her memory alive and in our hearts.”

The scholarship will be awarded annually at Supreme Day in May at the high school. It will be a $500 cash gift for a deserving Arsenal Tech student to be chosen by the family of Roberts. 

“Our Titan Team works selfishly to support and promote our students,” Corye Franklin, the school’s principal, said. “Mr. Gadd’s work around the scholarship, made in Kierstyn’s name, is simply proof of that. We will continue to keep students first and do whatever we can to promote them in positive ways. Go, Titans!”