Cora Mae Schryver
The Monica Ros and Thacher Schools have long been linked. While Mrs. Ros taught music to Thacher faculty children, Mr. Ros taught Spanish to Thacher students. Generations of Thacher faculty children have attended Monica Ros and even more Monica Ros’ers have gone on to attend Thacher. Throughout the years, many Thacher students have found joy and purpose regularly volunteering at Monica Ros. Monica Ros students have had many special days at Thacher in the theater, dance studio, physics lab, library, swimming pool and on the sporting and gymkhana fields.
As a Schryver, Cora belonged to both schools even before she was born. The schools have come together to attempt to honor Cora, and though words can never capture the magic that was her, we try.
Born on a rainy day in June, Cora grew up living the kind of Ojai life that builds strong people. Following her siblings before her, Cora Mae arrived at Monica Ros at age three, possessing a “Why not?” spirit that enriched the community and defined her at every turn. A lover of animals, Cora Mae could at times be found searching for neighborhood cats on the playground. She was a first-rate lizard catcher and roly-poly finder. She is also credited with spying a set of hobbyhorses tucked in a preschool closet; worries about children tripping and using them as clubs had seemingly retired them for good. However, Cora assured the adults that things could go smoothly, and soon she and her posse were galloping around the playground with joy. The hobbyhorses remain a staple of Monica Ros’s playground today.
That Cora could teach her peers how to “ride” on the playground surprised no one, as she was sitting in a saddle in front of her mom, dad or sister before she could actually sit up. For Cora, a cowboy hat, boots (often pink) and jeans were not a costume but daily wear. Every fall, many a Thacher School freshman class would watch her in awe while despairing of their own burgeoning talents. Cora literally rode circles around them, usually bare-back. As an accomplished horsewoman and wrangler, Cora won more than her share of buckles, but her first was for Champion Mutton Bustin’ at the Ventura Fair. Cora was a Thacher Green Team supporter in honor of her siblings. In Oregon, she continued to race and won her latest buckle this fall.
Cora’s can-do approach bore itself out in so many arenas, from the classroom, where her teachers lauded her persistence and determination in reading, to her relationships with her peers, where she was simply beloved by all. Cora always believed in inclusion. When she was the first to climb the ten foot pole at Monica Ros’s Fiesta to grab the silver-dollar (in kindergarten no less!), she insisted on leaving it up so that others could spend time working on it. Anyone who attended her third grade graduation vividly recalls the moment when Cora joined a classmate overcome with emotion during her reading to help her. They finished together, Cora’s arm draped over her shoulder in support. Cora’s graduation did not mark the end of her time at Monica Ros; though she never won the jello-eating contest at Fiesta, she also never missed it, even after moving on to a new school.
After leaving Monica Ros, Cora brought her strengths to the San Antonio School community where she earned the Seat of Distinction. She was a member of the Ojai Gymnastics team, where she twirled on the bars; she enjoyed guarding attackers twice her size in AYSO soccer and testing her speed with the Ojai Roadrunners. When the Schryvers moved to Oregon, Cora ran track and played volleyball and football at Culver Middle School. In September, she was named Student Athlete of the Month at Three Peaks Crossfit and throughout her football season she played defensive safety. Cora’s coach loved to praise her technique and the gusto with which she tackled.
The Schryver Family and The Thacher School invite you to honor Cora and her legacy of inclusion and accomplishment by establishing the Cora Mae Schryver Scholarship Fund. Gifts may be submitted to Monica Ros School at 783 McNell Rd., Ojai, CA 93023, or online below.
Creating brightness in every life she touched
Combining ability with determination
Sharing her “We can do it” attitude with all