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David Swartout, Cathy Osgood, Family, Friends and Students of Betty Swartout

The Betty Swartout Memorial Scholarship was established in 2018 by her family with the intent to invest in the future of education and pay tribute to the long-time Monroe Public Schools teacher, who worked in the system for 42 years.

Betty Iris (Roy) Swartout educated Monroe children for more than four decades. Betty was born in her home on July 14th, 1932 in Gibson Station, Virginia to parents James and Marie (Surber) Roy. Betty grew up in Harrogate, Tennessee, the oldest of eight children, on a tobacco farm deep in the hills. As the principal of the local high school, her father instilled in her a passion for lifelong learning. She graduated from high school at 15 years old, and from Lincoln Memorial University at 18 with a bachelor’s degree in education. Betty taught one year of high school in Alabama, then moved to her permanent home of Monroe, Michigan where she married Gene Swartout in 1954. Betty joined the Monroe Public School System, teaching the children of Monroe for over 42 years. She began her teaching career at the former Boyd school before joining Manor Elementary school when it opened in the late 1950s, teaching grades 3-6. Betty also obtained her Masters of Education degree from Eastern Michigan University while raising her children, David and Cathy.

Most everywhere Betty went, she encountered thankful former pupils. By teaching multiple generations, Betty was able to instill in her students the power of knowledge she learned from her father, while encouraging them to follow their dreams.

Betty retired from teaching in 1995 and filled her days with extensive travels, including trips to Alaska, Hawaii and England. Betty also enjoyed caring for, but especially teaching, her grandchildren and then great-grandchildren. She loved to laugh and sing, watch Detroit baseball games, tell stories of her “tumbling” (gymnastics) days and mostly just being with her family. She was also a former member of the Kiwanis Club of Monroe. Her daughter, Cathy Osgood, described her mother as a “happy, outgoing person who had a passion for learning and expanding knowledge.”

Friends, family and former students can donate to the scholarship online by visiting


2018-2019 Jenna Diekman
2019-2029 Kooki Simonelli