Galileo has recently received an enormous donation from a very generous benefactor. Pieter Roelle, a former teacher of Galileo, who passed away in an accident in early 2016, left almost his entire estate to the school. This totaled to over $218,000 dollars donated from the late teacher.
The $218,000 donated by Mr. Roelle is one of the biggest donations in the school’s history. Galileo plans to use the money towards yearly student scholarships and help for school funding. They have recently created a committee to help decide on which specific scholarships to choose. In all, the school hopes to respect Roelle’s memory, and continue to giving back to the student community.
Pieter Roelle was born on April 5, 1933 in Sumatra, and after moving back to the United States, enlisted in the army. He was held in a Japanese controlled internment camp for 40 months . After being released and discharged from the army he came back and worked from job to job until he came across teaching. Roelle taught many subjects at Galileo, including History, English, and Journalism, and incorporated many of his past experiences into his teaching life at school.
Teachers who were present during Roelle’s era remember him fondly. Ms. Grinnell, the secretary for the main office, stated, “ I always used to run into him in the Safeway at Diamond Heights. Even though I didn’t know him very well, we would always talk about the school and would ask me how everything was going.”
Roelle was always described as a teacher with an avid passion for helping students succeed. He was known especially for his love of Journalism and helped advance Galileo’s newspaper. After working at Galileo for nearly 25 years, he retired in his early sixties. Sadly at the age of 82, Roelle was struck by a sightseeing bus in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco and passed away.