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Former special education teacher leaves $1 million to school district

(CNN) - A school district in New Jersey received a big gift from a former teacher.

Genevieve Via Cava left a million dollars to the school district in Dumont, New Jersey after she passed away. People that knew her had no idea she had that kind of money, WCBS reported.

Richard Jablonski, a friend of Genevieve said she spent her afternoons clipping coupons. She lived a very minimal lifestyle, with no vacations or even outfit changes.

"She would wear the same clothes," said Jablonski.

It came as a complete shock when he learned his friend of more than 30 years had an estate worth well over a million dollars.

"I mean she floored me with that. I didn't know she had that type of money," said Jablonski.

Genevieve had no immediate family. When she died in October of 2011, she left her home and everything in it to Jablonski. His son and grandkids now live in the house.

The rest of her estate went to the Dumont School District.

"She must have had a tremendous connection with the district and the students," said Superintendent Emanuele Triggiano.

The superintendent says Genevieve spent her entire career working as a special education teacher in the district. It took years to get to it, but a few weeks ago, they received a check for one million dollars from her estate attorney.

"The most we have ever seen from any group was in the tens of thousands but never something like this," said Triggiano.

The money will be invested and the interest will become an annual scholarship. About $25,000 per year will go to a Dumont student with special needs looking to further their education.

Via Cava also left some money to the Salvation Army, a hearing center and a few animal shelters.


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