Hamilton to honor its top educators, October 30


Thirteen local educators have been nominated for the 12th annual Harry T. Wilks “Hamilton Celebrates Education” awards, sponsored by the Hamilton Community Foundation.

The dinner and awards program is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Hamilton. Five educators will be recognized as “finalists” in advance of the program. The Educator of the Year will receive a $3,000 honorarium for their school, and each of the other four finalists will receive a $500 honorarium.

Wilks, Harry
Harry T. Wilks

“Harry T. Wilks has left a great legacy of honoring education, and we’re proud to once again recognize deserving educators in the Greater Hamilton area,” said Betsy Hope, vice president of communications for the Hamilton Community Foundation. “This will be the first year we hold this dinner in the wake of Mr. Wilks’ passing, but his tremendous generosity toward the community he loved truly lives on.”

The following educators have been nominated for this year’s award:

  • Badin High – Gina Helms, Director of Campus Ministry
  • Bridgeport Elementary – Carla Castator, Title 1 teacher
  • Brookwood Elementary – Rob Clark, 6th grade teacher
  • Crawford Woods Elementary – Ashley Woodard, 5th grade teacher
  • Garfield Middle – Lisa Neel, Media Specialist
  • Hamilton Freshman – Brianne Giesting, Math teacher
  • Hamilton High – Louise Jewett, Chemistry teacher
  • Highland Elementary – Carol Christian, 5th grade science teacher
  • Linden Elementary – Ophelia Thomas, Title 1 teacher
  • Ridgeway Elementary – Suellen Albert, 5th grade science teacher
  • Riverview Elementary – Joan Hall, Kindergarten teacher
  • St. Ann Catholic Elementary – Joyce Cepluch, Secretary
  • Wilson Middle – Kristin Kwiat, Reading Intervention specialist

In addition to the Educator of the Year, a number of grant recipients will be honored at the dinner. This year, as a special memorial to Mr. Wilks and in recognition of his support for education in our area, the Hamilton Community Foundation is stepping up to match the number of teacher grants awarded from the Harry T. Wilks fund for 2014.

Photo: Gina Helms, Badin High School, photo courtesy Hamilton Community Foundation

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