A total of 17 educators will be recognized today, Oct. 18, when the 16th annual Harry T. Wilks Hamilton Celebrates Education event is celebrated.
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All 17 educators being honored will receive a $1,000 grant from the Hamilton Community Foundation for use in their classroom or school.
Each school chose an Educator of Excellence to be recognized in 2018. The honorees are:
• Bridget Adams, intervention specialist at Hamilton High School
• Ellen Baden, second-grade teacher at St. Joseph School
• Kari Espel, reading specialist for second, third grades at Ridgeway Elementary
• David Gretz, technology teacher at Badin High School
• Ann Marie Gutjahr, fourth-grade teacher at St. Ann School
• Wendy Carter Harris, speech-language pathologist, Crawford Woods Elementary
• Donna Hoover, first-grade teacher, Highland Elementary
• Ruth Houston, Title 1 teacher, Brookwood Elementary
• Abby Jackson, art teacher, Bridgeport Elementary
• Casey Koelblin, kindergarten teacher, Fairwood Elementary
• Elizabeth Larson, eighth-grade teacher, St. Peter in Chains School
• Gunnery Sergeant Todd McAlister, NJROTC Naval science instructor, Hamilton Freshman School
• Terri McDonald, speech-language pathologist, Wilson Junior High
• Beth Rudolph, intervention specialist, Riverview Elementary
• Evan Vogel, language arts teacher, Immanuel Lutheran School
• Doris Williams, art teacher, Linden Elementary
• Matt Wilson, history teacher, Garfield Junior High
In addition to the $1,000 grant, each educator will receive a piece of custom glass art made by InsideOut Studio.
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Wilks, a local attorney and benefactor, died in March 2014 at the age of 89. A 1943 graduate of Hamilton High School, Wilks was a longtime donor and supporter of charitable causes in the community.
Having a lifelong belief in the importance of education, Wilks established a fund at the Foundation to provide program grants and honor dedicated educators. A tireless supporter of the arts, Wilks also brought international recognition to the community by establishing Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park.
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The Hamilton Community Foundation is a public charity committed to improving the quality of life for the Greater Hamilton community and its residents. Founded in 1951 with one $5,000 fund, the Foundation now manages more than 700 charitable funds.