Educators honored at 16th Annual Hamilton Celebrates Education event

October 22, 2018

Now in its 16th year, a total of 17 educators were recognized at the annual Harry T. Wilks “Hamilton Celebrates Education” event this month.

All 17 educators honored received a $1,000 grant from the Harry T. Wilks Fund held at the Hamilton Community Foundation for their use. Each school chose an Educator of Excellence to be recognized in 2018. When making the choice as their educator nominee, the schools were asked to consider the daily impact their educator had on students and the community, examples of innovation and going above and beyond the call of duty, and the educator’s overall leadership.

Each educator received a piece of custom glass art made by InsideOut Studio and a $1,000 grant for use in their classroom or school.

 The 2018 “Hamilton Celebrates Education” Educators of Excellence were:

  • Bridget Adams, Intervention Specialist at Hamilton High School
  • Ellen Baden, 2nd grade teacher at St. Joseph School
  • Kari Espel, Reading Specialist in grades 2-3 at Ridgeway Elementary
  • David Gretz, Technology teacher at Badin High School
  • Ann Marie Gutjahr, 4th grade teacher at St. Ann School
  • Wendy Carter Harris, Speech-Language Pathologist, Crawford Woods Elementary
  • Donna Hoover, 1st 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, 8th 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, Middle School Language Arts teacher, Immanuel Lutheran School
  • Doris Williams, Art teacher, Linden Elementary
  • Matt Wilson, History teacher, Garfield Junior High

 The event included student musical entertainment by Hamilton High School students Holli Keillor, violinist, Sophomore, Abby Wright, vocalist, Senior, Ezra Simmons, flautist, Sophomore and Stephen T. Badin students Sydney Long, Senior and Kateri Wielgos, Junior.

Harry T. Wilks, a local attorney and benefactor, passed away in March 2014 at the age of 89. A 1943 graduate of Hamilton High School, Mr. Wilks was a longtime donor and supporter of charitable causes in the community. Having a lifelong belief in the importance of education, Mr. Wilks established a fund at the Foundation to provide program grants and honor dedicated educators. A tireless supporter of the arts, Mr. Wilks brought international recognition to the community by establishing Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park.