Harry T. Wilks 2020 Educators of Excellence Nominees Selected

October 15, 2020

A total of 19 educators have been selected to be recognized as Educators of Excellence from the Harry T. Wilks Hamilton Celebrates Education program this year. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual recognition event has been cancelled.

“In spite of not being able to be together to celebrate our nominees at our annual event, we’re very pleased to support and recognize so many outstanding educators once again this year,” said Katie Braswell, vice president of the Hamilton Community Foundation. “Carrying on the tradition of the late Mr. Wilks and his tremendous generosity to the community and to local education is something the Foundation and the Harry T. Wilks Foundation is proud to do.”

Each school chose an Educator of Excellence to be recognized in 2020. All 19 educators receive a $1,000 grant from the Hamilton Community Foundation for their use in the classroom or school.Each educator will also receive a piece of custom glass art made by InsideOut Studio.

“When making their selection,” Braswell explained, “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.”


The 2020 “Hamilton Celebrates Education” Educators of Excellence are:

         Nikki Bowling, Language Arts teacher – Riverview Elementary School 

         Ty Captain, Third Grade teacher – Fairwood Elementary School

         Dr. Katherine Christen, ELA teacher - Hamilton High School–Freshman Campus

Sarah Daniels, Art Teacher - Stephen T. Badin High School

Carolyn Fuchs, Intervention Specialist – Wilson Middle School

Emily Fuerbacher, Pre-K teacher – Ridgeway Elementary School

Matt Gauck, 6th grade Math/Science teacher - Bridgeport Elementary

Stephanie Glassmeyer, Third Grade teacher - St. Ann Catholic School

Cheryl Hunt, Kindergarten/Assistant Principal - Queen of Peace School

Joey Malone, 6th grade ELA/Social Studies teacher – Highland Elementary School

Amber Massey, Language Arts teacher - Miami School

Jennifer Meadows, Kindergarten teacher - Crawford Woods Elementary School

Kristy Neeley, Intervention Specialist - Hamilton High School – Main Campus

Betsie Ostermyer, 6th Grade ELA/Social Studies teacher - Brookwood Elementary School

Jimi Sizemore, 7th & 8th Grade PE teacher – Garfield Middle School

Amy Starnes, Second Grade teacher – Linden Elementary School

Frances Verdon, Kindergarten teacher – Immanuel Lutheran School

Angie Wirtz, 8th Grade teacher - St. Peter in Chains

Bernadette Zimmerman, 7th & 8th Grade teacher - St. Joseph Consolidated School


“This is a great way to continue the legacy of Harry T. Wilks,” Braswell said. “His support of teacher recognition and program grants demonstrated his lifelong belief in the value of education and the opportunity to celebrate success in the schools.”


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. Today, Harry's legacy continues with the generous support  by the Harry T. Wilks Foundation for this program as well as numerous other projects/programs in the community.

To read all the bios of our educators click here.