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400 Broadway Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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Sheila Veits Roth

Western & Southern Financial Group

(513) 629-1388


Western & Southern Financial Group Names Finalists for Eighth Annual Educator of the Year Award

CINCINNATI – April 9, 2014 – Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) has announced 20 finalists for the 2014 Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award. The award, established by Western & Southern in 2007, honors one educator each year in Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) who has elevated the educational process in the district to an exceptional level through personal commitment, dedicated focus and outstanding results.

Finalists for 2014 were chosen from nominations submitted by CPS teachers and administrators.

Karen Ater-Linser
Woodford Paideia Academy
Michelle Lisch
Kilgour School
Taylor Cox
Hughes STEM High School
Vicki Nedelman
Silverton Paideia Academy
Lillian A. Carter
North Avondale Montessori School
Mary Beth Platen
Fairview-Clifton German Language School
Michael Folz
Cheviot School
Amanda Schear
Withrow University High School
Melani Hart
School for the Creative & Performing Arts
Glen Schulte
Hughes STEM High School
Eric Hickman
Gamble Montessori High School
Paulette Simpson
Sands Montessori School
Teri Hiudt
Dater Montessori School
Andrea Sponsler
Mt. Washington School
Nancy Holtkamp
Silverton Paideia Academy
Krista Taylor
Gamble Montessori High School
Ruthenia Jackson
Carson School
Gary Vale
Sayler Park School
Amy Johnson
Westwood School
Dawn Williams
Withrow University High School

The recipient of the 2014 award will be announced April 30 at a ceremony and reception hosted by Western & Southern at The Guilford Institute on its downtown Cincinnati campus. The award winner will receive a personal check for $10,000 from Western & Southern.

"Preparing our children for the future is one of our community’s most important priorities. Western & Southern recognizes the role educators and administrators in Cincinnati Public Schools play in directly impacting our children’s future through their guidance and teaching," said John F. Barrett, chairman, president and chief executive officer for Western & Southern. "The Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award is a way for us to celebrate these educators for their commitment to inspiring Cincinnati’s children to excel in the classroom and beyond."

Past recipients of the award (listed with their schools at time of award):

  • Harrison Collier, Jr., Walnut Hills High School, 2013
  • Kathleen Donohoue, Sayler Park Elementary, 2012
  • Barbara J. James, Riverview East Academy, 2011
  • Nancy L. Johnson, CPS Turnaround Team, 2010
  • Angela Roddy, a consulting teacher for CPS, 2009
  • Kimya Moyo, Aiken College & Career High School, 2008
  • Sharon Johnson, Withrow University High School, 2007

Western & Southern’s inspiration for establishing the award in 2007 was Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins, a renowned educator in Cincinnati who served as a distinguished member of the Western & Southern board of directors for many years. Dr. Hawkins earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati, as well as a doctorate in education. He worked as both an educator and administrator at CPS before joining the University of Cincinnati faculty where he founded the College of Community Affairs. He was promoted to vice president of continuing education and metropolitan affairs and then again to executive vice president of administration. Dr. Hawkins served on several local community and business boards and was named a Great Living Cincinnatian in 1989 by The Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

About Western & Southern Financial Group
Founded in Cincinnati in 1888 as The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) is now a Fortune 500 diversified family of financial services companies. Its total assets owned ($41 billion) and managed ($26 billion) totaled $67 billion as of Dec. 31, 2013. Western & Southern is one of the strongest life insurance groups in the world. Its six life insurance subsidiaries (The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Columbus Life Insurance Company, Integrity Life Insurance Company, The Lafayette Life Insurance Company and National Integrity Life Insurance Company) maintain the following financial strength ratings: A.M. Best A+ Superior, Standard & Poor’s AA Very Strong, Fitch AA Very Strong and Moody’s* Aa3 Excellent. All of Western & Southern’s life insurance companies have a Comdex Ranking* of 96. Other member companies include Eagle Realty Group, LLC; Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.;¹ IFS Financial Services, Inc.; Peppertree Partners LLC;¹ Touchstone Advisors, Inc.;¹ Touchstone Securities, Inc.;² W&S Brokerage Services, Inc.;² and W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc. For more information on the Western & Southern family of companies, visit Western & Southern is the title sponsor of the Western & Southern Open (, a premier event in the U.S. Open Series played each August by the world’s top-ranked professional male and female tennis players.

* Lafayette Life is not rated by Moody’s and has a 97 Comdex Ranking.
¹ A registered investment advisor.
² A registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.
For current ratings, please visit

About Cincinnati Public Schools
Cincinnati Public Schools – which ranks among the top 2 percent of Ohio districts for students’ learning growth – offers families more high-quality school choices and academic programs than any other system in the Tristate region. The district’s innovative approach to education, investment in effective and caring teachers, and vast array of collaborative partnerships have accelerated school performance to the highest level in decades – ensuring that its 33,000 students in grades preschool to 12 thrive and graduate prepared for successful lives in the 21st century. Three of its high schools – Walnut Hills High School, Withrow University High School and Clark Montessori High School – are ranked among the top 1,000 public high schools in the United States, according to national magazines. CPS operates 55 schools spread across 90 square miles. To learn more, visit