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Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award

Inspire & Reward Excellence With the Hawkins Award   

Western & Southern Financial Group established the Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award to inspire and reward excellence among educators in Cincinnati Public Schools. The Hawkins Award honors one educator who has elevated the educational process in our public schools to an exceptional level through personal commitment, dedicated focus and outstanding results. We are hopeful that recipients of the Hawkins Award will serve as inspirational role models who encourage other educators to achieve excellence.


john barrett speaking at hawkins award ceremony

Hawkins Award Eligibility

One outstanding Cincinnati Public Schools educator will receive a personal award of $10,000. Current Cincinnati Public School District faculty members with at least five years of experience as an educator and three or more most recent years of educational experience in the Cincinnati Public School District are eligible. Previous award winners are not eligible for repeat consideration. Nominations are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Educator instills in children a love for learning and a desire to achieve.
  • Educator has demonstrated a positive impact on student achievement levels.
  • Educator serves as a role model who encourages other educators to achieve excellence.
  • Educator serves as a change agent who advances the quality of education.

Meet Our 2021 Finalists

  • Alison Abrahim
    Dater Montessori School
  • Kelly Boosinger
    Gilbert A. Dater High School
  • Tanya Ficklin
    Walnut Hills High School
  • Meggan Johnson
    Woodward Career Technical High School
  • In Sook Kim
    James N. Gamble Montessori High School
  • Jennifer Miller
    Fairview-Clifton German Language School
  • Eric Rozier
     Cincinnati Digital Academy and Virtual High School
  • Jennifer Smith
    Woodford Academy
  • Tasha Taylor
    Pleasant Ridge Montessori School
  • Mary Wertheimer
    Clark Montessori High School

Award Nomination Process


Any current member of Cincinnati Public Schools faculty or central office can nominate a fellow educator. Self-nominations are not accepted. 


A committee composed of school system representatives review the nominations, select the top candidates and share those with the Selection Committee to determine the final recipient of the award.


The Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award is presented at a reception attended by all finalists, their guests and their supervisors.
about dr hawkins

About Dr. Hawkins

Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins was a member of the elite Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American fighter pilots who fought in World War II. He earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati in history and education, a master's degree in psychology and administration and a doctorate in education.

Dr. Hawkins was affiliated with the Mayor's Police/Community Relations Panel, the Cincinnati Human Relations Committee and the Community Development Advisory Council. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Western & Southern Financial Group from 1990 to 2009 and passed away on April 4, 2009.

dr hawkins with mr barrett

Dr. Hawkins' Career in Education

Dr. Hawkins was a renowned educator in the city of Cincinnati. In 1945, he began teaching in Cincinnati Public Schools and went on to serve as principal of Samuel Ach Junior High School. In 1967, Dr. Hawkins became assistant superintendent in Cincinnati Public Schools. He joined the faculty at UC in 1969 as professor of education and community services. Subsequently, he founded the College of Community Affairs at UC and was appointed dean. In 1974, Dr. Hawkins was promoted to vice president of continuing education and metropolitan affairs and promoted again in 1976 to executive vice president of administration.