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

Western & Southern Financial Group •
dr hawkins award nominations western & southern financial group

Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) has announced 20 finalists for the 2018 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 2018 were chosen from nominations submitted by CPS teachers and administrators.

Susan Arbogast
John P. Parker School

Michael Benton
Mt. Airy School

Kelly Bullock
Cheviot Elementary School

Lynsa Davie
Chase School

West Davis
Woodward Career Technical High School

JoAnn Guido
Clark Montessori High School

Penelope Harris
Riverview East Academy

Kim Mack
John P. Parker School

Jennifer Mauch
Pleasant Ridge Montessori School

Joelle McConnell
Pleasant Hill Academy

Jennifer Miller
Hays-Porter School

Mindy Muddiman
Aiken High School

Kelly Poulin
Shroder High School

Nicole Raley
Woodward Career Technical High School

Craig Rush
Clark Montessori High School

Melissa Sherman
Hughes STEM High School

Rachel Tapp
Oyler School

Stephany Taylor
Department of Student Services

Elizabeth Thole
Western Hills University High School

Lisa Votaw
Aiken High School

The recipient of the 2018 award will be announced May 9 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.

A way for us to recognize and reward these educators for their commitment to inspiring Cincinnati's children to excel in the classroom and beyond.

“Western & Southern recognizes that educators and administrators in the Cincinnati Public School system work hard and make a direct impact on our community through the children they guide and teach,” 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 recognize and reward 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):

  • Belinda Wallace, Rockdale Academy, 2017
  • Melissa Estell, Woodford Paideia Academy, 2016
  • Krista Taylor, Gamble Montessori High School, 2015
  • Mary Beth Platen, Fairview-Clifton German Language School, 2014
  • 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. Hawkins, a member of the elite Tuskegee Airmen, 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. Hawkins served on several local community and business boards and was named a Great Living Cincinnatian in 1989 by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce.

About Western & Southern Financial Group
Founded in Cincinnati in 1888 as The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, and celebrating 130 years this year, Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. (Western & Southern), a Fortune 500 company, is now the parent company of a group of diversified financial services businesses. Its assets owned ($48 billion) and managed ($27 billion) total $75 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017. 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 very strong financial ratings and 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 visit the Western & Southern family of companies. Western & Southern is the title sponsor of six major community events every year, including 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.

1A registered investment advisor.
2A registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.
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About Cincinnati Public Schools
Cincinnati Public Schools offers families more high-quality school choices and academic programs than any other district in the Tristate region. CPS continues to lead Ohio’s eight large-city school districts in composite 12th-grade ACT scores, which increased to 20 over the last five years. The district has opened three new elementary schools in 2017-18 to accommodate a growth surge in enrollment. At least 98 percent of third-graders met Ohio's Third-Grade Reading Guarantee, and 96 percent of 2017 graduates have enrolled in a college program, enlisted in the military, or entered the workforce. The district's innovative approach to education, investment in effective and caring teachers, and vast array of collaborative partnerships have accelerated school performance – ensuring that students thrive and graduate prepared to lead successful lives in the 21st century. The district operates 62 schools spread across 90 square miles.