Distinguished Educator award ceremony

Sam Houston State University’s College of Education will present their Distinguished Educator of the Year awards on Saturday, March 5.

The ceremony will be held in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom at 6:00 p.m. and honor five educators who, according the nomination website, have made a significant contribution in the field of education.

Last year’s recipient for Distinguished Administrator Darol Hail, Ph.D., spoke on what the award means to the recipients.

“To be a Distinguished Educator, or in any form recognized, its just one of those things that is gratifying and humbling at the same time,” Hail said.

Since 2005, the Distinguished Educator awards have honored more than 40 SHSU graduates for their outstanding service in education. The Friend of Education Award has been given to businesses and individuals alike, with recognizable faces such as H-E-B and The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

The awards are celebrating their 12 anniversary.

“The Distinguished Educator of the Year awards celebration was implemented in 2005 to honor our distinguished alumni,” College of Education Dean Edmonson said.

Additionally Hirsch said these awards are bestowed upon the educators who go above and beyond the typical requirements of the educational system.

“The Distinguished Educator of the Year is the highest honor the College of Education at Sam Houston State University can bestow upon its alumni,” Hirsch said. “It is the most prestigious event at the College level. Our alumni have claimed this is the highlight of their career in being recognized as a Distinguished Educator.”

Wanda Bamberg, who will receive one of the awards after 39 years of work in the field, was nominated after her dedication to the Aldine School District. While the school district houses many economically disadvantaged families, Bamberg has succeeded to provide an exemplary academic environment for these families.

Other recipients include Rebecca Riley, Rick Kerhner, Mary Hanks and Flip Flippen.

Riley is the president of Lone Star College – Montgomery and serves on numerous boards which focus on the improvement of north Houston. Throughout her 25 years in the field Riley has contributed in numerous ways to better the transition from high school to college, and in the process so has served thousands of students.

Kerhner has served Splendora ISD in almost as many roles as are available. At one time Kerhner served as a teacher, coach, principal and now as assistant superintendent for the school district. Kerhner has a passion for personal connections between mentor and student and has fostered that mentality both in Splendora and with work at Sam.

Hanks will also be recognized as a Distinguished Educator for her work in Friendswood ISD. Hanks graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sam Houston and now has served 14 years as superintendent in Friendswood. Under her tenure the school district has maintained a high level of academic standard and brought in the highest standard for staff and curriculum.

The last recipient is Flippen, who was selected for the College’s Friend of Education Award. Flippen’s self-stated goal is to build relationships and processes that bring out the best in people. While Flippen works with athletes, government groups and corporations, his main commitment is to education.

The Flippen Group trains people on how to best make relationships and work as a unit. Their program “Capturing Kids Hearts” helps thousands of educators interact with their students effectively.



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