Western & Southern Financial Group has announced that Melissa Estell, teacher for Cincinnati Public Schools at Woodford Paideia Academy, has been named the 2016 Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year.
Estell was chosen by Western & Southern and CPS from finalists who were nominated by their CPS peers for the award. She was recognized on May 3, 2016, with a plaque and a personal check for $10,000 during a ceremony at Western & Southern’s Guilford Institute on its downtown campus. The ceremony marked the 10th anniversary of this award.
“We are very pleased to recognize Melissa for her dedication to creating a love for learning in her students and her commitment to empowering them to achieve,” said John F. Barrett, Western & Southern’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Educational achievement is one of the pillars to make Cincinnati great and a key component of our corporate citizenship efforts at Western & Southern.”
Estell has been employed with CPS for 25 years, serving as an intervention specialist at Woodford Paideia Academy for the last eight years.
“We are gratified to see Melissa honored for her service to Cincinnati Public Schools. We feel she is truly deserving of the Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award, a recognition that exemplifies educators’ passion for their work,” said Mary Ronan, superintendent of CPS. “I commend all of the educators who were nominated – that in and of itself is an honor.”
Western & Southern established the Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award in 2007 to inspire and reward excellence among CPS educators. This distinguished award honors one educator each year who has elevated the educational process in public schools to an exceptional level through personal commitment, dedicated focus and outstanding results. The namesake of the award, Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins, was a member of the elite Tuskegee Airmen, a well-respected Cincinnati educator, former executive vice president of administration at the University of Cincinnati and former Western & Southern board member. He passed away in 2009.
For a complete list of 2016 finalists or more information on the Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award, visit www.westernsouthern.com/hawkinsaward.