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One of Pam Hinton’s first lessons to her students every year is about giving full effort to their studies.
“If you are giving 100-percent effort,” she tells them, “you’re never wrong, you’re learning.”
The effort Hinton gives in return in her classroom was recognized Wednesday afternoon.
Hinton received the WHAS-11 ExCEL award at a ceremony at Helmwood Heights Elementary School. Hinton, a fourth-grade teacher at the school, was selected among other teachers in Elizabethtown Independent Schools. The Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership designation is awarded in several school systems in the region. It is sponsored by WHAS-11 and E.ON. U.S., a Louisville energy company.
Gary Roedemeier of WHAS-11 praised the district for its commitment to the award. Roedemeier said the way the district recognizes its annual winner “speaks to the entire process” for the award.
Hinton received several accolades from various government officials and local organizations, including the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization. Madge Hearne, a co-president of the PTO, said she was thankful her child had Hinton has a teacher.
“Everything they said about her is true, times a million,” Hearne said.
Principal Michelle Hart said Hinton works to support her students, and “sounds more like a coach and a team leader” than a teacher.
“I am in awe of what I see happen in her classroom every time I go in there,” Hart said.
Hinton said teachers needs “bridges” to help them get over their troubles. She credited the district and her family for giving her that support.
“Each of us is equally important,” she said. “You are my own bridges.”
One of the “bridges” she recognized was her son Adam, with whom she worked to pass the bill Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, sponsored last year to give special needs students an opportunity to earn an alternative diploma instead of a certificate of completion upon graduating from high school.
“You taught me that every child is perfect, and every child can learn at high levels,” Hinton said of her son.
Hinton said she recalls her first year of teaching, the tears that came with it and her questions of whether she made the right career choice.
“I can honestly say those tears of fear are now tears of joy,” she said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.