News Release

Kathy Nimmer '91 exemplifies the spirit and perseverance necessary for overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. Her students at Harrison High School in West Lafayette, Indiana, see it everyday, and the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) took notice of it as well by awarding her the Butler-Cooley Excellence in Teaching Award.

The Butler-Cooley Award recognizes classroom teachers who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and skill in shaping and influencing children's lives through dedication. Nimmer, who is blind, was one of three teachers selected among 70 nominees. The creative writing and English teacher received a $5,000 stipend from the John William Butler Foundation and travel expenses for the TMA annual convention in New York October 18 to accept her award.

"My initial reaction was shock and exultation," said Nimmer, a teacher at Harrison since 1992. "I applied for the award with (little) expectation of winning. When my principal, superintendent, and fellow teachers came into my class to present me with a super-sized plane ticket and check, I was stunned."

Winners must be licensed and actively teaching in an accredited public or private education institution for at least five years. The award, named in honor of two people who taught for more than 50 years, provided affirmation to Nimmer that the struggles she has endured during her career have yielded visible fruit.

"The award confirms that my journey is going in the right direction, that I am doing some things well with positive results," she said. "I know that I have a long way to go before I am the teacher I know I can be. This was a guidepost on that journey, showing me how far I've come and where I am headed if I stay grounded in the same belief system that has brought me to this point.

"God worked an incredible turnaround in my life when I stopped trying to fight the battle for success and growth as a teacher on my own: He has provided answers that propel me forward with joyful contentment as I know I am doing what He would have me do."

Related Link:
Kathy Nimmer - Alumni Profile

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