Hawthorne Elementary School teacher Kathleen Waltman (fourth from left) is surrounded by friends, colleagues, administrators and Rotarians as she is named October’s Service to Youth recipient.
Kathleen Waltman, a second grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School, was surprised on October 19 when a group of Sunrise Rotarians showed up to present her with the Diane J. Conley Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise Service to Youth award. She received a plaque from the club, along with a cake and a gift card donated by the Walmart Supercenter on Schrock Road. In addition, an American flag will be flown in her honor during Westerville’s Field of Heroes display. Waltman and other Service to Youth award winners will be recognized at a breakfast next May.
Waltman was nominated for her work with students who have learning and behavior disabilities, spending countless hours creating engaging lessons, genuinely caring for each child and always remaining calm and positive. Her nominator said she works with at-risk youth – those who are significantly performing below grade level and those who have difficult home situations. She spends many of her lunch periods allowing pupils to use this time to earn rewards for exhibiting positive behaviors. Waltman’s efforts have resulted in youngsters who have achieved great gains.
Rotary Sunrise instituted Service to Youth awards six years ago to recognize exceptional school employees who have made a special contribution to youth; have served as a positive role model for young people; and have demonstrated service above and beyond the call of duty in performing their job responsibilities. The award is named in honor of Sunrise Rotarian Diane Conley, retired Chief of Academic Affairs for Westerville City Schools.