The Gary Smith Compassionate Teacher Award was founded in 1998 in memory of Worthington teacher and coach, Gary Smith. Its purpose is to honor Worthington teachers who go above and beyond normal teaching duties, extending themselves in special ways to care for students in need.
Gary Smith was a long-time Worthington teacher and coach who made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds and hundreds of kids. In describing coach Smith, Worthington Board of Education member, Charlie Wilson quoted his own son who said, “But for coach Smith, I wouldn’t have has the happy life I’ve had.” In 1998 at the age of 53, Gary Smith passed away from cancer. Yearly in Worthington we honor a teacher in his name, who consistently goes above and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of kids.
In receiving this honor Ben Wilson was described as someone who “walks the talk,” A student said that, “Mr. Wilson helps me inside and outside of school.” His colleagues described him as having “tireless patience” and being “humble and kind.” It was clear from the number of staff and families that came to support Ben in receiving this award that he is a difference maker.
In Worthington there is no higher honor a teacher can receive than to be named the Gary Smith Compassionate Teacher for the year. Our test scores are important. More important is connecting with kids and families and having a long-term positive impact. Ben Wilson is doing that, just as Gary Smith did before him.
Past Recipients of the Gary Smith Compassionate Teaching Award Are:
2000 – Gregg Witt
2001 – Shyla Wilcox
2002 – Colleen Barger
2003 – Dan Girard
2004 – Lynn Sczesny
2005 – Shannon Latta, Kristy Smith
2006 – Deb Monroe
2007 – Michelle Charity
2008 – Margaret Wilcox, Wayne Harvey
2009 – Kellie Ehlers
2010 – Margie Smith, LaDonna Liggins
2011 – Brian Luthy