It was meant to be.  As Lynne Hobbs, English teacher extraordinaire, begins her 25th year at D’Evelyn next August, she also finds herself breathing rare air as she becomes the 25th recipient (since 2008) of the prestigious $3,000 Jamin B. Wilson Excellence in Education Award. The only way to be considered for this award is to be nominated by someone familiar with your work/career.  Self-nominations are not allowed. The criteria for selection appear below and are not for the faint of heart, as you can see: 

  • Exceptional dedication and commitment:  Willingness to consistently go beyond the expected level of service to students, consistently exceeding normal standards of professional or volunteer performance.
  • Superior leadership and motivational skills: Ability to encourage students to reach their full potential, inspiring them to set high personal goals, to excel and to value education as a life-long pursuit.
  • Strong record of success:  Evidence of positive results and effectiveness in improving the attitudes and achievements of students.

The 2018 recipient of this same award, Jennifer Tompkins, nominated Lynne this year and described her as “an outstanding educator who shows deep commitment to D’Evelyn and its philosophy of education.  She consistently demonstrates a deep passion for her content area and infects every student who walks into her room with that passion.”  Lynne has taught every grade level of English during her career and embraces all students, regardless of age, as she takes them into what Ms. Tompkins described as, “deep waters.”  Once again quoting Ms. Tompkins, “Lynne’s class discussions are lively, productive, well-conceived, and generate a deep understanding of the material in the mind of every student.  Lynne’s exemplary success is evident in the fact that in her first year (2020-2021) teaching an Advance Placement class, her students scored the highest grades ever on the AP Literature test.  Her commitment to students does not end in the classroom.  She has sponsored several different sports and clubs (Boys’ Swim Coach, Jr. High Student Council, National Junior Honor Society, National Honor Society), as well as serving as the English Department Manager and on the Steering Committee.

In closing, allow me to share the words of Kristen Monzel, a D’Evelyn English teacher and friend of Lynne Hobbs, who wrote a moving letter of recommendation for this year’s successful nominee: “I taught J.B. (Wilson) in my earlier years at D’Evelyn.  He was a principled, intelligent, energetic, and inspiring young man.  He seemed to wake up each day with refreshed energy and commitment to excellence and a life productively lived.  Lynne possesses many of these qualities.  She is able to find fresh and renewed interest in every lesson, every student, every day.  She never seems to fatigue, burn out, or get tired of assessing students’ work or correcting their errors.  It is this daily, indefatigable approach to her important work at D’Evelyn that deserves recognition.  Lynne Hobbs is a good as it gets.  Honest, loyal, and reliable, Lynne brings positive energy to D’Evelyn and stands as a model D’Evelyn teacher.” 

D'Evelyn is truly blessed to have an employee of Lynne Hobbs caliber among its staff.  She continues to make a positive impact on her many students every day as D’Evelyn’s English diva.   She is certainly deserving of having her name added to the plaque in the D’Evelyn foyer containing the names of the previous outstanding recipients of this esteemed award!

By Ralph K. Spencer, Former Parent and Current D’Evelyn Volunteer