News & Events

James Thomas'59 is Dedicated Trustee
A BW trustee since 2002, he has been instrumental in furthering the institution.
For the Transforming Lives campaign, he and his wife made a $5 million matching gift challenge.
The Thomas Family Center for Science and Innovation was named in their honor.
He received the BW Alumni Merit Award in 1998.
In 1999 he delivered the Commencement address and received an honorary doctorate.

Thomas Award winners: 
(first row, left to right) Laina Makepeace, Becky Havel, Margaret Thornton (second row, left to right) Susan Preston, Doug Ramage, Steve Dantzler, Leticia Nieto. (not pictured is Michael Martinez)

2012 BW Graduates Recognize High School Teachers with Thomas Award

Eight high school teachers who have engaged, inspired and encourged BW students while preparing them for college are being honored with the James Thomas High School Teacher Award.

The award is funded by Baldwin Wallace alumnus and trustee, James Thomas, chairman and CEO of Thomas Properties Group LLC, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife Sally.

The teachers are nominated by BW graduating seniors. Each of the winning teachers receives a $1,000 cash award with an additional $1,000 cash award going to the school in the teacher's name.

Laina Makepeace of Brunswick High School (OH)

Nominated by Luke Nath
“She made math seem like an approachable subject and encouraged education up to the highest level. For a time, I thought I would work a trade or join the military and simply stop short of an advanced degree. With her encouragement, I chose to at least try to get an associate degree. I am now out of the military and pursuing a public health degree as well as medical school in the not too distant future.”

Becky Havel of Lakewood High School (OH)

Nominated by Khush Baig 
When Baig came to the United States from Pakistan at age 10, he could not speak a word of English. Havel was Baig’s English as a Second Language teacher. “She pushed me to think for myself and to set high standards. It’s because of her encouragement that I have become the person I am today. I believe such a talent needs to be recognized and I am glad that Baldwin Wallace has provided me with this opportunity to nominate such a prominent person in my life.”

Margaret Thornton of Bucyrus High School (OH)

Nominated by Jessica McClarren
“Margaret Thornton was my AP English teacher, who must have seen potential in me, and for that I am forever grateful. Instead of term papers for Shakespeare and Orwell, she let me do independent research on autism and other medically related disorders. She allowed me to grow and become an individual, mentoring my college pursuit and scholarship search.”  

Susan Preston of Charles D’Amico High School (NY)

Nominated by Kaitlyn Burke
“Mrs. Preston is a phenomenal teacher. However, her dedication to her students doesn’t stop in the classroom with the multiple grammar lessons. Mrs. Preston really takes the time to get to know her students on both an academic and personal level. She motivated and inspired me to be the best student I could be and, without a doubt, prepared me for the college experience.” 

Doug Ramage of Collinwood High School (OH)

Nominated by Lauren Nichols
“Even eight years later, Mr. Ramage's class still rings clear in my memory for its huge influence on who I am, especially as a burgeoning historian. He taught us the value of those unsung voices, that it is the people who generate the currents of history. Mr. Ramage, as monumental as it sounds, effectively changed my life forever, pushing me onto a path that brings me immense joy, endless intellectual growth, and the need to make history fun for future students.”

Steve Dantzler of Glenville High School (OH)

Nominated by Bianca West
“He always encouraged me as a captain, as a student, as a daughter, and as a young lady. He supported me in my decisions even when he could foresee the possible outcome. I was always able to count on him for support, fatherly advice, and consistent character. I believe God put him on divine assignment for me and this is a person I will never forget.”

Leticia Nieto and Michael Martinez of Wichita Falls High School (TX)

Nominated by Mario Paniagua
Both Martinez and Nieto were involved in a program at Wichita Falls High School known as Academic Success Program (ASP). “I believe that Mr. Martinez and Mrs. Nieto equally shared a role in getting me to where I am today. Mrs. Nieto was the first person I met within the organization and she very quickly became a mother like figure to me. She always kept an open ear and advised me with what she knew would be in my best interest rather than telling me what I wanted to hear. The biggest preparation that Mr. Martinez helped me with was putting together a writing piece for my personal essay that would help open many doors for me."

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