News & Events


About James Thomas '59

A BW trustee since 2002, James Thomas has been instrumental in the development of BW.

  • Thomas and his wife made a $5 million matching gift challenge for BW's Transforming Lives campaign.
  • The Thomas Family Center for Science and Innovation is named in their honor.
  • Thomas delivered the the 1999 Commencement address and received an honorary doctorate.
  • He received the 1998 BW Alumni Merit Award.

Thomas Awards Recognize Superb Teachers

BW students had the opportunity to nominate and acknowledge the role of exceptional high school teachers who helped them along the path to college.

Six high school teachers who have engaged, inspired and encouraged BW students while preparing them for college were honored with the 2013 James Thomas High School Teacher Award. The award is funded by BW alumnus and trustee, James Thomas, chairman and CEO of Thomas Properties Group LLC, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife Sally.

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

The 2013 Thomas Award winners are: 

Carrie Cofer, Lincoln West High School (Cleveland)

Nominator, Anthony Zingale '13, described Cofer as “the embodiment of what makes a teacher a changing factor in so many inner-city youths’ lives.” Zingale credits Cofer, who “lives to teach English” with inspiring his college and career path by believing “that each and every one of her students can do anything they set their hearts and mind to.”


Greg King, Buckeye High School (Medina)

Nominator, Annamarie Berg '13, calls King her “beacon of hope and inspiration.” She wrote that the band director “taught me that you should never, ever give up what you truly feel you need to fight for” as well as “the value of teamwork, dedication and pride. Through Mr. King, I learned what leadership truly is… to put others first.”


Sally Schneider, Firestone High School (Akron)

Nominator, Catherine Lehman '13, praised Schneider for an inspirational “commitment to the future success and wellbeing of her diverse student population (that) helped so many people to overcome otherwise impossible adverse obstacles. I cannot say enough about Mrs. Schneider’s overwhelmingly positive influence on my life.”

Cynthia Schreiner, Mt. Lebanon High School (Pittsburgh)

Nominator, Ross Kobelak '13, wrote that Schreiner goes “above and beyond” to motivate her students. “Mrs. Schreiner has come to be a “Second Mom” for me for always having my back, but also being one to challenge me and make me a better person. I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it weren’t for the guidance and support from Mrs. Schreiner.”

Jacob Scott, Meadville Area Senior High School (Meadville, Pa.)

Nominator, Joshua Dolnosich '13, calls Scott “the ideal teacher” who takes an interest in each of his students. Dolnosich also credits Scott with helping him through the ups and downs of a rocky freshman year in college. “Whenever I needed to contact him, Jake would always take time out of his day to make sure I was okay.”



William B. Woods, Cleveland School of the Arts (Cleveland)

Nominator, Charles Etheridge ’13, admires Woods’ effort to build individual relationships with each of his students. Etheridge says in addition to being an “outstanding teacher,” Woods is an excellent mentor to many, teaching more than just music, but about life. “To this day, I still think about the tremendous influence that this  one man had on my life.”


Posted May 2013

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