In Memoriam


Thelma W. Hamrick, January 10, 1947 – May 23, 2012

Thelma W. Hamrick, Ed.D., age 65, retired educator and advocate for children, died peacefully on May 23rd, 2012 surrounded by her loving family.  Thelma was a native of Charleston, West Virginia.  Her graceful departure marks the end of a wonderful life that included over three decades of service in public education.  During her career, Thelma positively impacted the lives of students and educators throughout the United States. After several years in retirement, her professional legacy remains an influence to many in the field of education. Thelma served as a teacher, counselor, Director of academic support services, director of the AVID center eastern division and as a chief operating officer for An Achievable Dream, Inc.  Additionally, she co-founded CESA- Center for Excellence in Student Achievement and ULLC- Urban Learning and Leadership Center. The primary focus of her 33-year career was to provide leadership and training to counselors, teachers, and administrators who work with populations of children who may struggle in the traditional school setting.  Dr. Hamrick co-authored a series of four publications under the title Building Trust, Making Friends: Group Activity Manuals for High-Risk Students, used by thousands of teachers and counselors across the nation. Additionally, she co-authored Standing in the Gap: A Guide to Using the S.A.M.E. Framework to Create Excellent Schools.  She has served as adjunct faculty for The University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, and Christopher Newport University and as a consultant and trainer for Virginia Commonwealth University.  She set the standard for excellence and led others to achieve the same goal.  She was a mentor and the consummate professional. Her kind and supportive personality combined with her tenacious spirit and drive were tools she used to nurture leaders. Thelma will be remembered for her unparalleled kindness and professionalism.  She was respected and admired by all who knew her.  She is survived by her husband, Gary, her daughter Leigh McCarthy (husband Tom), grandchildren and her sisters Joan Hunt (husband Al), Barbara Smith (husband Walter) and Betty White.  She is further survived by a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, friends and colleagues who will remember her gentle spirit, quick humor and dedication to helping all children reach their fullest potential.  The family has requested that those who knew Thelma make donations to their local food bank to honor her life and work.