Though Cullman High graduate Dr. Ginger Holt would eventually go on to be an acclaimed surgeon, her former teacher Carolyn Peinhardt Johnson will always remember her as that girl who asked for a cow’s heart in fifth grade at West Elementary School.
“We were learning about parts of the body, or something like that, and she asked me to bring her a cow’s heart,” Peinhardt said with a laugh Friday, chiming in at the Cullman City Schools Foundation luncheon. “But, I brought it to her, and she dissected it and pointed out every part to me. I’ll never forget that.”
Holt was one of several former Cullman students honored at the fourth annual Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards luncheon Friday, which also included the teacher of the year awards.
The Foundation raises money to be used for grants to purchase equipment, supplies and technology for teachers.
More than 300 people attended the luncheon — the most ever — and organizers say it was a huge success.
“I think this really says the community is really behind education,” Foundation director Dawn Klinger said. “Not only for the city schools, but also for the county, as well, with the passage of the countywide half-cent sales tax. It shows everyone is acknowledging the important of education.”
The event honored seven distinguished alumni for their work and accomplishments upon graduation from Cullman High School. Included were 1953 graduate Dr. ST Kimbrough, Jr., 1955 graduate James R. Knight, 1965 graduate Dr. William Peinhardt, 1967 graduate James Folsom, Jr., 1967 graduate Rob Werner, 1988 graduate Dr. Holt and Dr. Lance Nail.
Kimbrough noted his experience at Cullman High School helped shape the person he is today.
“My experience here taught me I could achieve more than I ever thought possible,” he said.
After holding posts as high as Governor of Alabama in the past, Folsom said he will still cherish his distinguished alumni award as one of his highest achievements.
“This is a great honor,” he said.
Three citizens were honored with distinguished service awards, including 1957 graduate Rudene Tidwell, 1972 graduate Brenda Howell and 1973 graduate Kenny Culpepper.
“These folks have worked tirelessly to support our school system,” master of ceremonies Judge Kim Chaney said.
A promising alumni was also announced for 2012, with 2003 graduate Steven Alldredge receiving the award this year.
Teachers of the year for 2012 include: Hayden Faulk at Cullman High, Fharis Richter at Cullman Middle, Judith McBrayer at East Elementary, Angela Hall at West Elementary and Brenda Connell at the primary school.
See more photos from the event in the Sunday March 18, 2012 print edition of The Cullman Times.
* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.