Paul Zimmerman named Badin’s ‘Educator of the Excellence’ in annual Wilks ‘Hamilton Celebrates Education’ program
Check a student list of favorite teachers at Badin High School, and the name of Mr. Paul Zimmerman is a fixture on it.
Zimmerman, now in his 38th year teaching Social Studies at Badin, was recognized as the school’s 2022 Educator of Excellence through the Harry T. Wilks “Hamilton Celebrates Education” program, sponsored by the Hamilton Community Foundation.
“It’s a great honor, it really is,” said Zimmerman, a 1977 graduate of Badin. “I have an enormous amount of pride in Badin High School, so to be recognized like this is very meaningful.”
“Paul is a great teacher, period,” said BHS Principal Patrick Keating, who as a 2007 Badin grad, had class with Zimmerman during his years at Badin. “He’s been here for a long time, and he’s still making history fresh and new for the students. That’s truly a compliment to his skills.”
“I love history,” said Zimmerman, who teaches U.S. History to sophomores, and also developed a World War II and a Current Issues course. “It’s always been interesting to me. I like teaching the human side of history. That’s very valuable. History is made by humans – some good, some bad.”
Zimmerman is a graduate of Miami University with a master’s degree from Xavier University. His wife, longtime teacher Mrs. Bernadette Zimmerman, was a Harry T. Wilks recipient from St. Joseph’s School in 2020. Their son, Terry, is a 2008 graduate of Badin.
“I grew up in historic times, the 1960s,” Zimmerman said, referring to assassinations, the Vietnam War, civil unrest. “I was the little kid at the dinner table when all of these things were being talked about. It was fascinating.”
While his father was American, his mother was Canadian, which brought an interesting and enjoyable dynamic to the family.
“I got my love of history from my dad,” he added. “I used to watch a lot of documentaries with him. I credit my dad – I never would have wanted to teach anything else.”
Zimmerman also enjoyed a lengthy coaching career at Badin. He was an assistant football coach for two decades under Terry Malone – his father-in-law – including the 1990 Badin state football champions. He also coached boys and girls track and field for nearly a decade, guiding an outstanding girls’ relay team to state in back-to-back years during the early 1990s.
“I feel a tremendous amount of pride in Badin High School,” Zimmerman said. “I went here; there’s a lot of tradition, a lot of family involvement. Certainly I feel an enormous amount of pride in being a teacher here. And there’s pride in teaching alongside a lot of my former students. That’s a neat thing.
“I’ve spent 42 years of my life in this building,” he added. “I’m proud to be here.”
This is the 20th annual Harry T. Wilks “Hamilton Celebrates Education” program through the Hamilton Community Foundation. Recipients from the various schools in Hamilton were recognized at a dinner at the Courtyard by Marriott in Hamilton on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Badin will receive a $1,000 grant from the HCF in Paul Zimmerman’s name for the Social Studies Department.