In Memory

Lillie Hamilton

Lillie Hamilton

LILLIE BELLE HAMILTON was born at the time when Congress had just passed the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote...the culmination of the women's suffrage movement. Lillie upheld the principles of the movement through her own involvement in the political scene as a voter as soon as age permitted and later as a poll worker. She even attended both a Democratic as well as a Republican Convention and was pleased to have heard both Claire Luce Booth and Herbert Hoover speak. This was also a time when Edmund Walsh of Georgetown University had been appointed by the War Department to a board of five educators who designed the studies for the Students' Army Training Corps. His experience led to his conviction that education in the United States did not provide adequate studies in diplomacy, international relations, and foreign languages. Again, Lillie took his findings to heart in her own pursuit of languages, Spanish and Latin, and served a two-year stint at a Woman's Teacher Training College in Tripoli, Libya. She was very proud of the letter (partly in Latin) from Adlai Stevenson, written when he was the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, regarding his opinion of the value of foreign language study. A graduate of Agnes Scott with a master's degree from Middlebury, Lillie shared her language skills and love of learning with countless students over her teaching career-from elementary school, junior high, to high school in the Fulton County School system-retiring in 1981 from College Park High School, the same year she was inducted into the Georgia Teacher Hall of Fame. She had previously been selected as the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) Latin Teacher of the Year in 1968 and the FLAG Spanish Teacher of the Year in 1973. As a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Beta Nu Chapter for key women educators, she held various offices and spearheaded many projects. She headed up a delegation that help found a sister organization in Great Britain and received the Delta Kappa Gamma State Achievement Award in 1996. She was a firm believer in professional participation and served also as a president of the National Spanish Honor Society, Co-Chair of the Georgia Junior Classical League, Contest Chair for the National Junior Classical League (participating in 32 NJCL national conventions), and was one of the original founders and a past president of the Foreign Language Association of Georgia from whom she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding service and contributions to foreign language education in Georgia. For a woman who never drove a car, she visited over 116 countries endeavoring to bring back and share cultural and historical insights with her students inspiring many to follow in her footsteps as teachers. She is survived by her two daughters, Cynthia and Hillary Hamilton.  Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on October 16, 2011

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03/01/12 04:09 PM #1    

Carol Emerson (Stakley) (1962)

I still Thank My Lucky stars that she was my Latin teacher.  Wiithout the base she gave me I would have never made it through my Anatomy,Kinestiology, Neuroantomy, and Study of Diseases in college.  She was always my favorite teacher.  Carol Stakely

08/10/15 12:17 AM #2    

Ginger (Kathryn Virginia) Croley (Blackstone) (1967)

Mrs. Hamilton was my favorite teacher at CPHS, where she taught me both Latin and in Spanish.  Her superior intellect held my steadfaast attention, as did her command of the classroom.  Yet under her teachings, I learned much more than languages. Mrs. Hamilton a world traveler, Mrs. Hamilton regularly shared her knowledge of global economics, customs and daily life.  She had a delightful sense of humor but tolerated no foolishness when it was time to work.  She drilled into us that all languages are based on Latin--that if we learned those "Latin root words," we could build our vocabularies endlessly, in English and any other languages.  She was mysterious and brilliant.  I had the good fortune to see her a couple of times in a local store, and I was so pleased she remembered me; (she used to tell her students that she rarely remembered her students, because there had been so many.) We had a great laugh when I asked if she remembered me; "Of coursse, I remember you, Ginger! how could I forget you?"  I was so very honored. And how could I ever forget my wonderful teacher, Mrs. Lillie Belle Hamilton.

01/26/18 10:44 AM #3    

Kimberly Warr (Duncan) (1978)

Lillie Hamilton had a great influence on my life.  She was a great teacher and her life was far more exciting than most of the students ever knew.  She presevered and was not afraid to state her mind.  I visited her often after graduating College Park.  

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