NEWARK — Lincoln School Principal Jeff Hamelinck doesn’t remember ever being more surprised than when WROC’s News 8 Anchor Kevin Doran walked into the crowded Farewell Friday morning assembly in the gymnasium Dec. 13 and told him he was a Golden Apple award winner.
Stunned, Hamelinck was little teary eyed as he not only was greeted by Doran, but his wife, Kari, and daughter, Elizabeth, his Aunt Colleen and Uncle Joe, Superintendent Matt Cook, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Krista Lewis; former Kelley School Principal Chris Mizro and NSCD 6-12 Literacy Coach Robin Uveges.
“It was an amazing surprise,” he recalled later. “What a tremendous honor to be recognized by your peers! Recognition by your peers is one of the highest honors I think you can have. It means the world to me because of the high regard I have for the students and staff at Lincoln School.”
Nominated for the award WROC gives out weekly to outstanding educators in the region by the Lincoln School family (staff and parents), Hamelinck said it gives him great pleasure to work each day with super heroes (staff), super kids and their families.
“Our students and staff do tremendous things every day that I have the opportunity to be a part of,” he said. "This is a very special place and I am honored to be fortunate enough to call it home."
In the letter nominating Hamelinck for the award, the “Lincoln School Family” said: “Mr. Hamelinck has such a strong sense of family that he extends to the children, families, Lincoln School staff and the Newark community. He is an amazing teacher, colleague, administrator, parent, father and friend to all. He takes the time to know every child's name in our building and shows them how much he cares. He makes amazing connections with children that will last a lifetime! His perseverance, determination and dedication to education shines through as he helps guide and educate parents, teachers and children every day. Mr. Hamelinck is an inspiration to us all as he continues to craft new and exciting ways to help our Lincoln School Family be the best we can be! We thank Mr. Hamelinck for caring about our Lincoln School Family and look forward to him guiding us through the next 100 years at Lincoln School.”
Hamelinck has served as Lincoln School Principal since July 2012. Before that he was an Administrative Intern/Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) at Kelley School for the previous four years when Mizro was principal of the grades 3-5 school.
Born and raised in Newark, Hamelinck, who attended Lincoln School, spent the first 10 years in the NCSD as a primary teacher at Perkins School. He graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 1998 where he majored in elementary education. He received his master’s degree in computer education from Nazareth College in 2001. He achieved National Board Certification in Early Childhood Education in 2005; and received Certificate of Advanced Study in Education Administration from SUNY Oswego in 2009.
The Golden Apple award presentation to Hamelinckwill air on WROC at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 7 and at 10 p.m. that evening on Fox cable channel 7. The report will feature interviews with Mizro as well as Uveges, who worked with Hamelinck at Kelley School for two years when she and he were both TOSAs there. Mizro said Hamelinck is an exemplary educator whose first and foremost concern each day is doing what is the “very best for children.
“He knows them all by name and goes above and beyond in all that he does including attending their extracurricular events” to cheer them on. Uveges told Doran, Hamelinck’s compassion for students is “unparalleled.”
“He is a Grade A leader and human being,” she said.
Cook later echoed similar sentiments.
“Jeff is an excellent principal and a great man.” he said. “He is very deserving of this type of recognition. I’m very proud to serve with him in the Newark Central School District.”