(Posted Oct. 20, 2023)
The Performing Arts Department at London High School received a gift of $1,200 from the Mary F. Holton Inspirational Teacher Gift fund. Jan Betz and Tom Holton represented the Holton family at the Oct. 10 school board meeting with news of the decision.
The gift closes a 20-year program established in 2003 by William Holton in honor of his wife, Mary F. Holton. Mary Holton was an advocate and strong supporter for London teachers. William Holton and his two brothers were London school system graduates, and their four children also graduated from London schools.
William established the Mary F. Holton Inspirational Teacher Gift in 2003 after Mary passed away. Each year beginning in 2005, students selected a high school teacher who “inspired a student or students to develop a desire for learning.” The Mary Holton Gift was $500 for the teacher to spend on himself or herself, not on classroom materials, but with the intention to make the person a better teacher. Recipients received a desktop or shelf memento, and their names are on a plaque in the high school display case.
For the 20th year, the Holton family, including sisters Julia in Kirkland, Wash., and Susan in Taunton, Mass., recommended to Principal Rismiller and Superintendent Lou Kramer closing the program with one final gift. In keeping with the family’s wishes, they selected the performing arts program to receive the gift. Music and theater were always part of Mary Holton’s life.
With this final award, the Mary F. Holton Inspirational Gift has given approximately $10,700 to London High School teachers and now the performing arts program.