Barb Washam Keith 


From the Hamilton Journal-News, May 14, 2007

Monroe teacher Blount winner

Award honors those who exemplify a commitment to history education.

By Linda Ebbing

HAMILTON — Hamilton educator Barb Keith has been named a 2006-07 winner of the Jim Blount History Educator Award.

Named for local historian and educator Jim Blount — a celebrated history teacher, newspaper editor and award-winning journalist who has written 10 books since 1994 — the award is sponsored by the Colligan project in concert with the Hamilton Community Foundation.

Honorees are those who exemplify the commitment to history and the achievements in history education epitomized in Blount's life and career.

"History is extremely important to students," said Keith, a teacher at Monroe Elementary. "I like to have history relate to the students and their daily lives ... for example learning about where their ancestors came from and how it affects their lives today."

Keith said she also believes it is important to make students aware of current events in their community — such as the new High-Main Bridge and past — and the history of their community — such as Alexander Hamilton, the city's namesake.

"Hopefully this will give them an appreciation of the community and encourage them to become responsible citizens in their own community," she said.

Keith and Terryl Meador of Northwest High School were selected among applicants in two categories — grades K-6 and 7-12 — from school districts throughout Southwest Ohio.

"We are proud to recognize and salute Mr. Blount and the history teachers he represents. It is talented and dedicated teachers like Barb and Terryl who have been and remain vital in bringing history to life for the young people of Southwest Ohio and, in turn, enriching the lives of all of its citizens," said Dr. Michael Carrafiello, Miami Hamilton assistant dean and director of the Michael J. Colligan History Project.

Award winners will be recognized at a dinner and awards ceremony scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the Harry T. Wilks Conference Center on the campus of Miami University Hamilton.

Each winner will receive an engraved desktop-size crystal sculpture, a citation and a $500 stipend.

Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2158 or



From the Hamilton Journal-News, March 31, 2004

Hamilton board recognizes teacher for actions with student
By Linda Ebbing

HAMILTON — Monroe Elementary teacher Barb Keith was at the “right place at the right time” Feb. 13.

While in the hall talking with another teacher, fourth-grader Andy Judd came running out of his room.

“He was obviously gagging,” Keith said. “I grabbed him and did the Heimlich (maneuver) and two pieces of cough drops came out. As soon as he started coughing I stopped and started talking to him and saw that he was OK.”

For her actions, on Tuesday Keith was recognized by Hamilton City School Board members.

Superintendent Janet Baker commended Keith for an “heroic act in saving the life of one of our students.”

Keith said she believes that “God had me at the right place at the right time. Normally I would have been in the teacher’s lounge eating.

“The students are under our watchful care every day and I care for them as if they were my own,” she added.

Board members presented Keith with a certificate and the student she assisted presented her with roses.

“She’s a great teacher and a great person,” he said. “And she takes care of everybody at the school.”