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Dunkin’ Donuts Hometown Hero Honored

Kate Luke recognized during Sunday’s men’s basketball game

February 27, 2014


Dunkin’ Donuts Hometown Hero Honored

Kate Luke with Chris Ackerson and Chris Balshewit

Contact: David O’Brian (dobrian@binghamton.edu)

VESTAL, N.Y. – Kate Luke, an elementary school teacher at Benjamin Franklin School in Binghamton, has been named this year’s winner of the Dunkin’ Donuts Hometown Hero Contest. Now in its third year, the contest honors a local educator in the Binghamton area.

Luke was honored during halftime of the Binghamton men’s basketball game against Vermont on Sunday. She was awarded with Dunkin Donuts coffee for a year.

Luke, who has been at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School for over a decade, was nominated by her former students Chris Ackerson and Chris Balshewit. She was notified of her award on Tuesday morning at the school’s morning assembly in their auditorium. 

After Ackerson’s dad was in an accident, Luke and Balshewit helped him and his family get through the hard time and helped him with his homework.

“She makes learning fun and easy for the class,”  Ackerson and Balshewit said in their nomination essay. “We are very close because she is like our mom at school. She also loves Dunkin Donuts coffee and always has a big cup of it and says it is her gas for the day. No one else deserves to win for being the best teacher but her!”

“I ensure that every child that comes through my door is accepted,” Luke said. “We all have our own strengths and deficits and we build off of that every day. It really means a lot to me knowing that I have touched these children’s lives just as I have set out to do. I work with a great team at Ben Franklin which makes my job even more enjoyable. I really love my job and I thank all of the little lives that I get to inspire each day. They are my true motivation.”

“Dunkin’ Donuts believes in recognizing those who inspire others to be the best they can be,” said Eric Stensland, Field Marketing Manager for Dunkin’ Donuts.  “We’re pleased to be able to honor Kate Luke for her commitment to our future leaders, workers and thinkers.”

Last year, John Kocik of St. John’s the Evangelist was the award winner. In 2012, Dario Vasquez of Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School was the selection.

NOTE: Luke earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Binghamton University.

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