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Winkler honored as outstanding staff member at Columbia

MADISON – Pam Winkler was humbled when she learned that she is 2020 “Staff Member of the Year” at Columbia Elementary School.

“I cannot thank the Columbia school family enough for the honor,” Winkler said. “The administration, teachers and support staff at Columbia are amazing. It has been such a blessing to work as part of that support staff.”

Previously, Winkler taught special education classes in Jefferson and Madison counties and in Sumner County, Tennessee. “In 2015, Jamie Hill gave me the opportunity to work as a special education aide for Columbia. I’m so indebted to him for hiring me under his phenomenal leadership and with an incredible school family,” she said.

She works with elementary children but feels “personally blessed to watch our teenage grandchildren and teens at church maneuver high school, college and life. The one aspect that impresses me most is their willingness to think for themselves and do (what is) right no matter what others are doing.”

When Winkler hears the word ‘determination,’ one special student comes to mind. “He’s an athlete and gifted in his sport. He played last year in a very non-encouraging atmosphere, coupled with personal physical injuries,” she said.

However, the student didn’t let others deter him from doing what he loved. “He was determined to rehab his body and train his mind to overcome the hurtful words of others,” Winkler said. “It has been amazing to watch this young man get back in the game and succeed in his sport.”

She and husband Mike have been married 47 years. A full-time minister for 45 years, Mike Winkler has served as Pulpit Minister of Madison Church of Christ since 2001. The Winklers have three married children and six grandchildren. “They all serve in either educational or medical fields. We’re so proud of their commitment,” Pam said.

Pam and Mike have participated in evangelistic and benevolent trips to help people with spiritual and physical needs. “We always came away with more benefit and inspiration than we gave,” Pam said.

“We loved watching our three children play sports from T-ball through high school and college,” Pam said. “We’re currently having a great time watching our grandchildren play for their high school football, basketball, baseball and cross-country teams.”

The Winklers also enjoy SEC sports (especially Alabama), hiking and exploring America’s beauty.

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