Nancy Watkins named Woman of the Year

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
From left are Jean Kinnamon, Agnes Koresko (Nancy's mother), Judy Redlinger, Kim Weese, Woman of the Year Nancy Watkins, daughter Deb McGrath and Diana Vance.

Little did Nancy Watkins realize that when she created the framed award announcing the Mercer County Women for Women's "2011 Woman of the Year" with the name Carol Gosling, that the name was bogus -- at least as this year's winner.

Committee member Judy Redlinger instructed Watkins to insert the name Carol Gosling as the winner, telling Watkins she was a woman from the New Boston area.

Watkins' mother Agnes Koresko was a  member of the committee making the decision on this year's winner. She stepped aside from the committee while the decision was being made, so as not to cause a conflict of interest.

Watkins was totally surprised when the letters started to be read.

With nominations from Kim Weese and Diana Vance, both of Aledo, Nancy Watkins was honored by the organization Mercer County Women for Women as the 2011 Woman of the Year at the May 17, dinner meeting of the organization.

Watkins, a retired English teacher from Aledo High School, received glowing accolades from the two women who nominated her.

Weese read her letter nominating Nancy Watkins: "She was an important part of helping hundreds of students devel-p their academic skills so they would find success in their college career, their post high school careers and their life." Weese also listed off several areas where Watkins took leadership roles at Messiah Lutheran Church, including being Sunday School Superintendent for a good number of years and head of the education committee. "She helps organize, plan and serve the Christmas dinner our church family serves every year for the public."

Vance talked to Nancy's family members before writing her letter of nomination. "The word 'cherished' came to mind when listening to her family describe her as supportive, patient, cheerful, non-complaining, generous, energetic, self-sacrificing and always available," said Vance.

Besides the framed award, Watkins received a beautiful red lily, some gardening equipment and a book on container gardening.

Watkins said she will probably keep the name Carol Gosling on the award as part of that special memory.