September 23rd, 2012, the world lost not only an outstanding educator, but also an outstanding person. Those words come from Cheryl Wittner, principal at Hankins Middle School. Katherine Hasty Hankins died Sunday, September 23. She was a native and lifelong resident of Theodore Alabama. She graduated from Livingston University and spent more than 45 years as a teacher and thousands of children are better because of being one of her students. She started teaching in the Mobile County Public School System at Alba School in Bayou La Batre and at her alma mater, Theodore High School where she had graduated in 1934. Throughout the years, Mrs. Hankins taught Science. Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Girls P. E. She also she drove a bus, coached a boy’s basketball, baseball and six man football team. During her tenure Mrs. Hankins also served as a principal, assistant principal and instructional specialist. On March 1, 2000 the Mobile County Board of School Commissioners voted to rename the Theodore Middle School as the Katherine H. Hankins Middle school. This was the first time a Mobile County Public School was named after a living person.
Mrs. Wittner says if she needed to know something about the older structures on campus, she would call Mrs. Hankins. Each time Mrs. Wittner walks the grounds of the school or down the halls, she hears Mrs. Hankins in the background telling her the story about that particular place or area in the front hall where her desk was located for many years, and the grove of Satsuma trees which lined the campus. They spent countless hours talking “teacher talk. They would laugh and marvel about the past, present and the future of teaching and children.
Lillie Ray in Transportation recalls Mrs. Hankins as an absolute joy. When Lily was a student at Theodore, Mrs. Hankins would invite students into her office, just to talk. She was never to busy to spend time with a student. She was an exceptional perso who remembered you and called you by name when she saw you even when you were an adult.
She touched not only the lives of the children she taught, but the many staff, and community members that came in contact with her. She will be sadly missed.