2005 Honored Alumnus
Mrs. Bessie (Nissen) Hawks-Class of 1929
Mrs. Bessie Hawks of Elgin received the second annual Honored Alumnus Award during the Elgin High School Alumni Banquet, Saturday, June 25 in the EHS gym.
Her award was presented by Kathy Jillson Cook, a 1975 EHS graduate. Bessie was born in 1912 at Rosalie, NE with a birth weight of slightly more than two pounds. She moved with her family to a ranch west of Elgin at about age five.
She had a great desire to go to school, so she rode to town on horseback to attend Elgin High School. After her graduation, she began teaching at age 17 and continued her education. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wayne State College in 1963.
Mrs Hawks taught seventh and eighth grades at Elgin Public Schools. At least one of her students was in the finals of the Antelope County Spelling Bee for more than 17 years. For eight consecutive years, the county spelling bee champion came from her eighth grade classes.
Many of Mrs. Hawks' former students have thanked her over the years for teaching them how to study. They have said their study skills learned in the eighth grade allowed them to be successful in high school and college.
Four Generations of EHS GraduatesSteve Heithoff '76, Crystal Heithoff '05, Darlene Hawks Heithoff '54 and Bessie Nissen Hawks '29