Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. honors educators


BY NAOMI NESBITT, Chapter Organizer and Chapter President

PASADENA — The St. Petersburg Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., held their annual Community Recognition Luncheon at the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club last Saturday. Educators within the community who have focused their attention and careers on developing and shaping the lives of our youth and adults were honored.

This event was organized as a “thank you” to educators for the work they do and the many hours of educational training they endure to prepare themselves to teach our youth and adults.

Guest speaker Ann-Marie Clarke, the assistant director of Pinellas Technical College, St Petersburg, earned her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida and served Pinellas County Schools in the field of education for 28 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and now in her current position of assistant director.

In fact, she holds the distinction of being the first black principal of Bay Point Middle School. Clarke gave a moving message to the teachers, assuring them that they impact lives through their daily work. She also made clear that they were being honored for their tenacity and unbelievable commitment to propel students to the next level.


  • Annette Faison, retired  – 39 years of service

  • Darren Hammond , Principal at Pinellas Secondary Alternative School – 36 years of service

  • Willette Houston, Principal at Bear Creek Elementary School – 18 years of service

  • Bessie R. Kirnes, retired – More than 34 years of service

  • Dr. Henry Oliver , 30 years of service

  • Stephanie Lawson , 17 years of  service

  • Gregory Perkins, 30 years of service

  • Nicholas Wright, 13 years of service

Each honoree was presented with a personalized crystal pen award for their contributions to the community by St Petersburg Chapter President and Chapter Organizer Lady Naomi Nesbitt.

About Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.

Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. is an international, humanitarian community service 501(c)3 organization. The objectives of the organization focuses on their signature youth group known as Top Teens of America, to enhance the lives of senior citizens, to enhance the status of women, to create and implement projects to preserve the environment and to enhance community partnerships that simultaneously meet the goals of the organization.

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