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Instructor reflects upon 22-year ‘wonderful trip’

A surprise visitor at the International Friendship Center’s 28th annual meeting Tuesday elicited many smiles from guests, and also resulted in an elated teacher, who was thrilled to see one of her first English as a Second Language students whom she taught several decades ago.


ABOVE: Gloria Vee Hamilton, left, greets her former student, Arkady Dorman, AGC Automotive Americas Bellefontaine plant manager, during the International Friendship Center’s 28th annual meeting Tuesday. Dean Wright from AGC, far right, also stopped by to honor Mrs. Hamilton’s retirement. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Gloria Vee Hamilton, left, and Connie McGlone read a retirement card Tuesday given to Mrs. Hamilton by Kris Swisher. The message of the card is spelled out using various snacks and treats, including “Thank you Mounds” using a Mounds candy bar. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | MANDY LOEHR)

Arkady Dorman had stopped by the meeting to say “thank you” to recently retired instructor Gloria Vee Hamilton, who taught him English after he moved to the area from Russia with his family.

Mrs. Hamilton, 88, popped out of her chair and moved quickly to greet Mr. Dorman, who is now the AGC Automotive Americas Bellefontaine plant manager.

“I didn’t speak any English when I arrived in America,” Mr. Dorman said. “I took classes with Gloria for several years, and she was a wonderful teacher. She taught me so much.

“Thanks to Gloria, Nancy (Saul, former IFC executive director), and many others who helped us.”

The International Friendship Center honored Mrs. Hamilton during the meeting for her dedication for helping others like Mr. Dorman who are new to the country. She retired in April from teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages classes (as the courses are now called) after 22 years of service, including 21 years of perfect attendance.

“We can’t thank Gloria enough for everything she has done for us,” Board President Vicki Fay Rapp said. “She’s been a special teacher to so many of our students, and has developed friendships with them.

“She’s also my mentor, and I value her friendship.”

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