Homage to the Hawkins: Celebrating decades of teaching together


Carl and Carol Hawkins

Julia Miller, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Oftentimes, teaching is a tradition: something passed down to the next generation. But the Hawkins family has taken this tradition to the next level. For the last 12 years, longtime educators Carol and Carl Hawkins have had the opportunity to teach at Santa Fe alongside their son Kyle Hawkins. 

A staff member since 1997, Carol Hawkins has contributed greatly to Santa Fe, originally as a science teacher but later returning as a librarian. Serving the school for 22 years, Mrs. Hawkins has not only given her time to Santa Fe, but her heart and soul. Mrs. Hawkins expanded the library’s resources by encouraging the implementation of eBooks. She started Santa Fe’s “Brown Bag” book club, which hosts dozens of students, and dedicates hours to monthly club meetings—selecting books, decorating the room, purchasing snacks and holding fun discussions. On top of all this, she has served on a variety of committees, such as Mr. and Miss Santa Fe. Yet despite her hefty workload, she is always ready to lend a helping hand.

“Mrs. Hawkins is a true servant who wants to help her colleagues,” said library media specialist Angela Coffman. “Whenever a teacher comes in needing anything, she will stop what she is doing if she is not teaching and work to meet that teacher’s need.”

This helping attitude extends to Mrs. Hawkins’ students as well. She not only teaches the media aides, but also works alongside them to ensure the media center runs smoothly. The media aides are grateful for her tutelage. 

“Mrs. Hawkins has been a mentor to me, as she is one of the kindest, most knowledgeable, and overall greatest people I have ever met,” media aide Rylea Gause said. “As a hopeful librarian, I see Mrs. Hawkins as an inspiration and a model of how to be both a great librarian and a great person.”

Another great mentor at Santa Fe is Carol Hawkins’ husband, Carl Hawkins. For a whopping 28 years, Carl Hawkins has taught and coached at Santa Fe. Boasting a degree in industrial arts, Mr. Hawkins has taught a variety of subjects—industrial drafting, woodworking and photography—in addition to his many years coaching boys cross country and boys and girls track. 

“In Oklahoma, he is a coaching legend so the opportunity to coach with him is one of the greatest experiences of my life,” his son Kyle Hawkins said. “He is the only boys track coach we have had at the school, so after he leaves we will have a rebuilding year—a lot of changing and growing.”

As the end of the year draws near, the Hawkins find it difficult to say goodbye to Santa Fe. 

Carol Hawkins said, “The students give me hope for the future and often give me such joy when I see them growing into great adults. The teachers I work with are some of the most nurturing people in the world and I will really miss them!”

Carl Hawkins agrees he will miss the people he interacts with. He especially enjoys coaching students in track and teaching students to take pictures.

“My favorite part of Santa Fe is the students; every year I get to meet someone new and get to know them,” Carl Hawkins said.

However, despite how difficult it is to say goodbye, the couple is ready for their next stage in life.

“The pandemic made me think about the uncertainty of tomorrow and how important it is to spend the time we have with people we love,” Carol Hawkins said. 

After the couple retires, Carol Hawkins plans to spend more time with her 91-year-old mother and visit her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren in France.