2015 Distinguished Alumni Recipient
MA 1992, English
English Teacher, Harrison High School, West Lafayette, IN
Kathy Nimmer is an award-winning teacher, author, and motivational speaker from West Lafayette, Indiana, where she teaches high school English and creative writing at William Henry Harrison High School. A National Board Certified Teacher who has been teaching since 1992, Nimmer was named the 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year and is a finalist for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year Award. She also received the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest civilian honor in Indiana, and was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the YWCA. Nimmer won the NBC “Student Success” video contest in 2013, received the Butler-Cooley Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004, is a two-time recipient of the Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship, and was presented with the Golden Apple in 1998. In 2009, she was named a Lilly Distinguished Fellow, giving her the opportunity to fulfill the lifelong dream of writing/editing an anthology (including her personal experience) about assistance dogs: Two Plus Four Equals One. This follows a book of poetry in 2006, entitled Minutes in the Dark, Eternity in the Light. Nimmer is a frequent public speaker at local, state, and national events. In March 2014, she was honored to give a TED Talk at TEDxPurdue. Kathy Nimmer earned a Master of Arts in English from Purdue University in 1992. This followed a Bachelor of Arts in English education (minors in special education and communications) from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, in 1991.
Nimmer resides in West Lafayette, IN.