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JCPS teacher struggling with stage 4 cancer earns prestigious award

On Thursday, one of the many selfless teachers in Jefferson County, who has been struggling, is getting an award that is much deserved.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 3:51 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On Thursday, one of the many selfless teachers in Jefferson County, who has been struggling, is getting an award that is much deserved.

Rob Hammond wanted to make a difference with his life. He said it’s the reason why he got into teaching.

JCPS superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio surprised the Waggener High School teacher with one of six Lighthouse Awards. The award is given to JCPS employees who are guiding lights for students and keep them on the path to graduation.

Hammond stopped teaching recently, because he is struggling with stage 4 cancer. He was undergoing treatment, but it was just getting too hard on his body. He couldn’t make it up the stairs to his classroom.

He and his family decided it would be best for him to take some time for himself and his family.

Hammond thought he was just saying goodbye to a few students on Thursday, but received a big surprise instead. He was given the Lighthouse Award, and students also gave him the first copy this year’s Waggener yearbook, which is dedicated to him.

“When it comes down to it, these guys will tell you, you are doing it and you are doing it well,” Hammond said. “It’s always nice when they recognize you for something like that. I got two whole pages in the yearbook, man! Can’t beat that. I love this job, and I would keep doing it if I could do it.”

It’s not the physical award that makes Hammond feel honored, it’s seeing how much his students appreciate him. They made that very apparent during Thursday’s celebration.

Hammond unfortunately doesn’t have much time left. He said another joy in his life is that he is a father to an amazing four-year-old daughter.

He said he and his family is planning a trip to Disney soon. He wants to make sure his daughter meets Rapunzel and he wants to build a lightsaber.

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WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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