Nancy Hatch

Zonta's Woman of Achievement Award 1995


Nancy Winter Hatch

1995 Woman of Achievement Citation:

This year's Woman of Achievement, Nancy Hatch, has worked tirelessly for over 20 years on behalf of families and children, locally and throughout the world.

For the last 14 years, Nancy has served as the librarian for Barry School. As librarian, she is responsible for not only books, but also the video machines and the computer lab. Arriving long before the children, she frequently is the last to leave as well. Not content with simply providing resources, she works hard to stimulate the children's interest in reading. Through her efforts, the children have been exposed to visiting authors and speakers. An “Accelerated Reader" Program, read-ins, and special displays further introduce the children to the joy of reading. Her strong dedication to PTA, first as a parent and later as a teacher, has been honored by the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as a life membership in that organization.

Nancy began her teaching career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal. She has continued her interest in those from other countries, including a Romanian family associated with her church. She and her husband, Doug, worked hard to get them settled into the community. In addition to her three daughters, Shanti, Kamala, and Allison, she has welcomed a fourth "daughter", Pragya, into the family from Nepal.

Actively involved in her church community, Nancy has served for six years as Elder and member of the Session and the United Presbyterian Church, in addition to her many other activities.

Her nomination for Woman of Achievement ended with the following words, "Nancy is a friend who never thinks of herself first. She is always doing for others and in my estimation is truly a 'Woman of Achievement.'"

Article from Cortland Standard, Friday, April 14, 1995

Librarian Is Zonta Woman of Achievement


Nancy Hatch admits she is rarely at a loss for words. However, all the books in Barry School couldn’t put words into this librarian’s mouth as she stood speechless before 450 students during morning assembly last Thursday.

That was the day Hatch learned from two Zonta Club members and Diane Ames that she was the ciub’s 1995 Woman of Achievement recipient. ‘It was a real surprise. I had no idea. I was absolutely flabbergasted, overwhelmed,” said Hatch of the honor which made her proud for her profession as a teacher and librarian. “I'm not usually without words, but they caught me without words that day,” said Hatch, who was nominated by Ames, who always recognized a special quality in her friend since meeting at church 20 years ago. Regardless of what aspect of the community Hatch is committed to — be it families, school or church, she is always there — willing to volunteer, said Ames. While some people muse about how it would be nice to help others, “she doesn’t just think about it, she acts...,” said Ames, who took action herself by nominating Hatch. A recognition luncheon in honer of Hatch will be May 7 at 12:30 p.m. at Tinelli’s Hathaway House, Solon.

For 17 years, the Zonta Club has honored women for outstanding service and commitment to the community. In Hatch’s case, her commitment has spanned two hemispheres. In the Eastern Hemisphere, Hatch’s work began nearly 30 years ago, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal where she taught English as a second language and served as an assistant te the librarian at Tribhuran University. After three years in the Peace Corps, she and husband, Douglas, stayed in Nepal from 1969 to 1972 where Nancy worked as a librarian for The International School.

When the couple returned to the United States, they relocated in Cortland, where they raised three daughter. When the youngest was in first grade, Hatch began working at Barry School.

Yet this librarian is not content just to provide resources to children in a quiet setting Ames. Determined to stimulate an interest in reading within the young minds, she invites authors and speakers to visit, conducts read-ins and encourages participation in the Accelerated Reader program. Long after her children graduated from elementary school, Hatch remains dedicated to the students. “She is not an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. teacher. She is there early in the morning and late into the night,” said Ames, a former Barry School PTA President, who noted that Hatch received National PTA Life Membership Award. She also received the New York State PTA Life Membership Award.

Hatch’s commitment to people has also spanned a lifetime — from volunteering in Nepal to helping a Romanian family settle in the Cortland community. “She reads to the children and helps the mother learn English,” said Ames. “She goes the extra mile,” she added. Actually, in Hatch’s case, that translates into extra miles especially in the case of their “fourth” daughter, Pragya,.a native of Nepal, who with the help of the Hatch family is now in her second year of medical school in the United States. ‘We consider her one of ours. She has been with us for eight years,’ said Hatch of Pragya who plans to return to Nepal and establish a medical practice to benefit children in a manner, similar to her mother, always putting others first.

“Nancy's a friend who never thinks of herself first. She is always doing for other and in my estimation is truly a ‘Woman of Achievement,” according to Ames’ nominating letter.

Tickets for the luncheon may be purchased at Cortland Picture Frame Co., 9 N. Main St., Connie Gamel Beautique- Suntique, 64 Main St., Cinquanti Real Estate, 66 Port Watson St., or from any Zonta Club member.



Seeking to fill the need for a service organization of executive women in business and the professions and inspired by the passage of the 19th Amendment for women's suffrage, the original nine Zonta Clubs united to form the Confederation of Zonta Clubs on November 8, 1919. The first nine clubs had a combined membership of 600 women and came from Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Elmira, Syracuse, Ithaca, Utica, Erie, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan. Zonta International was formed in 1930 after the chartering of the Toronto, Canada club. In 1931, Vienna, Austria and Hamburg, Germany became the first two European clubs. Currently, Zonta International has close to 1,000 clubs with a membership of approximately 35,000.

The Zonta Club of Cortland was chartered on October 12, 1973. As a service organization, the major focus of our activities involves fund- raising in order to make donations to area projects and volunteering for, and serving on, boards of the major agencies of the community. Local service projects include contributions of approximately $5,000, with awards to agencies such as the Caring Community Hospice, Jacobus Health Center, AWVV, YWCA, and YWCA Child Care, Special Children's Care Center, Cortland, Co. Child Development Center, Preble Child Care Center, Youth Assistance and Youth Bureau Speakout, Youth Soccer, L.E.A.R.N., Office of the Aging Adult Day Care, Cortland Co. Soil & Water (for trees), The Salvation Army, YWCA Child Abuse Council. In addition, we award scholarships to two graduating seniors from Cortland County Schools and contribute seed money to the Ruth Schaub Memorial Scholarship, with the goal of using the income from the fund to provide scholarships to enable women to further or complete their education and re-enter the workforce.

We also sponsor prizes for the annual YWCA Famous Women Essay Contest and give special recognition for volunteer service to a local teenager through the annual Jean M. Coon Award. We are proud to have sponsored the Homer High School Z Club in which teenagers provide service to their school and community and gain valuable leadership skills. We support and maintain the Zonta garden on Clinton Avenue.

Internationally, we join with Zonta Clubs worldwide to support UNIFEM, the U.N. Development Fund for Women, to provide education and training to disadvantaged women in developing countries, and the Amelia Earhart Fellowships for women earning advanced degrees in aeronautics and aerospace industries.