Alumna honored for service to the city of Hopkins

Photo: Gabby Landsverk

Barb Blake Westmoreland '73 celebrates her retirement after 28 years with the Hopkins School District. She's pictured with fellow volunteer Ron Kamps. Photo: Gabby Landsverk.

On June 6, Barb Blake Westmoreland '73 appeared at Hopkins City Hall, as she had many times in the past in support of various events and projects. This time, there was an extra special reason for her visit. City council member Jason Gadd gave an overview of Westmoreland's service to and impact on the city of Hopkins. Then, on behalf of the council, Mayor Molly Cummings thanked Westmoreland for her contributions and announced July 1, 2017 as Barb Westmoreland Day in Hopkins.

“I hope you’re accepting every accolade, because you deserve all of them and much more,” said Mayor Molly Cummings to Westmoreland. “You have made our community a place people want to raise their families. We’re really, really lucky.”

A lifelong resident of Hopkins, Westmoreland's history in the community is vast. After graduating from St. Kate's in 1973 with a degree in education, she began teaching at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Hopkins. Later, her passion for volunteering led her to a position in the Hopkins Schools Community Education program as an activity and volunteer coordinator. This spring, she retired from the Hopkins School District after 28 years of service.

In addition to her work with Hopkins schools, Westmoreland has been involved in a wide array of volunteer activities. She's a member of the Rotary Club, the Woman's Club, and the Hopkins Business and Civic Association. She's a co-founder of the Hopkins Race and Equity Initiative, and serves on the Blake Road Corridor Collaborative. She's also a founding member of ResourceWest, a nonprofit that provides services to low-income families in the community. More than 20 years ago, she pioneered the Empty Bowls event in Hopkins, with more than $1 million raised.

"Barb has a heart for volunteering and serving those without," says Kathy Whaley '73, who met her at St. Kate's when they were both education majors.

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By Sara Berhow