Blust named BPW Woman of the Year

| October 22, 2019

COSHOCTON – Kathy Blust almost did not attend the monthly BPW meeting on Monday, Oct. 21, but decided to come at the urging of her friend and fellow BPW member. However, it was the meeting that will stay with her for the rest of her life as she was surprised when she was named the BPW Woman of the Year.

“This is a really great surprise,” said Blust. “I’ve had so much fun. My biological family isn’t here, but my church family is. There’s no greater family than your family in Christ.”

Blust was surprised as the doors to the parlor opened and her friends came in to congratulate her. Tomma Bordenkircher read comments from some of her friends during Blust’s presentation.

“She has never stopped learning and trying to make things better for her students,” said Cynthia Davitt as part of her comments about Blust. “She is truly a champion of them.”

Pastor Jim Gross and his wife Robin also submitted a comment that was read by Bordenkircher.

“She is not one to settle for business as usual,” they said. “Life can be hard and disappointing, and many are quick to throw in the towel, but not Kat. I have never seen her shirk a responsibility or miss an opportunity.”

Blust’s friend Leila Smith had this to say about her: “Kathy lives compassionately, encouraging and supporting all who she encounters as she pursues her goals. Kathy is a pleasure to know and her positive mindset is contagious. Kathy is a blessing to this community, her team, friends, and family.”

Principal of Ridgewood Middle School, Bryan Raach, had this to say about Blust: “Her passion for her students does not stop when they leave the school. She has used connections made with her students in the classroom to help them throughout their lives. I cannot think of a person more deserving of this award.”

Blust is a 10-year member of BPW and has her master’s degree and doctorate in education. She has served as vice-president for three years and was the 2018 Individual Development (ID) class state winner. She has also helped organize and teach ID classes. She has published, “Teachers’ Perception of Bullying and Their Practices in Reporting Bullying Incidences” and is the author and developer of “PD5”, a professional development program for engaging teachers in achieving distinguished levels of Ohio’s teaching standards.

She served her country for eight years in the navy and has one son, Kyle. It was after she had her son that she decided to go back and get her teaching degree, and she is now a fourth grade math teacher at Ridgewood Elementary. She is also involved in jail ministry with women prisoners and is involved with an after-school program for at-risk students.

“I want to make a difference because Christ made a difference in me and He saved me from a life of, maybe I would have ended up in jail or suspended from school, and that is worth sharing that love and giving them hope and showing them a different way to live,” said Blust.

Blust said she enjoys being a facilitator in prison ministries and watching the women come to Christ.

“It’s all about empowering people to take responsibility and make a difference,” said Blust. “I want them to become productive members of society and truly make a difference.”

Blust said that BPW has empowered her to embrace her femininity and strength.

“When I was in the military, I worked in a world of men,” said Blust. “Then I had my son, and I was a single parent the whole time, and I was so focused on parenting and education. Then when my son and I left Dayton and came back here, this is my hometown, I didn’t know anyone. Then I came to a BPW meeting and coming in and seeing all these women, they just drew me out of this masculine world, and they brought out the woman in me. They have demonstrated poise and femininity and strength, a strength that I didn’t see from the men in the military. It’s an inner strength that men don’t have.”

Blust also has a strong faith in Christ that she shares whole-heartedly with all she meets.

“I gave my life to Christ when I was pregnant,” said Blust. “I was in Maryland and didn’t know anyone. I went to Wal-Mart and saw a Precious Moments Bible and, getting ready to be a new mom, I bought the Bible. I spent eight months of my pregnancy in a house in the woods and I read that Bible. There was a cross outside of this church and I got down on my knees and cried for an hour. I got on this journey and did a lot of praying. Christ truly forgave me and I don’t know if I was on the right path at all before I met Christ.”

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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