Walker Award: Carolyn Thomson reflects on the award

Carolyn (Badham) Thomson was the winner of the 1963 Walker Award her senior year.

The Walker Award is the highest award given at Puyallup High School. In 1963, this award was also given to Corky Diseth, with Claire Anderson and Joe Titlow being named alternates. Honorable mention was awarded to Diedra Hunter and Jim Johnson.

The Walker Award was given by faculty members to students who displayed excellence in all aspects.

“As I remember from 50 years ago, [the award] was mostly a scholastic award intended for people who had done well in school, were good students, good people and who were intending to go on and do different and more exciting things,” Thomson said.

The Walker Award was not only an honor, but it was a gateway to higher learning. Upon earning her award, Thomson was given college opportunities she may not have received otherwise. Receiving this award opened many doors for Thomson.

“It led to a couple scholarships and influenced a few more that I received,” Thomson said. “It certainly [helped in going to college]. My parents were trying to put two of us through college at the same time so [the award] was a big help.”

After receiving this award and graduating from Puyallup High School, Thomson went on to college to earn her teaching degree.

“My under graduate college was Washington State University and my graduate was University of Maryland,” Thomson said. “In [Washington State University] I majored in education and primarily in Spanish. When I went to school at the University of Maryland I received a degree in elementary education.”

After teaching until 1979, Thomson retired and decided it was time for her to move into the business world.

“I was a production manager for an investment casting company in the bay area then I moved to the northern area and I was an executive manager for a Swiss owned connector company.” Thomson said.

After 50 years of being alumni, Thomson still admires PHS and applauds what it has to offer.

“There is a very good foundation [at Puyallup High School] and a strong bevy of teachers. I learned a lot from them.”