The Daily News Citizen of the Year for 2015 has committed his life’s work to youth, both as an educator and a coach.

He works hard to instill three words into his students’ vocabulary: dedication, commitment and success.

Wayne Hample truly embodies what makes him the Citizen of the Year—setting high standards, being a good mentor and reaching out to area youth.

Hample is the physical education and health teacher at Wahpeton Middle School. He is also the driver education instructor at Wahpeton High School, and junior high football and wrestling coach and the assistant coach for the varsity wrestling team. He also coaches youth wrestling, giving the beginning wrestler a solid foundation to grow and mature. He is married to Kerry Hample, a music teacher at Central Elementary and is the father of three grown daughters: Shalyn, McKayla and Sierra.

Hample belongs to the Wahpeton Wrestling Club and is an active member of his church as an elder and a member of the church praise band.

Kelly McNary has worked with Hample for many years as a former educator and as a coach for the wrestling program for Wahpeton. He had the following to say:

I am nominating Wayne Hample as Citizen of the Year for our community. He has lived in Wahpeton since 1994 and has been a tremendous asset to the community since he moved here.

He was a part of our wrestling coaching staff for the 21 years I was head coach for Wahpeton High School and I can tell you that many of the athletes on the team commented that he was the most influential teacher or coach they ever had in their lives. They appreciated his support and willingness to give them his time, doing extra work with them to help them improve and giving them solid advice to use as they dealt with being athletes and becoming young men.

Another thing they appreciated about this man was his sincerity and one can’t forget to mention his sense of humor. He made the tough sport of wrestling more fun for the athletes he coached. Athletes want to be in the wrestling room when Coach Hample is there. He continues today to be a solid role model for young men to follow.

Mr. Hample is also a quality physical education teacher in the Wahpeton school system. He teaches middle school students in grades 6–8. Again, he does a professional job in his classes and makes the curriculum fun for his students. He also teaches driver education throughout the school year and then he accepts the challenge of working with the students behind the wheel throughout the summer months. He does a fantastic job working with two types of students–those who want to drive and those who are fearful of driving. Hample teaches them how to drive and helps them learn that driving is a graduation into one of those times in their life that is so important. He makes certain they understand this concept fully.

Wayne Hample is one of the best husbands and fathers I have ever known. He is a man who puts his family first, period! He is a godly man who has done a fantastic job of showing tremendous affection toward his wife, Kerry, and he would not miss supporting his three daughters in any way. They all respect and love their dad for all he has done for them. This is a father who not only taught them the importance of reading the Bible, but he also taught them how to hunt deer and other game. This is a dad who simply understands that family is second only behind God. He, along with his wife, are why the girls will be successful in whatever they choose to do.

Wayne Hample is also a man who will give you assistance when needed. He is a ‘handy-man’ who has fixed the plumbing in my home, cracks in my garage floor and shingles on my roof, too. When he does things like this, he refuses to take any money. He will only let me buy the supplies needed. He will mow a neighbor’s law or shovel the same neighbor’s walk without expecting to be thanked. He was around in 1997, helping fight the flood. He and Kerry have done much in their local church to help educate young and old members.

The list can go on, but I will stop here. Wayne Hample is simply one of the most well rounded men I know, and he is truly as asset to our community in so many ways. He has taught many a person so much by simply being in their presence. He is truly a role model and man who would be missed if he left our community.

Kathleen Leinen is managing editor of Wahpeton North Dakota’s Daily News.