SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Through the month of March, KOLR 10 and Ozarks Fox introduced you to the four finalists for Springfield’s Remarkable Women campaign.

Wednesday on KOLR 10 Daybreak, Dr. Elizabeth Washington was announced as the winner.

Dr. Washington is the director of Special Services overseeing special and gifted education, E.S.L., and many other programs at the Waynesville School District.

She has worked in the prison system, helping inmates with disabilities. Four of Washington’s eight kids are adopted, and seven have disabilities.

“The perseverance that she showed,” said Ricky Harne, who nominated Washington. “And that was the biggest thing. But then the fact that she’s changed so many other people’s lives that, for all intents and purposes, maybe wouldn’t have had a chance in life, the children she’s adopted and parented and all that,” 

As part of her prize, Washington was asked to choose a nonprofit to receive $1,000. Dr. Washington chose for the money to go to the Waynesville Teacher Foundation.

You can learn more about our three other Remarkable Women finalists and why they were nominated:

  • Vashon Borich-Leach is a Martial Arts instructor in Branson who inspires and empowers her students on and off the mat.
  • Jeni Hopkins is an athlete who coached girls high school basketball, turning adversity into opportunity along the way and inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.
  • Clementine Bentley is a business owner, and artist, who trains service dogs, and is training for her first bodybuilding competition at 60 years old. Bentley shares her story of blossoming on the autism spectrum to inspire others.