"The governor was telling me about his mother who was a learning disabilities teacher who had spent years and years in the classroom," she said.
Governor Jay Nixon came to Hosea Elementary to update the St. Joseph School District on his budgetary plans for education.
"Education is the best economic development tool there is," Governor Nixon said, with school district administrators nodding in approval. "An educated workforce, a trained workforce, is able work to their full god-given potential. That is how you move this economy forward in the long run."
Added to this year's budget is a $150 million increase in education spending.
Nixon has proposed adding $34 million of that increase on higher education. Those funds will be allocated based on two and four year institutions' performance meeting certain goals like retention and graduation rates.
This funding will also add an additional $17 million dollars to early education, which will more than double the money that goes into the Missouri Preschool Program.
And preschool became a big part of the governor's conversation with Ms. Hamilton.
"We were talking about the difference that preschool makes when kids present themselves in kindergarten and in first grade. She said that difference is stark," Governor Nixon said.
"Our main goal is to make sure every student here is a reader," the former Teacher of the Year explained. "And when students come in who have had that preschool experience and they've had kindergarten all year, they are ready both socially and academically and it makes all the difference in the world."
And as Ms. Hamilton's students read to themselves, and with each other, she says she truly believes the Governor is interested in their education now, and in the future.
"When he told the story about his mother he said after she had been diagnosed with cancer she went back to the classroom because she wanted to spend her last days in the classroom. I know that he knows. He's heard her stories. He's lived it. He knows the importance of education."