Several local educators were honored recently at the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center’s 20th-annual Four-County Board and Dinner Meeting at the Patriot Center on the campus of Southern State Community College in Hillsboro.
Board of Education members, administrators and honored guests from Adams, Clinton, Fayette, and Highland counties were among those in attendance.
The guest speaker for the evening was the Ohio 2017 Teacher of the Year, Dustin Weaver, who currently teaches English classes at Chillicothe High School and who will take on the role of principal for CHS with the start of the 2017-18 school year.
Weaver shared that while his family wanted him to become a doctor, he chose a different path—a path that would allow him to foster his love of working for and serving young people.
He chose to become a teacher—not because it was a profession, but because it was a calling. And with that calling grew the understanding that all students can learn, even when the system says they can’t.
Weaver went on to share that educational leaders must recruit teachers with great potential as it is through great teachers that educational quality will be improved.
Moving to the awards portion of the evening, SOESC Superintendent Beth Justice presented the Momentum Award to Washington (Court House) Middle School Principal Eric Wayne. The Momentum Award is presented by the State Board of Education and recognizes schools for exceeding expectations in student growth.
Rogina Conroy recognized SOESC and Clinton-Massie Gifted Intervention Specialist Jen Molitor for having earned the designation of Master Teacher.
A master teacher demonstrates excellence inside and outside of the classroom through consistent leadership and focused collaboration to maximize student learning, all the while striving for distinguished teaching and continued professional growth as specified by The Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession.
Also among those afforded special recognition during the night’s events were “Friend of Education Award” recipients. Each year, superintendents from each of the four counties are asked to nominate members of the community as Friends of Education — individuals or organizations that have contributed greatly to successes in their schools.
Fayette County’s Friend of Education Award was presented to Rick Barton, Max Geer and Tom Harris.
With athletic budgets being stretched further and further each year, athletic booster groups are being asked to fill in more of the gaps so that student-athletes are able to compete in their respective sports in a safe and appropriate environment.
For the last 20 years, Barton, Geer, and Harris have given of themselves with no expectation that they or their families would directly benefit from their efforts, as none of the three had children who participated in the athletic programs offered by Miami Trace. Instead, their self-sacrifice has benefited thousands of Miami Trace student-athletes.
While other booster members, who had children participating in the athletic programs, have come and gone, these men have remained constant. They have served as leaders of the booster organization and have guided the organization through much change.
Through the sale of concessions, the athletic boosters have helped to support the 22 varsity level athletic teams at Miami Trace. Rick, Max, and Tom have given hours upon hours of time working concessions, and very rarely do they have a chance to catch more than a couple of minutes of a contest before they are called back to help with an unexpected task.
Miami Trace, its athletic department, student-athletes and the community at large are very blessed to have individuals such as these award recipients.
In their current roles, they are helping to mentor the next generation of booster leadership while also continuing to do work behind the scenes when no one is watching.
Additional Friends of Education Award recipients included Randy Chandler of Adams County, Butch Whitaker of Clinton County, and John Oyer of Highland County.
Bringing the evening to a close, SOESC Governing Board President Roger West congratulated the award recipients and thanked all those present for the leadership they provide and the role they play in the many successes schools have experienced.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.