Area teaching teams honored

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Teachers and rookies of the year were honored at the Education Celebration April 29, at R. G. Drage Career Center. The annual event honors the hard work and dedication of Stark County's finest educators.

Award winners and guests dined on a dinner provided by Carrabba's Italian Grill.

Rookies of the year were Shaena Winner, Alliance City; Jenna Wager, Brown Local; Tammy Mishak, Canton City; Stephanie Berardo, Canton Local; Renee Kornish, Fairless Local; Rui Tan, Jackson Local; Zackery McCoy, Lake Local; Mary Snode, Louisville City; Emily Wagner, Marlington Local; Erin Roach, Minerva Local; Jennifer Beadle, North Canton City; Travis Stroh, Northwest Local; Amy Hilker, Osnaburg Local; Ashley Cross, Parochial East; Jaimie Brown, Perry Local; Joshua Branch, Plain Local; Nicole Lancaster, R. G. Drage Career Center; Cory Scott, Sandy Valley Local; Randi Nodo, Stark County Educational Service Center; and Jillian Zorn, Tuslaw Local.

These teachers are the future of education in Stark County.

The All-County Teaching Team honorees display a history of going above and beyond to educate his or her students. These teachers inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues, and play an active role in the community and their schools.

Teachers of the year were Jan Soltis, Alliance City; Rebecca Jo Carter, Brown Local; Janice Fiorello, Canton City; Deborah Urban, Canton Local; Laura Grimm, Dalton Local; Phil Lehenbauer, Fairless Local; Stefanie Abbott Fatzinger, Jackson Local; Barbara Linton, Lake Local; Mary Anne Schwartz, Louisville City; Jessica Gullace, Marlington Local; Erin Sykora, Massillon City; Stuart Grunder, Minerva Local; Susan Cammel, North Canton City; Ellen Tollett, Northwest Local; Trisha Zeiger, Osnaburg Local; Kim Gosney, Parochial East; Sue Hug, Parochial West; Betty Najdovski, Perry Local; Beth Waseity, Plain Local; Daniel Sabella, R. G. Drage Career Center; Mary Feltz, Sandy Valley Local; Stacy David, Stark County Developmental Disabilities; Cindi Middaugh, Stark County Educational Service Center; and Michelle Elsass, Tuslaw Local. Each honoree received a framed plaque, a green crystal apple, and a ring.

Laura Grimm received the Teacher of the Year Award. Laura teaches science as part of the STEM curriculum to seventh and eighth grade students at Dalton Intermediate School. Connecting science and current events makes learning relevant to her students. Encouraging students to become reconnected with nature is a priority for Laura.

She volunteers as a Space Camp Ambassador, hosting international students and coordinates the "Clean Your Desk Campaign." She is a member of the National Association of Science Teachers and the Ohio Education Association.

Two persons received the Lifetime Award. Larry Morgan was honored and Debbi and Karoline Smith received the award for Chris Smith posthumously.

Larry Morgan has been an educator for 50 years. He began his career as a teacher in Plain Local and Canton City Schools. He returned to Plain Local to serve as the Treasurer, Director of Business and Treasurer, the Assistant Superintendent, and then Superintendent. He currently is serving as the Superintendent at the Stark County Educational Service Center and R. G. Drage Career Technical Center. Larry has displayed leadership in many areas of the educational arena as well as the community.

Chris Smith began his career at Perry Local. He moved to Plain Local as the assistant band director before changing to Massillon City to lead the instrumental program. Chris wanted to impact even more students and entered administration in 2000. He served as Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent at Plain Local. He moved to Canton City to serve as Curriculum Director, Interim Superintendent, and was named Superintendent in 2012. Chris passed away unexpectedly in late 2012. He had a lasting impact on many teachers, administrators, friends and family.

Sponsors for the event this year include the Stark County Educational Service Center, Aultcare, Chesapeake Energy, ComDoc, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Junior Achievement, and First Merit Bank.

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