The Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award is presented to one educator or team from each of Ohio’s sixteen State Support Team regions who have made extraordinary contributions to the education of students with disabilities.
This year’s recipient goes to Marysville High School: Specialized Learning Classroom Team. This fantastic team consists of Lindsay Welk, Jennifer Wing, Kelsey Ahern, Josh Montgomery, and Tara Cromwell.
Over the last two years, schools have had to overcome barriers that inhibited essential experiences that have been most beneficial to a student’s education. The students in these Marysville High School Specialized Learning classrooms had been affected just as much. They were used to having opportunities to shop at the grocery store or complete job trials in the community, and run a school store or coffee shop for students and staff to enjoy. All of these experiences were halted due to safety concerns with the pandemic. Although this was disappointing to our students, the staff at MHS worked tirelessly to provide similar experiences to help support their students' educational experience. This team, in particular, has gone above and beyond expectations to give students in-school experiences that emulate those out-of-school opportunities that had to be put on pause. They worked outside of school hours to come up with in-school job trials, imitate job experiences, and take the time to create invaluable life skill experiences. These educators created an entire vocational lab to allow students to have different experiences that they may not have elsewhere. They even worked with the County Board of Developmental Disabilities to investigate opportunities outside of school. Each day, this hardworking team came to school equipped with new ideas, extra smiles, and positive energy that has persevered for our students' success. MHS students learn, gain new experiences, and feel supported all within the safety parameters necessary because of this incredibly dedicated staff!