Apr 27, 2018

2018 PEA, PEF Awards Banquet Honors Presented

2018 retirees

Numerous individuals and area organizations were honored Thursday night at the 12th annual Friends of Education Dinner, hosted by Pickerington Education Association and Pickerington Education Foundation.

The event was held at Lakeview Junior High School.

The Pickerington Education Association is made up of the district’s professional educators, nurses, guidance counselors and specialists who serve the children and families of the district.

The Pickerington Education Foundation was founded in 2004 to enrich, enhance, and support the educational process Pickerington Schools so that every student can achieve his/her full potential.

Congratulations to all these winners!

Pickerington Education Foundation Awards

2018 PEF Honorees

  • Aimee Milligan, Diley Ridge Medical Center
  • Chuck/Mary Beth Wilde, EPS Ohio
  • Sharon Buccilla, Hickory Lakes
  • Richard Ricketts, Esq., and Cheryl Ricketts
  • Herb Gardner, Steed Hammond & Paul
  • Craig Maxey, Target Business Services
  • Mark Ulbrich, Pickerington High School North Principal

2018 PEF Sponsors

  • 5/3 Bank
  • Huntington National Bank
  • Kohls
  • Modern Office Methods (MOM)

2018 PEF Classroom Grant Recipients

  • Teri Allen
  • Tammy Barletta
  • Benjamin Baiocco & Matt Hentemann
  • Bridgid Fry & Beth Klamo
  • Craig Jackson
  • Monica Lavelle
  • Michelle Leasor
  • Sheri McClarren & Doug Forrest
  • Kris Owen
  • Whitney Robinson
  • Marci Truex & Julie Meek
  • David Zwiebel

Classroom grant awards

2018 PEF Scholarships

  • Alicia Newbury
  • Bob Weida

Pickerington Education Association Awards

2018 Friends of Education awards (along with comments from the schools)

building winners

Sgt. First Class Adam Dick, Pickerington High School Central

Sgt. First Class Adam Dick has served as the Ohio Army National Guard recruiter and works with both high schools. Adam is well known around Central and has provided information about military career opportunities by offering classroom presentations to students and teachers. Adam also volunteers for many building activities and builds positive relationships with our students and staff. We appreciate the work Adam has done not only here at Central, but also for our country.

Cleo Hawes, Pickerington High School North

Cleo Hawes finishes his third-shift job, then volunteers his time to serve as a mentor in North’s Gifting M.E.N. Program, in which men from the community are giving back to our youth by Mentoring, Educating and Nurturing (M.E.N.) Cleo assists students with the process of acquiring and practicing the components of social and emotional learning, which includes responsible decision making, relationship skills, social awareness, and self-management. Cleo reinforces North’s RESPECT motto and has made a tremendous impact on our male students, as well as our building culture and climate.

Sara Diehl, Lakeview Junior High School

Sara Diehl is Lakeview’s PTO President. She has done an excellent job this year supporting our students, teachers, and staff. Sara is responsible for the PTO social media sites and keeps the community informed of important school information. She has been very creative with student functions such as Teen Night, which has seen increased participation under Sara’s leadership. Lakeview appreciates the very inviting themed luncheons for the teachers and staff. They provide a welcomed change of pace and opportunity for a relaxing time to enjoy lunch with colleagues.

Leah Spivak, Ridgeview STEM Junior High School                           

Words cannot even describe the amount of gratitude Ridgeview has for Leah’s contributions the last couple of years. She has donated more hours than one can count in trying to make Ridgeview a better place for our students, staff, and community. Leah attends Teen Nights, helps runs the school store, decorates our tree for the PEF auction dinner, helps with fundraisers, and volunteers during Make a Difference Day. She also helps plan every staff meal during Parent-Teacher Conferences and teacher appreciation events. The creativity and effort she puts into making teacher gifts are truly special. Most importantly, she is a great person and a joy to work with.

Josee Widener, Diley Middle School

Josee Widener is an outstanding PTSO volunteer who organized numerous activities for our students, such as Super Diley Day, Spirit Week, AR Store, Book Fairs, Olympic Week activities, and fundraising drives. Josee loves our students and teachers and we appreciate countless hours she spends planning and preparing these special opportunities.

Amanda Genheimer, Harmon Middle School

This year, Harmon’s Friend of Education recipient is PTO President Amanda Genheimer. Anyone in education or schools knows the value and importance of a strong parent-teacher organization. While volunteerism is high, Harmon has struggled in this area, having gone a few years without a president, let alone a full PTO board. That all changed in May 2017 because of Amanda. Mrs. Genheimer marched into our media center with an energy and passion we hadn’t seen in some time. Mrs. Genheimer is truly a breath of fresh air. She has invigorated our parents, celebrated our teachers, and brought back programs (like the Book Fair) for our kids. Mrs. Genheimer is hardworking, trusting, trustworthy, highly productive, and a whole lot of fun.

Dana Hiles, Toll Gate Middle School

Dana Hiles is very deserving of the TGMS Friend of Education Award. Dana often serves as a substitute teacher and has an amazing rapport with students, no matter what classroom he is in. For several years, Dana has volunteered his time in the evenings as a judge for our Spelling Bee. Dana builds relationships with students by knowing them by name and asking about their day. He helps contribute to the feeling of family in our building.

Brian McCafferty, Fairfield Elementary School

Brian McCafferty is a local chef who regularly dedicates his time and talents to Fairfield’s Leading Lads Program. This program matches men in the community to support young boys through mentoring relationships. Brian has been a constant presence at each Leading Lads meeting and has offered support and encouragement to several of our boys.  He does not hesitate to take time out of his work day as a chef to participate in the monthly meetings. He is a positive role model who has much to offer. We truly appreciate the support Brian gives to Fairfield.

Melissa Shafer, Heritage Elementary School

Melissa has dedicated much of her time and talents to Heritage Elementary during the past eight years. As a PTO member, she has been involved in planning many special events for our students, including Father/Daughter Dance, Carnival, Chat n’ Chew, and Book Fair. Melissa has volunteered in many classrooms to work with students, assisted in the library and acted as a VIP for many teachers. She always looks for ways to support the students, parents, and staff at Heritage. Melissa and her family will be greatly missed!

Dave King, Pickerington Elementary

Dave King, owner of RentaSky, has become an integral part in our STEM day, which takes place in the fall. He provides students with an interactive learning station using his drone to capture images and then discuss the capabilities of drones. The knowledge Mr. King brings to our STEM day about his UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), FAA regulations, and the Green Screen technology he uses to produce a video of the day, are the highlights which help make STEM DAY a successful experience for all of our students!

Marilyn Keane, Sycamore Creek Elementary School

Marilyn is not only a parent but a dedicated volunteer at Sycamore Creek. She has worked endlessly in classrooms and spearheaded several successful PTO events for our students, parents, and staff. Her dedication and hard work makes her one of the most sought after volunteers in the building.  Marilyn takes pride in being part of our school district and community and we are fortunate to have her as part of Sycamore Creek elementary.

Sandy Weber, Toll Gate Elementary School

Sandy has consistently volunteered her time at TGES for several years and has recently started bringing in her amazing therapy dogs, Tucker and Leo, to provide peace and calm for some of our students. Sandy has been recognized by several buildings as their Friend of Education Award winner, and in fact was chosen in 2015 as our District Award winner. Sandy Weber is so deserving of this award as she is truly a “friend” to all!

Keisha Robinson, Tussing Elementary School

Keisha has been Tussing’s PTO President for the past three years, and she has done a phenomenal job! When she began in this role, she had to start from scratch because all previous PTO leaders had moved away. Keisha goes above and beyond to make sure our PTO does everything it can to support our students, families, and staff. It is with great excitement that Tussing honors Keisha with this award!

April Kim, Violet Elementary School

April has been a volunteer at Violet for the past five years. She has been PTO secretary and is currently the vice president. Keisha has taken charge of planning the Father/Daughter Dance and organizing events such as PTO Gives Back Week, Spirit Week, Movie Nights, Zoo to You, Trunk-or-Treat, and Boys Night Out. Violet would like to thank you for your dedication, patience, and generosity. You help make Violet a kind, caring, and helpful place to be!

Overall District Awards

Pickerington Education Association 2018 District Friend of Education

PEF Overall district winner Keith Ebright

Keith Ebright, a 1966 graduate of Pickerington High School. Was selected as the 2018 District Friend of Education Award recipient because he has truly modeled a lifetime of service to public education, volunteerism, and continued support for students, teachers and our community.

Keith has served as the “Voice of Pickerington North Football” since North opened in 2003. He also announces district and regional softball tournaments at Pickerington Central.

In high school, he was junior and senior class president and excelled in sports and music. He was tri-captain of Pickerington’s first football team in 1965. He married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Blum, (PHS Class of 1967). Keith and Dottie will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year.

Keith served Pickerington Schools for 30 years as an elementary teacher and ultimately as the high school’s Director of Guidance. He received the District’s Educator of the year award in 2006.

He also coached girls basketball for 26 years and was awarded the Ohio Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year Award in 2005. He was voted into the District 11 Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010.

Keith served on the New Horizons Mental Health Board for 21 years and currently serves on the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Board. He is very active on the Pickerington Alumni Association Board. He is a veteran and a member of the American Legion Post 283, serves in many capacities within his church, and sings with the Columbus Swiss Singers, Singing Buckeyes Barbershop Chorus, and three barbershop quartets.

Pickerington Education Foundation 2018 Building Grant Award Winners

PEF Building Grants

These awards were presented to Sycamore Creek Elementary and Violet Elementary.

The Violet Elementary award will help create a space to use mindfulness techniques within the school, where students can go to de-escalate or take time out to manage frustration, stress, or emotional overload.

The Sycamore Creek Elementary award will create a 21st-century learning lab within the school, where students will have first-hand interaction with robotics, coding, 3D printing, video production, and augmented reality.

2018 Susan W. Hughes Memorial Scholarship

PEF student awards

The PEA also presented the $1,000 Susan W. Hughes Scholarships to two deserving high school students, Lauren Johnson of Pickerington High School Central and David Bean of Pickerington High School North.

Lauren Johnson plans to attend Wright State University to study nursing. Lauren says, “I know nursing is my passion and will forever be my passion. Caring for people at their most vulnerable state and time of need is so humbling.”

Lauren has participated in many service activities, including volunteering at local nursing homes, charity races, food drives, and tree plantings. She served with the organization Girls on the Run to help train elementary-age students to run in a 5K race. They not only help with the physical training, but also the mental training to help young girls build their confidence and recognize their place in the world.

Although Lauren has thought about medical school, she feels nurses work more closely with the patients than doctors. Lauren  says, “Nurses check a patient’s vital signs, their pain levels, and – most importantly – their mental status, and offer a hand to hold when a patient might need it the most.”

David Bean plans to attend Belmont University to pursue interdisciplinary studies in the areas of mechanical and audio engineering and music. David states, “A core aspect of my life that has influenced my path of study and career choice is my love for music. My mother taught my siblings and me how to sing and harmonize when we were small children.”

David has sung in a variety of choirs since the third grade and has participated in choir at North for the past three years. He discovered that good music makes people feel good because of the vibes, which actually are sound waves or energy in motion. David discovered that people have used music and sound wave energy therapy for years.

Davis believes that following his passion will result in producing quality sound, music, and great energy vibes that will touch, motivate, inspire, and move the soul of people and society in a positive direction!

This memorial scholarship is in honor of Susan W. Hughes, Pickerington High School art teacher and PEA president who served students and teachers for 17 years. Her life was an example of courage, dedication and overcoming adversity. When she was forced to retire from teaching due to her illness, she continued to educate others through her newspaper articles and her art work. Susan W. Hughes was an inspiration to all.

Congratulations to all these award winners! You truly make Pickerington Proud!