Recognition Programs   

Excellence deserves recognition! The nominations for this year's awards are now closed. Winners for the below awards will be honored at OAESA's annual professional conference, Team Up! Superheroes for Kids, June 13-15, 2018.

  • National Distinguished Principal
  • Outstanding Assistant Principal
  • Secretary of the Year
  • Hall of Fame School

Hall of Fame School Application Process Information

Need more information on nominating and applying to be a Hall of Fame school? Click below for a recording that features Hall of Fame school winners, and hear first hand what the process is like and what made them stand out from the other nominees:

OAESA Hall of Fame School Recognition Program

Exemplary educational programs that go above and beyond meeting the needs of students in elementary and middle level schools across the state are recognized annually through the OAESA Hall of Fame School Recognition Program. This award has been distributed since 1984.

Congratulations, 2017 Winners
  • Benjamin Harrison Elementary, Marion City Schools
  • Brentmoor Elementary, Mentor Exempted Village Schools
  • Center Elementary, Mayfield City Schools
  • Champion Middle, Champion Local Schools
  • Chieftain Elementary, Logan-Hocking Schools
  • Northfield Elementary, Nordonia Hills City Schools
  • Van Wert Elementary, Van Wert City Schools
  • Walter Kidder Elementary, Brunswick City Schools
  • Waterville Primary, Anthony Wayne Local Schools

OAESA 2017 Distinguished Principal Award

Honorees are selected by their colleagues for achievements above and beyond those expected in the usual school program. The criterion for the selection of the OAESA Distinguished Principal Award winner(s) has been set by OAESA, NAESP, and the United States Department of Education. OAESA has been recognizing Ohio's outstanding administrators since 1984.

OAESA 2017 Distinguished Principal, Rhonda Peeples

When introduced to Principal Peeples, we were struck with the intensity of a woman that had a clear sense of vision and a vibrant, caring personality.  She was extremely complimentary to each person she had conversation with and knew every student by name with a personalized comment for each of them. Daily morning meetings with the student body showcase the sense of school community and dedication the staff has to working with students, ensuring they succeed both within the school and outside in their neighborhood. It was evident that everyone shared the same vision and passion for accomplishing their common goals, whether it be PBIS, empowering teachers with job-embedded professional development, or literacy coaching. Principal Peeples is entrenched in her surrounding school community, which shines through multiple programs that have been established to support parents and students to increase parent involvement, improve attendance rates, and encourage early childhood education. Without reservation, all evidence supports Ms. Rhonda Peeples as the 2017 OAESA and NAESP National Distinguished Principal.

OAESA Outstanding Assistant Principal Award

2017 Outstanding Assistant Principal, Michael Emmert

Michael Emmert is a humble leader. He goes above and beyond the call of duty, spending many hours before and after school with community activities and PLC work. He actively acquires donations for school events and spear-heads student activities. Students and staff both emphasized the time Michael spends listening and recognizing them in a positive manner. He exemplifies the best in school leadership. The destiny of every student is tied to his or her school’s leaders to provide students with the best education possible. Michael is an exemplar representing the thousands of hardworking administrators across Ohio.

OAESA Secretary of the Year Award

2017 Secretary of the Year, Bev Kassner

Qualities that describe Mrs. Kassner are trustworthy, confidential, caring, respectful, and empathetic. She is committed to students, staff, and families and often puts their needs ahead of her own. Now, we would expect anyone nominated for this award to possess traits like these, and indeed, all our nominees did. But something special about Mrs. Kassner set her apart. Perhaps it was the tireless work ethic she showed when J.F. Burns was asked to be a pilot school and move to becoming “paperless.” Or maybe it is the service mindset that she demonstrates when she juggles multiple tasks at once, all with a smile. Of course, it could just as easily have been her care and concern for others, as shared by student Paige Alford, who told us, “Mrs. Kassner is always there to greet us and make sure we stay safe and behave until the bell rings. I have seen kids get off the bus sick, and Mrs. Kassner was the one who would be there to tell them everything would be OK and help them find the nurse.” Then again, it might have been her wonderful sense of humor. Mrs. Kassner has a contagious laugh that makes everyone around her laugh as well. She keeps the office atmosphere light and cheery. OAESA is proud to honor Mrs. Beverly Kassner as the 2017 Secretary of the Year.

OAESA D. Richard Murray Service Award

To recognize D. Richard Murray, Emeritus OAESA Executive Director, the OAESA Board of Directors has annually presented an award to an individual who has provided outstanding service to benefit administrators and the children they serve during the most recent year

OAESA 2017 D. Richard Murray Service Award, Kenneth Bernacki

When searching for the right word to describe Ken Bernacki, “dedicated” barely scratches the surface. His personal commitment to the field of education goes beyond a job, a career, or even a higher calling, and it extends into a passion that is felt by every student, parent, and colleague within his reach. Like all incredible leaders, his is a selfless ambition, driven at every level by a service mindset with the end goal of what is best for students. From teacher in Cleveland Public Schools, to building administrator in Euclid City Schools, to his current role as the Director of Pupil Personnel for West Geauga Local Schools, his core belief that educating every child is a collaborative effort has made him a unique and well-respected leader throughout northeast Ohio. And his dedication moves beyond the region with his fine work for the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators. His service to OAESA includes positions as county representative, Zone 8 director, President-Elect, President, Past President, and a member of the Recognition Service Team. In addition, he has served the National Association of Elementary School Administrators as Ohio representative from 2010-2014 and contributed as a member of the NAESP Credentials Committee. For these contributions and many more, OAESA is honored to award Ken Bernacki with the D. Richard Murray Service Award for the 2016-17 school year.