OAESA 2016 Distinguished Principal, Katherine Nowak
Congratulations to our Distinguished Principal, Katherine Nowak, former principal of Hayes Intermediate in the South-Western City Schools and currently a 2-5 principal in the New Albany Plains Local School District. Trusting. Calm. Connected. Amazing. Helpful. Courageous. These are the words we heard several times during our visit to Hayes Intermediate. When you first enter the doors, you can feel the love Mrs. Katie Nowak has for the building. It is evident she truly embraces the students, staff, and community and does whatever it takes to create an amazing learning environment. When Mrs. Nowak first came to the school, she immediately led the building and there was a high level of mutual respect. This is evidenced by the focus on developing the whole child through the arts, academics, community service, and a sense of belonging. The staff echoed this theme by sharing that Mrs. Nowak’s support has enabled them to grow and develop as they moved to the next level as a building with the implementation of PBIS and TBTs. She is the lead learner in the building and truly a teacher at heart. She recognizes differences and embraces them. This quote shared by a staff member truly speaks to Mrs. Nowak as both a principal and a person: "Katie has taught me to be a better person.” It is an honor to recognize Mrs. Nowak as a 2016 Ohio Distinguished Principal.
Congratulations 2016 Secretary of the Year, Sheri Fitz, Granby Elementary in the Worthington City School District. Our recognition service team learned many things about Sheri during the selection process. For example, we know that she has an unlimited supply of patience and that she's incredibly dependable when it comes to running the office. We also found out that she is an "A & B-er, consistently going above and beyond” for the staff and kids at Granby Elementary. Other qualities that describe Sheri are trustworthy, confidential, punctual, friendly, and highly skilled at her job. Now, we would expect anyone nominated for this award to possess traits like these, and indeed, all our nominees did. But something special about Sheri sets her apart from other nominees. Perhaps it was the loyalty to Granby that she regularly displays by wearing the school logo monogrammed on her personal clothing or on a magnet affixed to her car. Or maybe it was the service mindset that she demonstrated when she was observed simultaneously juggling a phone call in progress, the security buzzer on the front door, and a visitor at her counter, and made each one of them feel as if they had her undivided attention. Of course, it could just as easily have been her care and concern for others, as identified by student Evelyn White, who told us "Mrs. Fitz tries her very best to make sure all our students are happy and enjoy Granby,” and that "Granby is a safe and comfortable place we can learn in and feel good.”
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.
Congratulations 2016 D. Richard Murray Service Award Winner, Dr. Pamela Young!
Dr. Young became an associate superintendent for the Ohio Department of Education in 1999 where she directed the department's Office of School Options. In 2002, she earned a PhD in educational leadership from the University of Dayton. She is currently an assistant professor and Director of Accreditation in the School of Education and Allied Professions at the University of Dayton. She serves as a member of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) board of examiners.
Dr. Young’s career has been dedicated to creating change in challenging times, both in the field of education and within her community. She has served on numerous boards including the City of Springfield Planning Board, Community Mercy Health Partners, and Springfield Civic Theatre. In 2010, she served as community member in Springfield City Schools’ Middle School Improvement Process, reviewing student conduct, school climate, and academics.She served as a mentor for the inaugural Professional Women’s Resource Conference in 2012.
Many of Ohio’s educational teachers and administrators have benefitted from Pam Young’s influence. Fortunately, that inspiration continues as she actively pursues interests in learning assessments, closing achievement gaps, and studying the theory and practice of preparing administrative candidates to work in diverse settings. Thank you for your contributions, Dr. Young!