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Local Winners of Franklin B. Walter Awards Announced

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA) recognized 84 of Ohio’s top students from across the state during the 31st Annual Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Awards Program.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s event was held virtually through two-way interactive video and live streamed on the Association’s YouTube Channel. Kerri Weir, OESCA President and Superintendent of the Northwest Ohio ESC, stated, “We could not let current circumstances prevent us from honoring these outstanding students.”

The awards program, named in honor of Ohio’s 31st State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Franklin B. Walter, was established in 1989 by OESCA to promote and recognize outstanding student leaders for their academic achievement and service to their schools and communities. One senior from each county in Ohio was eligible to receive this annual honor.

Eligible applicants must be a high school senior enrolled in a public school within an ESC’s service region. Recipients were required to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and community service as indicated by high school grades, test scores, school and community activities and awards.

Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center (MOESC) was the ESC for two county winners. In Crawford County, Vincent Demski from Crestline Exempted Village School District was the winner. Demski will be attending Columbus State Community College and majoring in Marketing. For Morrow County, Bruce Jordan from Highland Local Schools was recognized. He is planning to major in Biomedical Engineering but is undecided on which school at this time.

MOESC Superintendent Kevin D. Kimmel praised the scholars. “These young men have been striving for excellence throughout their scholastic career, and we are so proud of their accomplishments. While the ceremony happened in a different way, it in no way diminished their achievement. They should be proud of themselves for the rewards their hard work has brought forth. They have a bright future ahead.”

Lt. Governor John Husted delivered this year’s keynote address. “We are honored to have the Lieutenant Governor address the students and families,” stated OESCA Executive Director Craig Burford. “In order to achieve this level of success, these students have demonstrated bold leadership, resilience and grit. These are the same characteristics the DeWine Administration has displayed and called upon each of us to model for our families and communities during this unique time in our state’s history. We are grateful to have a member of the Administration address the award winners.”

Over the past 31 years, OESCA has recognized over 2,500 scholars and student leaders during this event. “Ohio’s ESCs have over a century of service in providing technical assistance and support to Ohio’s schools and students, and during this event we get to see the impact of that work,” added Burford. “We look forward to our continued partnership with school district leadership and state policymakers to ensure students have the tools and resources necessary to succeed regardless of where they live and attend school.”

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