RACINE — At the January CORAS virtual meeting, State Superintendent of Instruction, Paolo DeMaria and Patton College of Education Dean Renee Middleton helped to recognize school personnel from throughout the region for their dedication to serving students during the COVID pandemic.
Locally, Southern Elementary Principal Tricia McNickle was honored for her efforts in educating, feeding, and seeing that students received basic needs while school was out of session during the onset of the pandemic.
“From the bus driver to the school secretary, each school employee can influence a child’s experience in school. Today, we honor some very special people that have gone far and beyond the scope of their jobs to serve students, to take care of them, and to show how much they care,” said Supt. DeMaria. DeMaria helped the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) recognize the outstanding school employees making a difference in Ohio’s Appalachian schools during the COVID crisis.
Dr. Richard Murray, Executive Director, began the virtual meeting and welcomed members of the viewing audience. Murray then spoke of the heroism that school personnel demonstrated across the region during the pandemic. He noted that rural communities and geographics of the CORAS umbrella presented unique challenges to schools and families. In transitioning to others in the program, Murray thanked and praised school employees and award winners for their efforts.
Supt. DeMaria then spoke about everyday challenges, and how those challenges compounded as the pandemic unfolded. He praised each of the honorees for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Dean Middleton then praised schools for stepping to the plate. She praised the honorees as special people doing special things.
Jerry Mowery, Zane Trace Local-Ross County, and Executive Board member of Region 1 addressed the award winners and congratulated them for their efforts. He then closed the ZOOM virtual segment of the meeting and turned the presentation over to the local communities.
Southern Supt. Tony Deem noted that Southern’s nominee was someone that exceeded the principles of the CORAS award , and met the highest standards expected of the position.
Deem introduced Southern Local Board President Denny Evans, who introduced Tricia McNickle as the CORAS award winner. Evans noted that having special people like McNickle and their positive personal relationships with kids is one of the great advantages of living in a small community. You don’t have that connection in big cities he noted.
“We are honored to have someone like you representing our district,” Evans said in presenting the award. “You do things for kids behind the scenes that not everybody sees. It’s a great honor for me to present Mrs. Tricia McNickle with this award.”
In attendance were Tony Deem, Denny Evans, Brenda Johnson, Vice President of the Board of Education; Christi Hendrix, Treasurer; Daniel Otto, High School principal, and Scott Wolfe, Federal Programs.
The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS), in partnership with the Ohio University Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education, is an organization of 110 school districts and other educational institutions in the 32-county region of Ohio designated as Appalachia. School districts in neighboring counties, institutions of higher education and related organizations may become members of the Coalition. CORAS is under the governance structure of a Regional Council of Governments and is funded through membership dues and support from the Ohio University Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education.
Information provided by Southern Local.