Aug. 9, North Central Ohio Educational Service Center hosted our annual Opening Day Teacher Convocation at The Ritz Theatre. We had more than 700 guests, which included all of the ESC employees, guests from our member districts, sponsors, and community leaders and members. We would first like to thank all of our guests for joining us on that exciting day.
We also would like to thank John O'Leary, who was our keynote speaker. His message was very powerful and inspiring.
John O'Leary is proof of the power of the human spirit. As a nine-year-old boy, he was burned on 100 percent of his body and given less than a one percent chance to survive. He endured months in the hospital, years in therapy, dozens of surgeries and lost all his fingers to amputation. Despite the odds, he not only survived - but thrived.
John is a college graduate, business owner, hospital chaplain, international speaker, husband and father. His presentations have been described as "captivating, amazing and life-changing." With emotional story-telling and great humor, John challenged and empowered every audience to dream again, re-ignite their passion and take positive action.
John's story and perspective on how each of us can make a difference was impactful. At times, our audience was in tears ... other times laughing ... and all the while thinking about how one person can make a difference and what he/she can do more of to make things better. He left our group with the following quote: "When you know why, you can endure any how."
We were able to bring John in as our speaker because of the generosity of many of our sponsors. We would like to extend a special thank you to: Webster Industries, National Machinery Foundation, Mercy Hospital of Tiffin, Clouse Construction, Heidelberg University, Quick Tab II, Action Printing, Fremont Federal Credit Union, Tiffin Ace Hardware, The Advertiser-Tribune, Carmie's/Camden Falls, CSI Construction, Diversified Graphics, Frameworks, OE Meyer, Roppe Corp., SIEDC, Terra State Community College and Tiffin St. Joseph Federal Credit Union. We would also like to thank Michael Strong, Lucas and The Ritz Theatre for your continued support and service on our opening day.
Each year, NCOESC also recognizes individuals who have made a difference in the lives of the children and organizations they serve. Congratulations to the following award winners: Eric Baugher, Krista Gerhart, John Kramer, Lori Bumb, Sheri Lyn Allen, Shawn Siebenaller, Kim Adams, Amy Bauman, Kerry Eppley, Chelsae Seibenaler, Erica Kusian-Hunt, Sheri Ross, Mary Jo Rodriguez and Molly Riley. These individuals were nominated by their peers for their distinguished service.
This year awards were also presented to: Judge Jay Meyer, for his continued dedication and compassion to the youth of Seneca County; John and Lois Gordon, for sharing Rusty's Story with more than 13,000 students in Ohio (they lost their son to a texting driver); Scipio/Republic Fire and Attica/Venice/Reed Fire Departments, for their dedication to the Seneca East Local School District; and to Board Up/Dave Hefflinger, for their donation of more than 350 smoke alarms following the deaths of three students in the Seneca East Local School District.
North Central Ohio Educational Service Center continues to be a committed leader in our community in order to meet the needs of our educational partners. Thank you, again, to all who contributed to this very special day. Your support makes a difference.
Kelly Hohman, director of marketing,