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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

Educator Awards

Nominations are open for 2020 Career-Technical and Adult Educator Awards -

Click here for more information and to access the online nomination form

2019 Award Winners


Kip Crain, Superintendent, Wayne County Schools Career Center 

Kip Crain, WCSCC Superintendent is positive, tireless, and passionate for Career Tech Education and student success. Researching new teaching strategies and support programs, daily and weekly speaking engagements, visits to business and industry and our home schools, attending or organizing community events, meetings and calls with legislators are just part of his schedule. He also regularly visits classrooms, motivates staff and students, and organizes school initiatives. WCSCC was the first school in Northern Ohio to have certification for Bring You're A-Game to Work (employability skills) and, Drug Free Clubs of America (a voluntary club with over 67% of students joining). Both have been in place for five years, and Dr. Crain is involved in many of the clubs, even serving as the Kiwanis Advisor to Key Club and coaching speech and officer contestants in Career Tech student organizations. One of this nominators, Susie Lawson, summed up Dr. Crain’s involvement by saying, “Kip Crain, Ph.D., WCSCC Superintendent is one of the most active visionary and student advocates I have known in my 25 years as a board member on local, ESC, and career center boards of education.” As a speaker, leader, facilitator, and coach, he is positive and energetic when working with students, staff, home school counselors, administration, employers, post-secondary partners, parents, and community members. Kip is constantly bringing in innovative and supportive programs for students.


Thomas O'Neill, Instructor, Butler Tech/Ross High School

Thomas O'Neill is an Information Technology teacher at Ross High School.  He is an exemplary instructor who goes beyond the classroom with students.   His problem-based approach to learning carries out to critical thinking applications and solutions to world-wide problems.  Mr. O'Neill’s students have partnered with Samsung in a Solve for Tomorrow Challenge in which they focused on solving two of the United Nation’s goals on solving world hunger and poverty by creating a non-profit company. This group of students began their venture by presenting their non-profit company, JEE Foods, to the United Nations in New York City.  This company has partnered with Kroger and repurposes food that would otherwise be thrown out by flash freezing and dehydrating to provide to local food banks.  In addition, Mr. O'Neill facilitated a competition through Samsung where his students created an emergency response app that schools could use.  His students won at the state level and finished within the top ten nationally, awarding the classroom with $50,000 in Samsung technology. Mr. O'Neill is also the advisor for the CTSO SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) that promotes global cooperation.  This same group of students who began their journey at the United Nations presented their company JEE Foods at the SAGE National Competition in 2018, winning number one in the nation and then competing globally in Durban, South Africa in August 2018 where they won the World Cup against 42 other countries! These students have been recognized by U.S. Congressman Davidson and then again for winning the Congressional App Challenge in December of 2018. His nominator, Amy Webb, said of his efforts, “I have never seen an instructor like Mr. O'Neill.  He is credited with thinking outside the box in his approach to the classroom and exceeds expectations in career technical education with his ability to challenge students to their full potential.   Students are pushed to think critically and problem-solve and leave his class instilled with life-long skills.”


Matthew J. Ferrell, Media Design CTE Program Teacher, Washington High School CTE

Matthew Ferrell came to Washington High School's CTE department in 2016-17 and has been a catalyst in the complete transformation of the Media Productions program at Washington High School. His innovative ideas in technology, production, editing, graphics, marketing and use of social media have made the WHS TV program one of the best in the country.  Mr. Ferrell was a proud graduate of the program in 1995 and after 20 years in the industry decided to come back and serve this unique opportunity for the Massillon students. Mr. Ferrell has played a major part in implementing in his short time, including: Building & Designing a global brand within the program for WHS TV, coordinating the direct launch of social media to bring the WHS TV content national access, creating up to date content aligned to the current industry in the area of videography design & communication, transition to full High Definition capabilities within the program, lead consultation in the adoption of the aligned Junior High TV program, coordination of live streaming to "Tiger Nation" for sporting events, advising & building a BPA chapter that produced state & national qualifiers (the program did not participate in any CTSO prior to his arrival), coordinating students in the ""Take Action Video Contest"" with the Ohio attorney general and Mr. Ferrell served as the driving force instructing and advising WHS TV students to build content and submit to the National Academy of Television where the program won 2 Emmy's in 2018. With all of these accomplishments that Mr. Ferrell and the program have had, the largest impact has been the inspiration he has brought to the Massillon students in the area of Media Arts & Production.  More students than ever are pursuing higher education/training opportunities in this career path when exiting the program and this is largely due to the impact Mr. Ferrell has had.