OHIO ACTE EDUCATOR AWARDS
Check back here next year to nominate an outstanding educator, school board member or business partner for recognition!
2022 EDUCATOR AWARD WINNERS
We are excited to honor this year’s Educator Award Winners! Each recipient was selected by their peers and will be recognized in person at this year's Ohio ACTE Annual Innovation & Impact Conference.
Below is a summary of their accomplishments and contributions to Career-Tech Education as shared by their nominator.
Administrator of the Year:
William Sprankles III
Assistant Superintendent of Innovative Teaching and Learning, Butler Tech
William Sprankles is Assistant Superintendent of Innovative Teaching and Learning at Butler Tech. Butler Tech has always been an organization that embraced innovation and educational change for the betterment of Career Tech and Public Education, but they have made significant shifts in the last five years thanks to William Sprankles and the Butler Tech leadership team.
William in an idea generator, strategizer and implementer. All he needs is a white board and some colleagues and within moments not only will there be high level ideas but also a full plan for implementation. He has worked with the Ohio Department of Education to expand blended and remote designation for schools to expand opportunities such as FDE across the state. He empowers the leadership team to implement these innovations by setting clear and high expectations, intentionally gathering voice and holding his team accountable in the name of student success and disrupting education. He pushes the envelope to find solutions for complex problems and take risks that have proven to be exponentially beneficial to not only Butler Tech but for new models of education. FDE is now being implemented at several other CTEs around the state. While implementing these innovations, William uses his expertise to partnerships and conduct research to validate the impact of these innovations (read more here: https://fde.butlertech.org/)
Student Showcases are another innovation that William brought to Butler Tech. Though the idea of student exhibitions and public presentation is not particularly novel, the scale in which Butler Tech has done that is beyond what has been done elsewhere; the current model of Students Showcases enables ALL students to be celebrated for publicly demonstrating their learning. Student showcases have given all students a voice for change and is another example of an innovation that William initiated at Butler Tech.
William has a drive to constantly add value to students’ experiences and advance CTE around the state and nation. He has a relentless focus on things that can be easily overlooked in a central office position. Most of the students on Butler Tech campuses know him by name and interact with him daily on a personal level. He talks about the joy he gets from getting to “chop it up” with kids. He looks for ways in which everyone can maintain the focus on instruction instead of getting caught up in the daily grind of emails and other management items.
Long before Inclusion, Access, Equity and Diversity were buzz words in CTE and education, William was leading this work at Butler Tech and previous organizations he served. He has been leading this work at Butler Tech and beyond. From grass roots book studies locally to speaking and facilitating round tables at the national level with a variety of organizations including National ACTE, this is one of his core values. Just like the other areas of innovations and contributions, he doesn’t just talk about IAED, it is in the forefront of all planning. From hiring to the implementation of new policies, he pushes others to provide greater access and equity in CTE. He is a leader across the nation facilitating leadership development in this area and working to make it the forefront in other districts. He is an advocate for the voiceless and students who may not even be aware of roadblocks to career technical education.
These examples are far from an exhausted list, they are simply a few high-level innovations and contributions that have shifted the culture of Butler Tech, CTE, and public education across the country. Disrupting the model of public education to provide greater opportunities for ALL students ultimately transforming ALL educational experiences to have the richness of CTE and students as the drivers of their own educational experiences is what makes William Sprankles an exceptional Administrator of the Year!
Teacher of the Year:
Dennis Hogel - Industrial Diesel Mechanics Instructor, Great Oaks Career Campuses
The sale of a company led to Dennis Hogel to become an instructor in Industrial Diesel Mechanics, and to hundreds of students finding success over the past 15 years. “My pathway to teaching started when our company was purchased, and I was informed that I would have to transfer to another city,” said Dennis, who was at the time a field service manager for a construction equipment dealership. With a child in college and another in junior high school, relocating wasn’t a viable option. During a chance conversation with a Great Oaks representative who was visiting him to check on a student on placement, Dennis learned about an opening for an instructor.
“(That decision) came with the challenge of going back to college at 40+ years old in order to earn a CTE teaching license,” he said. But the challenge was met, and Dennis Hogel became the Industrial Diesel Mechanics instructor at the Scarlet Oaks Career Campus in Sharonville.
As a field service manager, he had served as a SkillsUSA judge for local and regional competitions. He carried that interest forward as an instructor, organizing campus competitions and preparing his own students for regional and state events. In 2021, seven of his students earned the right to participate in state competition.
He understands the value of partnering with others in the field. “Students are helped when you build connections to business and industry,” he said. That connection has led to participation in programs and competitions with 12-14 Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) members typically involved in CTSO and leadership events, as well as other long-term benefits for students. He believes that an involved business partnership means support for students through donations, like the $10,000 exhaust system recently given to the program, as well as knowledge and experience that BIAC members pass along to students.
Those bridges to business and industry also lead to employment for Dennis' students. Even before work-based learning became a focus in Ohio legislation, Dennis made sure his students got relevant and meaningful work experiences. His program has had at least 80% placement over the past five years; in three of those years, every one of his seniors went out on job placement. He also regularly organizes trips to area diesel equipment companies, and invites local professionals to his classes to speak to, and teach, his students. “Your dedication to the students and the program is what has been an exemplary example of what teaching really means,” wrote Douglas Sayre, President of Allied Technical Services. “ I am glad to know you and proud to work with you...I want you to know the program has done as well as it has due to your dedication and devotion to the mechanics you’re putting out in the field.”
The reputation of the Industrial Diesel Mechanics program under Dennis has spread across the country as well. When a former student took a position in Nevada, another employer was so impressed that he contacted Dennis to recruit graduates. HR managers from Columbus, Louisville, Indianapolis, and other regional cities are part of his advisory committee, and the most recent meeting included employers from Atlanta and Dallas.
He works to support his colleagues, serving on campus committees, as a Resident Educator Mentor, and as chair of the Local Professional Development Committee. He also organizes and holds events to support current and incoming students; in 2019, “Diesel Day” featured employers and equipment from across the region set up on a Saturday in the campus parking lot, and in 2021 he held a “mini-career fair” for new students to help introduce them to professionals in the field.
Dennis Hogel truly embodies what it means to be an outstanding CTE Teacher of the Year.
Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year:
Lisa Pierce-Burger – Instructor/Coordinator, C-TEC of Licking County
Lisa Pierce-Burger is the Lead Instructor/Coordinator over the State Tested Nurse Aid (STNA) program. As a registered nurse with over 38 years of experience, Lisa exemplifies what it means to have a passion for healthcare. During her 8 years at C-TEC, Lisa has prepared hundreds of students for careers in the healthcare industry caring for their most vulnerable populations.
Lisa is reliable, hardworking, and committed to her students. She leads a team of three additional instructors ensuring that they are all providing the best education possible for students. She has been instrumental in helping to maintain C-TEC’s partnership with Central Ohio Technical College and their Nursing programs- running STNA classes at both their Coshocton and Pataskala locations. Her students describe her as knowledgeable, caring, and professional.
During the COVID-19 surge, the local hospital needed extra beds. Lisa jumped into action, postponing STNA classes so that the beds could be used to help the overrun community hospital. Through all the chaos, Lisa managed to get students through the program, clinicals, and graduate on time.
In a time when our country is experiencing tremendous healthcare staffing shortages, C-TEC is lucky to have Lisa to help prepare the next generation of caregivers, which makes her an outstanding Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Outstanding New CTE Teacher:
Jill Woods – Dental Instructor, Trumbull Career and Technical Center
Jill Woods teaches the Dental Assisting program at TCTC. She is a graduate of the career center in the former Diversified Health Occupations program and came back to teach after 20+ years of a successful career in local dental offices.
Although other career centers have Dental Assisting programs, the program was new to TCTC when Jill was hired in 2017. The lab was an empty room when she began collaborating with other instructors around the state, and over the past five school years she has built a successful program with full enrollment.
Her connections with dental offices, Youngstown State University, and the community have been valuable to the success of her program. She partners with several hygienists and dentists who come to TCTC to co-teach lessons and evaluate students during the dental radiography course. Each year since her first senior class of 2019, she has had students out working at local dental offices, meeting work-based learning hours. She has built a strong partnership with Youngstown State University, where TCTC students are afforded the opportunity to assist the student hygienists during their clinicals and dental hygiene board exams. Jill has taught during our middle school summer camp career exploration program each summer since she was hired to inspire middle school students to consider the health science career pathway.
Her commitment to the community while providing her students opportunities to practice their skills is unparalleled; she and her students partner with the Early Childhood Education program, a local elementary school, and two area preschools and arrange for preschoolers and first grade students to visit the lab to learn about proper brushing and to learn what to expect when going to the dentist.
Jill and her students also partnered with a local dentist office this past November to provide free dental care to veterans on Veterans Day. The students worked as assistants in the office that day and saw a full schedule of 30 veterans. Jill and her students worked this year to organize a free dental health clinic for TCTC students for the second year. She arranged for four hygienists to offer cleanings under the direction of a dentist who volunteered his time. TCTC students did the x-rays and served as the assistants for the day. These dental clinics provided much needed services to TCTC students while giving Jill's students a chance to take x-rays and serve as assistants to the hygienists and dentists who volunteered their time for each event.
Jill Woods is passionate about her program and cares deeply about her students and their success, which makes her an outstanding new CTE educator.
Trades & Industrial Coordinator, Scioto County Career Technical Center
Roy Bennett began his journey at the Scioto County Career Technical Center in 2002 as a student in the Adult Industrial Maintenance program. He already possessed knowledge of the trades due to his background as a machinist for the railroad and his experience at the uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio. This made him a prime candidate to help teach in the Adult Industrial Maintenance program when a position opened up in 2003. Shortly after his teaching career in the program began, his ability to instruct, his background in accounting, and his passion to see others succeed led him to a promotion to Adult Trades and Industrial Coordinator in 2004.
For the past 18 years, Roy has dedicated his life to helping others find the success and passion for their work as he has. He has served as coordinator of the adult welding, industrial maintenance, and electricity programs since 2004. In 2005, he was part of the team at SCCTC who along with AEP developed the state’s first Power Line Mechanic program, which feeds into AEP’s apprenticeship program. This program has been one of the most successful programs at SCCTC for nearly 2 decades. In 2017, Roy began overseeing SCCTC’s short-term welding and plumbing programs at STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace. Since the inception of these programs, Roy has helped hundreds of residents earn industry credentials, their high school diplomas, and satisfying careers in their respective fields.
Roy has also served in many other roles during his time as Trades and Industrial Coordinator as well. He has been the customized training liaison at SCCTC for the duration of his career. Over the past 18 years, he has overseen dozens of training projects for community businesses. Roy has also served as public relations and recruiting liaison as well. Each year, he visits each county high school, attends every local career fair, and meets with media personnel to promote the adult career tech programming at SCCTC. He is an excellent example of being an ambassador for career-tech education and career-tech students.
Outstanding Educator in Community Service:
Anthony Thornsberry – Career Technical Principal, Massillon City Schools
Anthony Thornsberry has been an unsung hero for career-technical education in the Massillon City Schools over the past 2 years, which have proven to be some of the most adverse times in all of education. Anthony, who currently is in his 4th year serving as the head CTE Principal at Washington High School, has demonstrated leadership that has reached the pinnacle of respect with his staff and students. It is his willingness to serve others that has been the building blocks to this success. In a time when opportunities outside school walls have been scarce, Anthony and his team have exhausted all efforts to continually develop new partnerships in the Massillon & Stark community to provide Massillon CTE students the opportunities that will help reach a wide range of student needs in the areas of workforce development and growth professionally, physically and most importantly, socially & emotionally. One example was the new partnership created with the construction trades program and Habitat for Humanity. Anthony was the primary voice towards leading this collaboration and then taking direct action that resulted in many months of planning, strategizing and implementing to make it reality. The final product? A brand new 3-bedroom home and playhouse for a single mother and her daughter right in the Massillon community. This home and playhouse were 100% built by the Junior and Senior students in the WHS construction program. This experience for these students went beyond just learning the skills and trade of residential construction. It allowed them to see the direct importance of service, community, pride and most importantly a development of self-accomplishment. Without Anthony, these students never experience these layers of success!
Anthony Thornsberry is a difference maker in his school and community, and that makes him an Outstanding Educator in Community Service.
Career Guidance Award:
Jamie Bollinger – College and Career Coordinator, Polaris Career Center
As the College and Career Coordinator at Polaris Career Center, Jamie Bollinger serves the higher education needs of hundreds of high school, satellite and adult education students. She goes above and beyond to ensure students are on the right path to capitalize on their Polaris CTE experience. Each year, she meets individually with more than 400 graduating seniors to help them plan their college and post-secondary experience. She helps them navigate through the confusing world of CTAGS, provides guidance on the college application process and helps students access the world of financial aid – saving them time and money. She provides additional guidance for juniors who are pursuing College Credit Plus (CCP) to ensure they meet eligibility requirements and take the proper steps toward success. She works with an additional 100 Polaris high school satellite program students and guides them through the CTAG and credit process so they can maximize their Polaris experience and get the college credits they’re entitled to. She also works with dozens of adult job & career training program students as they plan their post-Polaris experience.
She manages all articulation agreements (high school, satellite and adult education), oversees report card data, works with Polaris instructional staff to make sure students are accessing all college credits and helps develop new programming pathways (including jobs and career research, industry credentials and potential college credit opportunities), all while serving as Polaris Perkins Coordinator – no small task in and of itself. With seven years of higher education experience in the college and career readiness world, she not only serves as the in-house expert in the field but she is known throughout the region and the state as THE go-to person for all things college credit and articulation. She is also a member of the OCTA Board.
It is her commitment to individual student success that makes her stand out. She will always go the extra mile to make sure students access the information and resources they need to be successful. This past school year, she worked with two senior siblings who were confronted with major personal obstacles and helped get them get on the path to college and career success. Both were amazing students who ended up homeless with no support system to provide a roof over their heads, let alone guidance for academic success. She took them under her wing and helped them access vital government resources to help with housing and used her connections to help cut through the red tape so the students could get the services they needed. With no parent support or involvement, she guided them through the college paperwork process (applications, access to credits, financial aid, etc.), helped remove roadblocks and helped them create a college schedule. In fact, she’s still helping them today! Both are now enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College and well on their way to pursuing nursing degrees.
Jamie’s commitment and dedication to all students’ success and her willingness to go beyond the call of duty to ensure students get the important guidance they need are just a few of the reasons why she is deserving of the Ohio ACTE Career Guidance Award.
Business Image Award:
Retired, former Senior Talent Acquisition Partner, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Sue Doud recently retired as Senior Talent Acquisition Partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and has been collaborating with the Delaware Area Career Center Pharmacy Technician program for the past 6 years. Sue organized a Twitter "Tuesday Trivia" tailored specifically for DACC, served as an advisory board member, participated in mock interviews annually, and has worked with various Pharmacy Departments to offer externships for DACC students.
(Pictured left to right: Lindsay DeMent, DACC Pharmacy Technician Instructor, Sue Doud, & other members of the NCH team)
Sue helped organized a Pharmacy Experience Day for high school students, and has also hosted an Educators in the Workplace professional development program for educators and counselors for 2 years allowing educators to learn about career opportunities in various NCH departments. She has been involved with the Central Ohio Career Readiness Council, hosting a monthly meeting and organizing a presentation panel of NCH professionals. As a result of the strong partnership, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Pharmacy Department has hired 10 DACC alumni students over the past several years. Sue is deeply invested in career tech education and the success of DACC students.
The DACC collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital is at the heart of DACC’s mission in career tech education. Students are gaining skills, work-based learning experiences, and employment opportunities as a result of this strong partnership. Delaware Area Career Center is proud to be a partner with Sue Doud and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and she is more than deserving of the Business Image Award.
Outstanding School Board Members:
Carole Ellis – Great Oaks Career Campuses
In 1980, Carole Ellis was elected to the Board of Education for Mt. Healthy City Schools. Almost immediately, she became Mt. Healthy’s representative on the Board of Directors for Great Oaks Career Campuses, and she has been serving her community in both roles continuously since then.
Her unwavering dedication and thousands of hours of time are impressive by themselves, and during her time on the Great Oaks Board of Directors, Carole has been a powerful force. She has served on every Board committee, and has been an alternate committee leader for several.
She regularly represents Great Oaks at regional and national conferences and events, both sharing the work of Great Oaks students and learning about best practices to take back to the district.
Carole informally influences and guides her peers as well. With a 35-member Board, there are frequently new members, and Carole’s experience and knowledge help new members to become acclimated and productive more quickly.
She has improved educational opportunities for the community and for Great Oaks as a whole for more than four decades. During that time, she has also served the public in multiple regional supervisory and national consulting roles for the U.S. Postal Service, and has used her experience to help Great Oaks administrators better understand the needs of local businesses.
Carole Ellis takes her role as an educational leader seriously. “Mt. Healthy is a diverse community that reflects the makeup of Great Oaks,” she wrote. “I believe my ability to represent this diversity brings a valuable perspective to the Great Oaks Board. Since 42% of (Mt. Healthy’s) junior and senior students are enrolled at Great Oaks, it is also important that our voice be heard on the Great Oaks Board.”
She has also been a school volunteer, a Girl Scout leader, an active Alpha Kappa Alpha officer, and a nursing home volunteer. Carole Ellis is an Outstanding School Board Member.
Tom Kaelber – Delaware Area Career Center
Tom Kaelber is serving his twelfth year on the Delaware Area Career Center Board of Education. As a lifelong educator, he strives to empower students to find their passion and pursue their dreams. Tom maintains regular communication with the Buckeye Valley Local Schools Board of Education to share the success stories, innovations, and trends at the Delaware Area Career Center. Tom played an integral role in forming the district’s new directional system, which is the guiding force for all decisions made throughout the district. He advocates for career and technical education both inside the district with our staff and out in the community, which makes him an outstanding board member.
Don Noble – Wayne County Schools Career Center
Don Noble has shown such dedication to the students and people of Wayne County through his endless service as a member of the Boards of Education for both Triway Local and the Wayne County Joint Vocational School Districts for over 10 years, Rotary, Goodwill, Rails-to-Trails of Wayne Co., Wayne Co. Children's Services, Wayne Economic Development Council, Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, Wooster Community Hospital Foundation, District 16 Natural Resources Assistance council, and the Ohio to Erie Trail. He is committed not only to his local schools and the students, but to the community that those students live and work in.
Don has chaired successful levy campaigns and has been instrumental in both school boards fiscally responsible while still meeting the needs of our students. Through his business connections, Don has garnered support from day one for the Wayne County Schools Career Center Drug Free Club. This voluntary program encourages and rewards students for being drug free and has contributed to the health of the students sent out into the local workforce.
All of these big things are wonderful and impressive, but Don has also been known to do many things behind the scenes such as personally buying gift cards for students winning awards at school, just to give that extra bit of encouragement and thanks. Don Noble’s commitment to the students of Wayne County make him an outstanding school board member.