Tuesday, August 17, 2004

DARE teacher receives award

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For developing a special game for students to review Drug Abuse Resistance Education lessons and for including DARE in the fifth-grade science and health curriculum, Margaret Murph has won the organization's 2004 Educator of the Year award.

Murph, a teacher at Heritage Hill Elementary School in the Princeton City School District, received the award July 29 at the DARE Association of Ohio's awards banquet in Akron.

She was nominated by Springdale DARE officer Jeff Witte.

"The nomination was also based on her classroom management and her longtime service at Heritage Hill as a staff mentor, student council adviser and homework club coordinator,'' Witte said.

Murph has been an educator for 31 years. She was joined at the ceremony by husband, Ron; Witte; and Steve Zinser, former principal of Heritage Hill, and his wife, Connie.

We Care resident graduates

It was a long walk for Andrew Heston and the staff of We Care Homes Inc. in Oakley to his high school graduation.

But the final steps for Heston, 21, down the aisle at the Hughes Center in May brought a cheer from the caregivers.

"I felt like a proud parent,'' said Penny Allen, home manager for We Care Homes Inc. "Sitting in the stands, it was quite emotional for me. I know how excited he was. He has been talking about this for months.''

Allen described Andrew as happy with himself and with a lot of self-confidence. She said on the ride home from the graduation ceremony, Andrew asked her if she was proud of him.

"I said, 'Of course, I am.' He was smiling from ear to ear.''

Heston is now employed at Goodwill Industries in Springdale.

"He is just getting started and is doing several different types of jobs to see what he likes,'' said Sarah Schutter, house manager at the Oakley facility.

Heston is one of 190 individuals served in 23 We Care Homes throughout Hamilton, Butler, Montgomery and Greene Counties.

They are referred to the We Care Homes by the courts in those counties.

Heston came to the We Care Home facility in Oakley about four years ago from a program in Indianapolis that served at-risk adolescents, said Matt Briner, administrator of We Care Homes.

"We provided a safe, stable environment for him,'' Briner said. "He knows there are people who care for him.''

We Care Homes Inc. is a part of Lutheran Social Services of Mid-America, Dayton, Ohio.

POSITIVELY KIDS: Young leaders conference

Connor Chee, of the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and Kyle Hoffmann and Mitch Beckman, both of La Salle High School, were selected to participate in the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington this summer.

The students, who have demonstrated leadership potential and scholastic merit, interacted with a variety of personnel who operate within the three branches of government, the news media and the international community.

Dance scholarships

Students from the School for Creative and Performing Arts dance department were awarded summer scholarships and others were accepted on a paid-tuition basis to prestigious dance schools.

Thomas Bessey and J.R. Bruno were awarded full scholarships to the San Francisco Ballet School program. Ramsey Houston and Justin Hogan earned full scholarships to the Boston Ballet School program. Arlissa Norman received partial tuition to attend the Rock School of Pennsylvania program.

These students were accepted to programs: Katie Franz, Caitlin Clarke, Katelane Heestand and Alonzo Rutledge to the Boston Ballet School program; Cira Robinson to the Dance Theater of Harlem program; Megan Vesper and Amber Morgan to the Sarasota Ballet School of Florida program; and Ellen Hine to the Milwaukee Ballet School program.

Studying abroad

These students spent spring semester studying abroad through Syracuse University's Division of International Programs Abroad:

Florence, Italy - Timothy McLane of Milford, a junior history major at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Alexander Vollmer of Indian Hill, a junior history major at Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.; and Meridith Vollmer of Indian Hill, a junior art major at Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.

London - Courtney Rochon of Maineville, a junior broadcast journalism major at Syracuse University, N.Y.; and Elizabeth Murphy of the East End, a junior broadcast journalism major at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Madrid - Adam Knox of Blue Ash, a junior finance major at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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