The Northwestern Ohio Education Association presented Courtney Fox of the Sylvania Education Association, the NWOEA Promising Leader Award at the District’s Annual Awards banquet held at the Findlay Country Club on March 3. This award recognizes individuals who, within the first five years of their teaching career, have shown initiative in their local association.
Sylvania teachers receiving the NWOEA Local Service Award were Liz Casey, Darla Omey and Sarah Rhine. This award recognizes individuals for distinguished service for outstanding work for their local association.
Promising Leader Award
Courtney Fox is in her third year of teaching and first year in the Sylvania Schools where she has quickly immersed herself in association work. In her first month as a Sylvania Education Association member, she volunteered to be a building rep and was elected to represent her local at the OEA Representative Assembly. According to her nominator Dan Greenberg, President of SEA, “Courtney has been diligent about attending meetings, asking questions, and advocating for colleagues. I’m excited about her activism and look forward to her continued involvement and leadership in the Sylvania Education Association.”
As a graduate from Southview High School, Courtney received the Sylvania Teacher Scholarship and has now returned to the district to “pay it forward.” Along with her teaching and association responsibilities, she is also a volunteer for the Southview Girl’s Golf Team.
Local Service Awards
Sarah Rhine, a high school social studies teacher, has taught in the Sylvania School System for eight years. She has been a building rep for the Sylvania Education Association for four years. During the spring of 2014 she was elected Vice President of Contractual Procedures, “the second in command” position in SEA. Sarah is a member of the Labor Management Team and has worked to form a grievance committee to help with the writing of grievances. Sarah is the voice for her colleagues’ concerns and last year presented their views of the new district energy conservation policy. Sarah has attended three OEA Representative Assemblies and she was active during SEA’s efforts against SB 5. Sarah has represented SEA at an AFL-CIO meeting during which she helped to develop strategies for engaging members in union activities.
As a walking witness member for the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, Sarah traveled to Hungary, Poland, and Greece in the footsteps of northwest Ohioans who survived the Holocaust.
This is Darla Omey’s sixth year in the Sylvania Schools but her union activity goes back farther than that. Before teaching in Sylvania, she was involved in the Swanton Education Association for ten years. Her union involvement included building representative, treasurer, negotiations team member, negotiations chair, vice president and president. Darla’s multitude of union experience has made her a valuable member for the Sylvania Education Association serving as a member of the negotiation team, the labor management team, and the OTES Committee. She is currently the treasurer of Sylvania Education Association. Darla works hard to update her knowledge of finances and update financial policies for the Association. The SEA President states, “Darla is precise and detail oriented. She makes sure that our numbers match up and also communicates the financial position of the Association.”
In her spare time Darla is a co-leader of a Girl Scout Troop and a parent volunteer at Highland Elementary.
Liz Casey is a junior high science teacher for Sylvania City Schools. During her eight years as a member of the Sylvania Education Association, she has assumed various leadership roles. Last year when SEA created the position of Vice President of Elections and Education, Liz volunteered for the job and has worked diligently to set protocols for elections. She has been a building rep for five years and a local delegate to eight OEA Representative Assemblies. She has handled the FCPE drive in her building and has helped with levy efforts. She is a member of the Labor Management Committee and the negotiations team.
With two children under five, Liz still found time to serve as a precinct volunteer during elections and as a campaign volunteer for a judge running for election, as well as SEA’s representative at an AFL-CIO meeting to develop strategies to engage more members in union activities.
To quote her nominator, the SEA president, “She is one of the most dedicated members of the SEA. I expect great things for Liz as she gains experience and training from the OEA.”