News

A Day of Interactive Science

OACHE is sponsoring presentations by Darryl Baynes of MAEA Interactive Science Programs on December 3 at Shawnee State University; on December 4 at Rio Grande Community College; and on December 5 at Hocking College. Invited middle school students will hear presentations on the importance of science education and career choices, then participate in science experiments and demonstrations. MAEA’s programs make a meaningful connection between science and everyday life, creating learning experiences for students by designing programs to include hands on participation whenever possible.

All of MAEA’s programs are designed to meet or exceed educational standards stated in the National Science Education Standards Manual from the National Research Council.

Call the OACHE at 1-866-466-2243 for details.

Last edited on 12.10.2007 at 9:44 a.m. by rwebb

14th Annual OACHE/AHE Conference Draws Multi-State Attendance

More than 220 attendees from Ohio, West Virginia and several other Appalachian states attended the 14th Annual OACHE/AHE Conference on October 3-5, 2007 to share strategies for encouraging more students and adults to participate in college. This annual event, which draws K-12 and college educators, elected officials and government representatives at all levels, was co-hosted by Belmont Technical College and Ohio University Eastern Campus near St. Clairsville, Ohio.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education (OACHE) and the Appalachian Higher Education Network (AHE), a group of centers in seven other Appalachian states that are replicating the OACHE’s nationally recognized college-access program with support from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Featured speakers at this year’s conference included Jeff Biggers, award-winning author of The United States of Appalachia; Dr. Brian Noland, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; and renowned American demographer Dr. Harold “Bud” Hodgkinson, director of the Center for Demographic Policy at the Institute for Educational Leadership. The agenda also included more than 20 breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics including best practices in college-access programs, P-16 initiatives, college retention, 21st-century technology tools, engaging parents and families for student success, and increasing students’ financial literacy.

“The Thread That Runs So True,” a pre-conference workshop on enriching the curriculum with Appalachian literature, brought educators, curriculum experts and experienced administrators together to explore the numerous advantages of using Appalachian literature in the classroom. Co-hosted by the Jesse Stuart Foundation, this workshop was made possible by a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, which also enabled the conference to provide a copy of Jesse Stuart’s educational classic, The Thread That Runs So True. Supplementing the pre-conference workshop and the conference, an onsite bookstore enabled attendees to browse and purchase regional literature and curriculum materials.

During the closing plenary luncheon, the OACHE presented its 2007 Wayne F. White Outstanding Educator of the Year Awards to K-12 school personnel who have made an extra effort to encourage and assist students to go to college. Two teachers tied for WFW Outstanding Teacher of the Year: Ms. Jeannie Johnson, an English teacher at Miller High School in Perry County, and Ms. Judy Ellsesser-Painter, an English teacher at South Webster High School. Jim Arcuragi, from East Liverpool Schools, was named the WFW Outstanding Counselor of the Year.

Other conference highlights included a casual reception on Thursday evening; displays by K-12 schools and vendors; and a silent auction to benefit the Wayne F. White Scholarship Fund administered by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to assist high-school graduates from the 29 counties of Appalachian Ohio.

"We are overwhelmed by the positive response to this year’s conference,” said Dr. Brenda S. Haas, OACHE executive director. “When you bring dedicated, talented educators together to share ideas and successful strategies for helping students realize their potential, it’s truly inspiring to see what they can do."

Last edited on 12.10.2007 at 9:40 a.m. by lrisler

OACHE Recognizes Local Educators with Awards

The Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education recognized outstanding educators from K-12 schools in the 29 counties of Appalachian Ohio during the 14th Annual OACHE Conference.

The 2007 Wayne F. White Outstanding Educator of the Year Awards were presented during the closing luncheon of the conference, at Belmont Technical College in St. Clairsville. The awards recognize school personnel who have made an extra effort to encourage and assist students to go to college. They may have made a positive difference in a variety of ways, e.g., increasing the college-going rate, taking a special interest in students, or developing excellent relationships with college representatives and/or businesses.

Two teachers tied for the Wayne F. White Outstanding Teacher of the Year award: Ms. Jeannie Johnson, an English teacher at Miller High School in Perry County, and Ms. Judy Ellsesser-Painter, an English teacher at South Webster High School.

As the staff member responsible for helping students complete their Passport portfolios, Ms. Johnson was lauded for setting high standards for her students and helping them meet those standards.

“Although holding high standards for her students she is always ready to help any individual who is struggling or having difficulty with any part of her course requirements,” said Cindy Hartman, superintendent of Southern Local Schools. “She follows up on her students long after they have left Miller High School and many students tell us that it was Ms. Johnson’s class that best prepared them for college/university expectations.”

One of the teachers of the Journey to College Class at South Webster High School, Ms. Ellsesser-Painter has helped approximately 175 students through the college-access process by helping them improve their ACT scores, complete college applications, and apply for scholarships and financial aid. She also uses the Internet to stay in touch with South Webster alumni who are in college and provide them with encouragement and support to continue their studies. “Judy… has helped over 60 students ‘step up’ to take a more rigorous high school curriculum and become better prepared to ‘step into’ college,” noted colleague Cathy McCoy in her letter of nomination.

Jim Arcuragi, from East Liverpool Schools, was named Outstanding Counselor of the Year for his work as high-school guidance counselor. Mr. Arcuragi spearheaded the OACHE Access Project at East Liverpool High School and has worked to ensure the continuation of the initiative despite moving to a teaching position.

“Jim has been there from the very beginning as we started the effort,” noted his nominator. “We began with just 43% of the students pursuing post secondary education. Every year he would set a higher goal and tenaciously we would face it and then surpass it.”

The OACHE’s Outstanding Educator award was renamed in memory of Wayne White, the OACHE’s first executive director, who passed away unexpectedly in 2004. During his 40-year career in public education, including ten years as executive director of the Ohio program on which the WVACHE is modeled, Mr. White demonstrated, and inspired in others, a commitment to helping students attain a better quality of life through higher education.

The OACHE was established by the Ohio General Assembly in 1993 with the mission of increasing educational attainment in the 29 counties of Appalachian Ohio. The OACHE pursues its mission primarily by awarding two-year Access Project grants on a competitive basis to K-12 schools in the region, and to the ten higher-education institutions that are members of the OACHE consortium. These Access Projects implement activities that encourage all students to consider college, by helping them overcome barriers to post-secondary education. The OACHE also operates a federally funded Educational Opportunity Center to help adults enter or re-enter college, and implements the $2 million Tobacco Educational Assistance Program on behalf of the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation.

Last edited on 12.10.2007 at 9:40 a.m. by lrisler