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2024 Excellence in Education Awards

On May 17, over 150 students, family members, and educators from Cuyahoga County gathered for the 45th annual Excellence in Education Awards recognizing students with special needs, peers, and educators. State Support Team 3 in partnership with the ESC of Northeast Ohio organizes this annual event held at Corporate College East in Warrensville Heights. Watch the video of the event here.

This year’s keynote speakers were twin sisters Sharita and Shaye Taylor. Both are active in their community through their jobs, athletics, social activities, and advocacy for themselves and others. Shaye is a Good Life Ambassador speaking to community groups about self-advocacy and inclusion. Sharita is the president of People First Cuyahoga, an advocacy group for people with disabilities.

Three types of awards were presented during this event:
  • Outstanding Student Achievement Award acknowledging achievements of school-age students with special needs.
  • Outstanding Peer Achievement Award recognizing students who have established positive relationships and who have assisted students with special needs, serving as exemplary role models.  
  • Outstanding Educator Achievement Award honoring educators who are the exemplars in designing instructional strategies and programs.
Awards were presented to 10 students, 6 peers, and 14 educators. The full list of recipients can be found here. In addition, two regional awards were presented:
  • The 2024 R.A. Horn Outstanding Achievement Award recipient is Katherine Anderson from Bay Village High School in the Bay Village City School District. This award is presented to one exemplary student with a disability from each of Ohio’s 16 State Support Team regions. Established by the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce in honor of the late Dr. Raymond A. Horn, Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, this award recognizes students’ outstanding achievements.  
  • The 2024 Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award recipient is Patricia Volk from Brooklyn School in the Brooklyn City School District.  This award is given to an outstanding educator from each of the 16 State Support Team regions in Ohio who has made extraordinary contributions to the education of students with disabilities. This award is given in honor of the late Franklin B Walter, Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1977 until 1991, a post held longer than any other state superintendent in Ohio’s history. 
These two recipients will be recognized by the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce - Office of Exceptional Children and the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities on June 11, 2024, at an awards presentation.  

2024 Summer and Beyond Directory is Online

State Support Team Region 3  collaborated with local agencies, camps, and community partners to gather information on summer activities for students with disabilities. We developed the online 2024 Summer and Beyond Directory as a resource to parents, family members, and school personnel about summer opportunities in the Cuyahoga County area. Many of those agencies and organizations offer continued academic skill-building, therapeutic and social-emotional supports throughout the year to assist students with disabilities to become independent and self-sufficient. 

You can find the interactive online directory at:

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