The district was recognized as “a purple heart school” by the Ohio Department of Education. It earned the recognition for its “outstanding commitment to serving military students and families in (the) school” and for having curriculum promoting these areas. Willard was labeled as “an inspiring model for other school’s in Ohio to follow.”
The official presentation was given at Eastwod High School, in Toledo. However, the board took time to share its pride and excitement and recognize some of the teachers and staff that made it possible.
Some of the projects which helped contributed to the recognition included those spearheaded by Willard High School.
In a separate acknowledgement, board member Richard Willoughby thanked those same teachers, along with students Carlie Gibson, Samantha Oney and Mitchell Carnahan with an "Honoring Those Served" award, which was given at the Ohio School Board Association Capital Conference.
Gibson, Oney and Carnahan, along with staff members Courtney Carnahan, Tiffany Nuhfer, Jason Ratliff and Cathy Weaver each received the 2018 Capital Conference Willard High School “Honoring Those Who Served” certification of participation for their outstanding achievement in the area.
“They were accepted (for the award) because of all of the work and participation that they’ve shown for honoring our veterans,” Willougby said.
“They’ve shown a great deal of passion toward this project and showed the kids that if you follow your passion, put some hard work in there, over and above what is normally called for — for a teacher or a student — that you can achieve great things. They’ve been a great example to the teachers, to the staff, but they’ve also added to the community.”
Projects the group put together included: A “great” Veterans Day celebration at the high school, a football game vs. Plymouth when the district honored vets, an Honor Flight and a special 5K run in honor of those who served the country.
“All of those events were done first class with great organization,” Willougby said.
A couple of the girls’ high school sports teams were recognized Monday as well.
Members of the girls’ tennis team, who went on to become Sandusky Bay Conference (SBC) Bay division champions for the second year in a row, were brought before the board for their accomplishments. The Lady Flashes went 16-2 overall.
The volleyball team also was recognized for its hard work, making it just one win shy of making it to state. The Lady Flashes ended their season as Division II district champions and regional runners-up for the first time in 33 years.
“I just want to say how proud we are of you guys,” board president Chris Rothhaar said.
“The success you had was amazing and you’ve had a great season. I think those programs are going to continue to be strong going forward. We’re very proud of you. You were fun to watch; there was a lot of excitement in the community. I don't know if you guys knew how much the community really rallied behind you, but it was really fun to see that kind of energy again in the Willard school district.”