COLUMBUS — On Tuesday, May 3, the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA) will recognize Ohio’s top students from across the state during the 33rd Annual Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Awards Program.
The winner for the Preble County ESC is Grace Risner, a senior from Eaton High School. Risner will be attending Franklin University to major in Psychology.
This year’s student-centered event will be held both in-person and virtually through two-way interactive video and live streamed on the Association’s YouTube Channel.
Sandy Mers, OESCA President and Superintendent of the South Central Ohio ESC, stated, “We are excited to have everyone back together and in-person for the first time since 2019. Given the fluctuating nature of COVID-19, however, we wanted to give students and families the option to participate virtually as well.”
The awards program, named in honor of Ohio’s 31st State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Franklin B. Walter, was established in 1989 by OESCA to promote and recognize outstanding student leaders for their academic achievement and service to their schools and communities. One senior from each county in Ohio was eligible to receive this annual honor with the top 51 students from each of Ohio’s ESCs selected to attend the statewide event. The event will be held at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio, following the Ohio ESC Association’s annual Spring meeting.
Eligible applicants must be a high school senior enrolled in a public school within an ESC’s service region. Recipients were required to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and community service as indicated by high school grades, test scores, school and community activities and awards.
“In order to achieve this level of success, these students have demonstrated bold leadership, resilience and grit,” stated Craig Burford, Executive Director of OESCA. “Grace has certainly demonstrated these qualities as she began College Credit Plus classes her 8th grade year. She set a lofty goal for herself, to graduate with an Associate degree by the end of her junior year. On May 6, 2021 of her junior year, Grace accomplished that goal and graduated with her Associate of Arts from Sinclair Community College. Grace did not stop there. The summer before her senior year of high school, she enrolled in Franklin University where she began working toward her Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice. In addition to these outstanding accomplishments, she has also participated many school sponsored clubs and sports, as well as many community activities. Grace has truly exemplified the qualities set forth for the Franklin B. Walter Scholarship!”
Over the past 33 years, OESCA has recognized over 2,600 scholars and student leaders during this event. “Ohio’s ESCs have over a century of service in providing technical assistance and support to Ohio’s schools and students, and during this event we get to see the impact of that work,” added Burford. “We look forward to our continued partnership with school district leadership and state policymakers to ensuring students have the tools and resources necessary to succeed regardless of where they live and attend school.”