Rotary Honors Educators For Excellence, Innovation

The Rotary Club of Cincinnati honored four Cincinnati Public School educators and administrators in June, recognizing excellence, innovation and commitment.

Iranetta Wright of Mt. Auburn, the new Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, welcomed the honorees and pledged to work with teachers, staff, parents and the community “to make sure CPS is a world class destination.”  

Awards were presented by Interim Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Jonathan Brown of Monfort Heights, who noted that the award program, often called teacher appreciation, honors more than teachers.

“Some work inside the classroom, some provide service or support our facilities. It takes all of us to assure our students are able to be successful,” Brown said.

James Boyd of Newport was named Administrator of the Year for his leadership and creative solutions as Mechanical Systems Manager for Facilities.

“He keeps our buildings operational and safe for all students,” said Brown.

Kerri Hopkins of Sayler Park was named Community Service/Humanitarian of the Year. She took a small budget and tight time frame and built the Sayler Park School’s after school program, creating what Brown called “A sacred place where all students are at home and parents have the ability to work, knowing their children are learning in an enriched, safe environment.” Hopkins forged community partnerships to incorporate everything from music, art, and dance to animals, chess and nutrition into her programs.

Elissa Veite of Cincinnati was named Teacher of the Year for her work with at-risk students in the Strides program at Lighthouse High School in Madisonville.

Brown called her “a phenomenal educator of students who often lose hope of ever graduating. Ms. Veite brings out their best. She has high hopes and high expectations and knows every child has a future,” Brown said.

Erin Kernohan of Hamilton, Ohio, Manager of Quality Improvement, was named Innovator of the year for her “out-of-the-box” solutions to educational challenges that impact quality of life as well as quality of instruction for students.

 “As a teacher, she was able to lend life, hope and high expectations to her students,” said Brown. As Quality Manager for the district, she impacts teachers, administrators and principals. A tearful Kernohan talked about the power of encouragement and vision as she dedicated her award to “my friend and mentor, (the late) Cheryl Broadnax, who saw more in me than I ever saw in myself.” The Rotary Club of Cincinnati has a mission to promote service above self, and sponsors annual recognition programs for law enforcement, firefighters and educators. Peggy Hodgson, Rotary PR