Inaugural 'Youngstown Honors' gala recognizes district staff
It's a new awards ceremony to honor certain teachers, administrators, and other district employees within the Youngstown City School District that go above and beyond.
Hundreds apart of the district gathered to celebrate some of their own at the inaugural 'Youngstown Honors' night at the Maronite Center in Youngstown.
"I do it from my heart, not because it's work. I enjoy it," said Ernest Anderson, Anthony DeNiro Distinguished Service Award Recipient and Custodian at Volney Rodgers Elementary.
"I was very excited and very honored at the same time that that was bestowed upon me," said John Grahovac, Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient and Utility Administrator at Youngstown Rayen Early College. "It was probably because of my years of dedication. I've been in education for 42 years."
The inaugural 'Youngstown Honors' gala recognizes Administrator and Teacher of the Year, Academic and Athletic Coach of the Year, just to name a few. There's also a Lifetime Achievement Award and a First Year Teacher award.
"There should be more recognition because the world doesn't know about our kids and the community doesn't know what we have in this district," said Dr. Maureen Donofrio, Deb DiFrancesco Principal of the Year Award Recipient and Head Principal at Rayen Early College Middle School. "That's something that people really need to see."
"It takes all the positions to make the system go and for everything to work smoothly," Anderson added. "I like this event. It takes a family."
This year's gala being the first of it's kind, the district told 21 News they wanted to find a way to honors staff that goes above and beyond for their students.
"Sometimes teaching can be a hard tough job," Donofrio said. "Education can be a tough job. I don't think there's enough recognition and enough accolades for the teachers."
"With every teacher that teaches within their own field, they should be recognized for all of their hard work that they put in," Grahovac said.
The district hopes to make this an annual event.
The 2023 Youngstown Honors Award Recipients:
Administrator of the Year
Dr. Martin Freeman
Anthony DeNiro Distinguished Service Awards
Academic Coach of the Year
Athletic Coach of the Year
Deb DiFrancesco Principal of the Year
Dr. Maureen Donofrio
Lifetime Achievement Award
Newcomer (1st Year Teacher) Award
Superintendent's Volunteer Service Award
Ed Komara Jr.
Teacher of the Year Award