ExtraCredit, the official blog of the Ohio Department of Education, offers commentary and insight on a wide range of education issues from department experts and guest bloggers from throughout Ohio’s schools and support organizations. We encourage your ideas, feedback and comments to promote a two-way dialogue. See our Comment Policy for more information.

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Commends Students Entering Military Service at the All-Ohio U.S. Armed Forces Commitment Celebration

By: Staff Blogger

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Celebrating students who are committing to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces! 🇺🇸 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Yesterday we joined @OHVets, @OhioNationalGuard and @USO_CSO at #OhioMilitarySigningDay to recognize 326 students and their commitment to serve. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ High school students who are entering service academies or have committed to serve as active duty, Reserve or National Guard members were invited to take part in the ceremony at @COSIscience. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The students signed commitment letters, received red, white and blue cords, and celebrated with their families and members of the military and education communities. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Swipe left to see more from the event and check out our stories for highlights! #OhioEd

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Attends the Junior Ohio Model United Nations Summit

By: Staff Blogger

Delegates, diplomacy and inspiring declarations…the Ohio Model United Nations has it all! State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria attended the Junior Ohio Model United Nations International Summit on Sunday and Monday to meet with students and watch the dynamic showcase of leadership and learning in action. The Ohio Model United Nations is a three-day simulation program in which student delegates represent selected member countries of the United Nations. Students began preparations months in advance of the event, which is centered on writing, presenting and debating original resolutions that deal with current world issues. The Junior Ohio Model United Nations is the only program of its kind in the nation. More than 1,000 middle school students participated in this year’s summit. See more from the summit and watch Superintendent DeMaria interview students and educators below about how the program creates global learning connections.

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Attends the Ohio Mock Trial State Championship

By: Staff Blogger

The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education welcomed 300 students, representing 23 schools, to the annual Ohio Mock Trial in Columbus. In its 36th year, it is the state’s largest high school academic competition. Over the course of the three-day event, students sharpened their arguments and showcased their masterful critical thinking, reasoning, teamwork and communication skills for this year’s case focused on Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures as it applies to technology.

Legal professionals volunteer their time as judges, competition coordinators and advisors during this authentic trial experience. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria attended the state championship final round on March 9 between Indian Hill High School (Hamilton County) and Sylvania Southview High School (Lucas County). Congratulations to each of the participants, and bravo to the 2019 champions – the students from Indian Hill High School! The state champs from Indian Hill Exempted Village School District will represent Ohio later this school year at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Georgia.

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Attends the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center Advisory Council

By: Staff Blogger

Children of parents who are engaged in their education are much more likely to graduate and succeed. The Center on Education and Training for Employment at The Ohio State University, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education, received a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop a statewide center to serve Ohio’s families and schools. The Statewide Family Engagement Center empowers families to support their children’s education and provides comprehensive training and technical assistance to schools and organizations that support family-school partnerships. Over the course of the five-year grant, the Ohio Department of Education will receive more than $700,000, and the grant is projected to reach more than 10,000 families over the next five years.

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The Rewards of Recognition… How the Ohio Teacher of the Year Program Opens Doors

By: Jonathan Juravich

Editor’s Note: During the Ohio Teacher of the Year selection process, outstanding educators from each of the 11 State Board of Education districts are chosen to be District Teachers of the Year. Finalists for the Ohio Teacher of the Year will be selected from these 11 honorees. Ultimately, only one will become the Ohio Teacher of the Year. This person is then in the running to be the National Teacher of the Year. 

As the nomination window for the 2020 Ohio Teacher of the Year opens, 2018 Teacher of the Year Jonathan Juravich invited Bre Sambuchino, a 2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year finalist, to help him write this blog. Below, Jonathan and Bre share how their respective recognitions have impacted their careers and lives. They also invite you to nominate an outstanding teacher for this honor.

NewOTOY_noyear-002.pngJonathan Juravich, 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year

To be named the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year set into motion the most remarkable year and a half of my life. To be honest, I will never be the same again. I have realized that I have become a stronger version of myself. I am confident in sharing my perspective and my experiences in the classroom. I have learned what true leadership can be and how sometimes sitting back and actually listening to someone else can mean so much more than being the loudest voice in the room. I have learned that Ohio Teacher of the Year is so much more than a title, it is an opportunity, a responsibility and full of possibilities.

Right before the announcement was made of my recognition, I was on a conference call with previous honorees. One of them said, “You are going to join the most incredible professional network of people when you meet the other state teachers of the year.” I remember rolling my eyes. Really? Another network of educators? I think I’m okay. And then I met the 54 other state Teachers of the Year and realized this was so much more than a professional network. This group of educators has so many things in common with me — they process the same struggles, challenge me to think bigger, are there when I need someone to listen and have opened my eyes to gratitude. They have become my close friends.

Together, we have had once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We explored Google’s campus, shared our experiences with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, toured the White House, attended Space Camp and stood on the field during the national anthem at the National Championship football game. And the adventures continue. Then, there was that day I stood on the TED stage in New York City, telling the stories of my students, my daughter and my grandmother to fellow teachers in the audience.

Throughout these experiences, I was very cognizant that I was representing Ohio and the excellent educators of our state. I knew when I saw something amazing or experienced excellent professional learning, it was my job to share it with the people who needed it. And now, piloting the teacher-in-residence position at the Ohio Department of Education, I have had the opportunity to meet and celebrate some of the most remarkable educators across our state.

This experience has led me to dream big and believe in possibilities — possibilities for my students, for education and for myself.

Bre Sambuchino, 2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year Finalist

I remember the day when my superintendent walked in my class with flowers in hand. I was teaching Education Principles. This is a class for seniors who wish to become teachers, and they are absolutely delightful — a joy, really. She came in and explained she had just submitted my name for Ohio Teacher of the Year. The students in the class were enthralled. They wanted to know everything and asked, “So, what is next?” “When will she know?” “How can we help?” I remember thinking they were being so sweet, but I was pretty sure my road was going to end that day because I knew of all the amazing teachers that were in my building — let alone the state of Ohio.

They asked for a group hug. Yes, a hug. Senior students were hugging it out. I thought, “Maybe I did teach them something.” As the instructor for our school’s Teaching Professions Academy, my motto is to do all things with grace and love.

The Ohio Teacher of the Year process continued and was challenging at times. I was juggling a lot of life changes at the same time as I was preparing for my presentation and writing my essays. However, the process gave me the opportunity to reflect on my life and, for that, I am grateful. When all the essays were written, I realized I like building and creating things. Almost everything I had been recognized for had been for creating something that had not existed previously.

The process gave me confidence, which gave me grace. It gave me the opportunity to say, “What is next?” Since then, I have volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Retrofittings Committee, and I recently met with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society about becoming involved in their work. I love working on teams, building things and creating anew.

In the classroom, the Ohio Teacher of the Year process has solidified the passion I have for my vocation. I know I am meant to be an educator. I love what I do and am grateful for each day. I love modeling grace and love, and I know I am where I am meant to be.

Our challenge is for school administrators, community members, parents, students and fellow educators to nominate an outstanding teacher for the Ohio Teacher of the Year program. Excellent teachers open doors to opportunities for students. In turn, excellent teachers deserve to have doors opened for them.

Jonathan Juravich is the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year, was a finalist for National Teacher of the Year and serves as the Ohio Department of Education’s teacher-in-residence.

<Bre Sambuchino is the State Board District 4 Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for 2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year. She teaches in Loveland City School District.

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