Two longtime staff members of Stanton Middle School in Kent have received the Kent Board of Education's Dr. Emilio D. Ferrara Community Service Award.
Board president Brian Boykin presented the awards to Ralph Cooley and Kathy Scott for their service to the school district and community.
In addition to his work as a custodian at Stanton, Boykin noted, Cooley worked with students to design sets for the school's drama productions, worked to create a life-size logo of Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Rider horse at the school, created cakes for staff and art work for students, designed preliminary sketches for the Rough Rider mural in the school gym and leaves "surprise art" for staff to enhance lessons.
Cooley thanked his wife, Wendy, for teaching him "the importance of giving back" and his mother, who he said was celebrating her 94th birthday.
Scott, assistant principal at Stanton, has spent 29 years for the district as a teacher at Longcoy Elementary School and as an assistant principal. In addition, she is active as a volunteer with the Portage County Clothing Center, in Bridges out of Poverty, in the Coleman Youth Board and worked with a private donor to store and distribute bicycles to children in need.
She has made countless home visits to students, Boykin said. In addition, she has opened her house to people in need. One of them was a 16-year-old expectant mother whom Scott met when the teen was a waitress. The teen and her child stayed in the Scott home for two years.
She also took in another child. Years later, the child, now a grown woman, returned with her baby, and they stayed in the home for four months. She is a volunteer with Humility of Mary Life Opportunity Center to help homeless women and children.
Scott recalled that when she was first hired to work at Head Start, the woman who hired her said she'd never understand what people go through unless she visited them at their homes to get to know them. That woman, she said, was Boykin's mother, Sulura Boykin-Mabry.
The award is named for Ferrara, an eight-term board member, whom Boykin said is well known for his dedicaton to the school system. He also supports Akron Symphony, Blossom Chorus, and Akron Children's Ballet Theatre, coaches Cuyahoga Falls Youth Football and is active with the Weathervane Playhouse as a set designer and actor. He is active at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson and is a Vietnam War veteran.
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