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Impact Stories

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The Joanie Dugger Educator of the Year Awards

Established in 2020

The Joanie Dugger Educators of the Year Fund was created in loving memory of wife and mother, Joanie Dugger. Joanie retired as Executive Director of the Upper Arlington Education Foundation in 2018 after 17 years of dedication to "Enhancing What Matters Most".

Each year at Upper Arlington Schools’ convocation, three honorees will be announced including one elementary school educator, one middle school educator, and one high school educator. These honorees will receive funding from the Upper Arlington Education Foundation for projects of their choice.

The first Joanie Dugger recipients were honored during the 2020/2021 school year:

Carrie Williams - Wickliffe Elementary School

Carrie used funding from the Joanie Dugger Award, professional development with Emily Hanford, the Science of Reading. The literacy leadership team (reading specialists and literacy liaisons) along with building and district admin met with Emily Hanford to better understand how to support staff with the shift to the Science of Reading. This understanding will help Literacy liaisons guide their plan for guiding discussions

Allison Tomlin - Hastings Middle School

Allison turned Wednesdays in her health class into "Wellness Wednesdays" a day to have fun and reduce stress. Students press pause on their current unit, and play games, work on crafts, and connect with each other. Allison and her students created an extensive amazon list of games, crafts and other items.

As packages started arriving, they had "unboxing" celebrations and they were going nuts! Students asked that Allison save all of the rest of the boxes that come to open when they are in school :).

Steve Colahan - UA High School

Steve used his award to contribute to Ferris, our Paws for a Cause - facility dog that will be cared for by Kim Wilson's Special Education students. Ferris is available to love and comfort all high school students and even visits other schools now and then.

2021/2022 Joanie Dugger Honorees

Laura Kunkle, Greensview Elementary Laura’s project helped children learn to regulate their emotions when experiencing a "heightened" feeling. Funding was used for supplies to create “Chill Zones” stocked full of calming activities for students.

Margie Belair - Jones Middle School, 7th grade students from the 7 East House at Jones Middle School traveled to Highbanks Metro Park to participate in a day of stream monitoring. They partnered with Franklin County Soil & Water Conservation District and Highbanks Metro Park in this work.

Tricia Fellinger, UA High School, German Teacher and advisor to the Ambassadors of Change

Tricia used the Joanie Award funding for two projects. The cost of buses was covered to bring together high school and middle school students to have discussions about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our schools. Honors German students from the high school went on a field trip to visit to Columbus Art Museum.

2022/2023 Joanie Dugger Honorees

Stacie Caruso - Barrington Elementary School

Stacie purchased equipment to use for school productions at Barrington. Students are learning to use cameras, lighting, microphones and more to cover events such as the school-wide talent show.

Eric Wylie - Hastings Middle School

Eric took 110 students on a field trip here in the Columbus area. They visited one of the metro parks as well as OSU campus to see the Museum of Archaeology and the planetarium.

Kim Wilson - Upper Arlington High School


2023/2024 Joanie Dugger Honorees

Coming soon!


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