Miami County ESC recognizes academic excellence


By Jordan Green

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MIAMI COUNTY — The 2022 Excellence in Education Awards Dinner took place Thursday, May 11, in Piqua. The annual dinner serves as a way for the valedictorians and salutatorians for each Miami County school to honor a teacher who has had a lasting impact on them as a person and a student.

“The Educational Services Center is privileged to get to host this event. It serves as a reminder of the talent in our schools, in our communities, and in our families,” began David Larson the superintendent of the Miami County Educational Services Center (ESC).

Twenty-eight students honored 28 teachers at the event, which included a performance by Piqua High School students Alyssa Aurthur, Lotus Isaacs, and Bella Reyes who were directed by Piqua Department Chair for music Tom Westfall. Carol Palmer accompanied the performers on the piano.

After dinner and entertainment, students from across the county were called to honor their chosen teachers. Each student took the time to explain their choice and praise their honoree for the work they have done in shaping them both as people and students.

The following students, teachers, and school staff members were honored:

• Bethel

Valedictorian Kylie Balkcom honored her U.S. history teacher Leah Wharton. Valedictorian Leah Shofner honored Chelsea Porto. Salutatorian Ayumi Enorme honored creative writing teacher Casey Denlinger.


Valedictorian Rylee Canan honored Athletic Director Chloe Thompson. Salutatorian Jenna Shellabarger honored Patrick White.


Valedictorian Holly Beasley honored Band Director Jessica Moore. Valedictorian Elzabeth Kuether honored math teacher Carolyn Iddings.

Miami East

Valedictorian Courtney Bair honored her mother and science teacher Shelly Bair. Valedictorian Lydia Marcum honored Keith Martin. Salutatorian Kaylynn Fetters honored chemistry teacher Melissa Beal. Katie Weddle honored sixth grade English teacher LaDonna Mays.


Valedictorian Madeline Winemiller honored middle school Art Teacher Evelyn Brady. Salutatorian Madison Stasiak honored fifth grade teacher Luke Kinninger.


Valedictorian Hannah Beidelman honored world history, government, and economics teacher Missy Meyer. Valedictorian Ashley Evans honored eighth grade English teacher Kyle Borchers. Valedictorian Kendra Kern honored science teacher Trina Short. Valedictorian Clint Shellenberger honored Kreg McCullough. Valedictorian Katelyn Walters honored Scott Davis.


Valedictorian Jason Shaffer II honored Debbie Allen. Salutatorian Hannah Pleasant honored second grade teacher Kris Stewart.


Summa Cum Laude graduate David Featherstone honored middle school teacher Cassie Schoch. Summa Cum Laude graduate Ethan Royse honored calculus Teacher Annette Malott. Summa Cum Laude graduate Matthew Salmon honored also honored calculus Teacher Annette Malott.

Troy Christian

Valedictorian Laura Waltz honored biology and anatomy teacher Stacey Ort. Salutatorian Zy’Aire Parker honored Paul Ruland.


Valedictorian Olive Stringer honored seventh grade history Teacher Lisa Stapleton. Salutatorian Morgan Kaiser honored eighth grade history teacher Justin Crews.

Upper Valley Career Center

Top Scholar Amanda Goodwin honored Tami Yahle.

The event was made possible by sponsors, including: Alvetro Orthodontics, Baird Funeral Home, Bruns Realty Group, Can’t Stop Running Company, Captor Corporation, Dungan & LeFevre Company, El Tequila, Ever-Green Lawncare, Excellence in Dentistry, Fisher-Cheney Funeral Home, Park National Bank, Pioneer Electronic Cooperative, Piqua DQ Grill & Chill, Pleasant Hill LOCK-N-STOR, Premier Health, Royal Crest Agency, S & P Sales, Stiefel’s Home and Auto, Turnstone Funeral, as well as the Miami County and Troy Foundations.

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