Darke County students recognized at Franklin B. Walter Awards banquet


By Dawn Hatfield


DARKE COUNTY — Darke County Educational Service Center (DCESC) held the annual Franklin B. Walter Awards banquet honoring six outstanding high school seniors on March 29 at Romer’s Catering in Greenville. DCESC Superintendent Jim Atchley welcomed the crowd of honored students, their families, and school representatives. DCESC President Larry Besecker provided the invocation and guests enjoyed a delicious buffet-style dinner as catered by Romer’s.

According to oesca.org, “The Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award was created in 1990 by OESCA to honor Franklin B. Walter… [who] served as state superintendent from March 1977 until August 1991. Throughout his career, Dr. Walter has exemplified concern for young people and has dedicated his life to the improvement of education in Ohio.” The Annual Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Awards Program was established by the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA) to promote and recognize outstanding academic achievement. One public-school senior from each Ohio county who is nominated by an ESC for their demonstration of “outstanding academic achievement as indicated by high school grades, test scores, community service, and school activities and awards” is eligible to receive this honor each spring.

Following dinner, students approached the podium to introduce themselves and their families as well as to discuss their future plans.

Ansonia senior Austin Obringer, son of Lee and Amy Obringer, announced his plans to study computer science at Miami University (Oxford).

Arcanum-Butler senior Jacob Rice, son of Jason and Emilie Rice, announced his plans to study electrical engineering at Miami University (Oxford).

Franklin Monroe senior Jessica Brocious, daughter of Jeff Brocious, announced her plans to study education and English at The Ohio State University.

Greenville senior Mason Shuttleworth, son of Joseph and Heather Shuttleworth, announced his plans to study math and music at a yet-to-be-determined university.

Mississinawa Valley senior Nereida Velasco, daughter of Armando and Stacy Velasco, announced her plans to study engineering at The Ohio State University.

Tri-Village senior Rylee Sagester, daughter of Josh and Traci Sagester, announced her plans to study broadcast journalism at a yet-to-be-determined university.

School-district representatives then said a few words to highlight the accomplishments and character of each of these outstanding young women and men before awarding them their 2023 Darke County Franklin B. Walter Award plaques.

Superintendent Atchley again took to the podium, saying, “I am pleased that the Darke County ESC is able to recognize the individual district representatives and ultimately announce the 2023 Darke County Franklin B. Walter Award winner. I would also like to thank the following Business Advisory Council members for assisting with the scoring of the applications: Jordan Francis with Darke County Health Department; Bethany Menke, Midmark; Alex Pohlman, Wayne HealthCare; and Amanda Weldon of Whirlpool. I appreciate the willingness of these four individuals and their commitment to serving on our Business Advisory Council and also assisting in honoring tonight’s award winners.”

To conclude the evening, Jessica Brocious from Franklin Monroe High School was announced as the single awardee for recognition at the state-level 2023 Franklin B. Walter Awards program to be held April 18, 2023, in Lewis Center, Ohio. Franklin Monroe Principal Dr. Lisa Wendel said, “Jessica always carries herself with grace and dignity and is a great representative for our school.”

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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