DARKE COUNTY — The 20 Under 20 Awards were developed by Darke County Economic Development, Auglaize Mercer Business Education Alliance (AMBE), and Hometown Opportunity to recognize students, educators, and businesses collaborating to help prepare the next generation of workers in our region. The 20 winners must be under the age of 20 and residents in Darke, Mercer, or Auglaize counties. They must also be involved in part-time employment, internships, co-op programs, mentoring, entrepreneurship, or other business/education partnerships while in high school, post-secondary, or adult education programs.
Anna Combs is a 2019 graduate of Greenville High School, where she participated in Careers with Children at Greenville-CTEC. During the 2019-20 school year, Combs has been employed by Greenville City Schools as a Para-Professional, serving as a preschool teacher at Greenville Learning Center.
Combs says, “I have learned so much from working here about myself and about helping the kids. I have loved working here because it is something that I have always wanted to do.”
Currently pursuing an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Sinclair Community College, Combs is the daughter of George and Teresa Combs. She was nominated by Amy Schoen, Careers with Children Instructor and Greenville Learning Center Director, at Greenville City Schools.
“As a student in Careers with Children, Anna was able to learn how to use Ohio Early Learning Content Standards and create her own lesson plans and activities,” said Schoen with Combs learning the skills needed to communicate effectively with preschool children, teachers, and parents. “Anna did a fantastic job working with the preschoolers at Greenville Learning Center.”
According to Schoen, the 20 Under 20 Award winner received her certification in First Aid, CPR, Communicable Diseases, and Child Abuse. All required for her to pursue her career as a preschool teacher. Combs also has her Educational aide permit through the Ohio Department of Education. She also helped in Mrs. McLear’s Kindergarten classroom at Greenville Elementary School and Mrs. Bowers preschool classroom at Council on Rural Services during her Senior year.
“Anna was not only an amazing student but is an amazing preschool teacher at Greenville Learning Center. She is very caring and nurturing to all the children. She is very patient and a very hard worker,” continued Schoen.
Michelle Monnin, Head Preschool Teacher, Greenville Learning Center, stated, “I had the pleasure to experience Anna as a junior and senior in the Careers with Children Program. She got to work hands-on with preschool children every day. This helped her prepare for her future career in the field. When she graduated, she came to join me as a preschool teacher at Greenville Learning Center.”
“She has learned so much in the years I have known her,” continued Monnin, who explained how Combs went from a quiet, shy girl to being someone the children looked forward to interacting with every day. “I’m sure her new skills as an educator will take her far when she finishes school and gets her own classroom.”
Monnin went on to state Combs is an amazing role model for everyone. A genuine, sweet person that cares deeply about others.
“She makes a great addition to the teaching team, and I’m glad I get to work alongside her,” said Monnin.