Hellos, goodbyes and thank yous dominated the presentations at the Reaching Heights Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 10. Two board members finished their terms and 5 new board members were welcomed. The evening’s theme of Honoring A Caring Community continued with the presentation of the Friend of Public Education award to 2 well deserving community members who happen to be a married couple, Dave Tabor and Saroya Queen-Tabor. Next, Bryan Barrett owner of Bryan’s Marathon received the Outstanding Community Partner award for employing Heights Students and supporting school activities. And finally, the Reaching Heights staff and board and the community thanked Lisa Hunt, Assistant Director of Reaching Heights who resigned to accept a parent engagement position with the CH-UH School District.
Jen Vinson, Board Vice-President and Dr. Talisa Dixon, Superintendent of the CH-UH City School District presented the Friend of Public Education awards and highlighted the accomplishments of each member of this “power couple.” Dave Tabor, a director in Gas Supply Operations at Dominion East Ohio, served as a multi-year PTA President at Boulevard Elementary, a co-chair of 2 operating levy campaigns, and most recently as co-chair of the successful bond issue to fund Phase 1 of the CH-UH Schools Facility Plan to renovate the high school and middle schools. Dave commented that he was a public school student and is very pleased with the education his daughters are receiving in the Heights Schools. He emphasized that his daughters’ education wasn’t good because he and his wife are involved parents but because they have excellent teachers and opportunities in the Heights Schools.
Saroya Queen-Tabor was also honored as Friend of Public Education. Ms. Queen-Tabor, Manager of Electronic Assessments at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, served as PTA President at Roxboro Middle School, Board President of Reaching Heights, and Chairperson of the CH-UH District Strategic Plan Committee. She attended parochial school in New York City, because “there wasn’t a school district like Cleveland Heights-University Heights for my parents to send me to.” She also praised the school district for its broad offerings and encouraged families and other community members to gain a better appreciation of our schools by visiting them and getting involved.
Krista Hawthorne, Executive Director of Reaching Heights and Olivia Beck, Sales Representative for Beck Suppliers representing Marathon Petroleum Company recognized Bryan Barrett as the 2016 Outstanding Community Partner. Bryan Barrett is a Cleveland Heights High School alumnus and the owner of Bryan’s Marathon, a petroleum service station on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Olivia Beck said that “Bryan has a well-established customer base. That doesn’t happen by itself. It comes from building trust in the community. It is a privilege for Beck Suppliers to have a customer who makes a difference in their community through the contribution of time, effort and support - from community fundraisers to mentoring and employing local teens.” At the local Marathon Service Station for more than 4 decades, Bryan said he supports Heights students because he was one of them. “I was a teenager working here and now I own the business.”
Congratulations to the award winners who represent so well the community support of public education in Cleveland Heights and University Heights.