The president of Southern State Community College has been named the 2016 Highland County Friend of Education award winner.
Dr. Kevin Boys was recognized Tuesday during the 19th annual dinner-meeting of administrators and boards of education members from the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center (SOESC) four-county service area.
Each year, superintendents are asked to nominate members of the community as Friends of Education – individuals or organizations that have contributed greatly to successes in the schools.
Boys has devoted more than 32 years of his life to K-12 public education in southwest Ohio, including his service as a teacher, principal and superintendent in two suburban school districts near Cincinnati. He is the fifth president of Southern State Community College and is now serving in his seventh year.
Boys “regularly collaborates with all of the superintendents and school districts in the region to provide expanded opportunities for students,” said Tony Long, SOESC superintendent in presenting award. “Kevin has attended superintendents’ meetings, assisted school districts with strategic planning, shared SSCC facilities with area school districts and the SOESC. With Kevin’s leadership and the collaboration of 30 area school districts, SSCC has doubled the number of high school students taking college credit plus classes.”
Boys is a board member of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce and Hillsboro Rotary. He is also active with Leadership Clinton and annually chairs its education day. In collaboration with Great Oaks, he assisted in developing a shared program in Aviation Engineering to meet the urgent need for a regional employer.
“Kevin is well respected not only in our region but also around the state of Ohio,” said Long. “Dr. Boys is a member of the executive committee of the Southwest Ohio Council for Higher Education Board of Trustees. He serves on the Great Oaks Career Development Campus Business Advisory Council, and is a Governing Board member of the Southwest Ohio High Schools That Work and the Community Colleges of Appalachia.”
In 2013, Boys was called upon by Gov. John Kasich to serve as co-chair to the Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission.
Lynchburg-Clay Elementary was also recognized for being chosen a National Blue Ribbon School.
The National Blue Ribbon School award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve at high levels or where the achievement gap is narrowing. Each year the United States Department of Education permits the Ohio Department of Education to nominate 14 public schools each year.
“Lynchburg-Clay is only the second school in our region to receive this prestigious award,” said Long. “Putman Elementary in the Blanchester Local Schools received the award in 2011.” Lynchburg-Clay Supt. Brett Justice and Lynchburg-Clay Elementary Principal Joni Minton were on hand to be recognized for the award.
Also, Carl Schneider, music teacher at West Union High School, was recognized for being nominated for the Ohio Department of Education’s State Teacher of the Year Award, and Stephenie Eriksson, English Laguage Arts teacher at Blanchester High School, was recognized for being a finalist for the same award.
R. Kirk Hamilton, Ph.D., the executive director of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, was guest speaker for the event held at Laurel Oaks Career Development Center.
Others attending from Highland County were Hillsboro Supt. Jim Smith, Greenfield Supt. Joe Wills, Bright Local Supt. Ted Downing and Fairfield Supt. Bill Garrett.
Gary Huffenberger contributed to this story.