Pictured from left to right: Walt Skaggs, Superintendent, Cade Balgo, student, Christa Truchan, Teacher, Jake Davies, student, Mike McKeever, M.S. Principal.
The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities recently held its annual Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award Banquet in Columbus. Ms. Christa Truchan from St. Clairsville-Richland City School District earned this distinction for the State Support Team Region 12 area. She is the first teacher from St. Clairsville to earn this prestigious award and only the third from Belmont County. The St. Clairsville-Richland City Board of Education formally recognized Truchan during their August session as Principal Mike McKeever presented both the Region 12 and state awards.
Ms. Truchan, a teacher in the District since 2009, was nominated by the District's Special Education Director Diane Thompson for her "fierce and passionate advocacy and actions on behalf of students with exceptional needs." As Ms. Truchan received her award, her nomination letter was read which cited numerous examples of Truchan's "seamless inclusion program" that encourages all students to naturally engage and support each other's learning. In addition, Truchan's citation included her effective teaching strategies that have allowed her students to learn to read and use language skills. These skills are readily applied in the "Middle of the Road Cafe" that Thuchan and her students opened at the Middle School last year. Every other week Truchan's students prepare and sell lunches to staff. They also often sponsor holiday luncheons as well.
The Franklin B. Walter Award was established in 1991 and is presented to one educator from each of Ohio's 16 State Support Team regions. Franklin B. Walter was Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1977-1991 and is especially recognized for this development of the nation's first statewide plan for students with special needs.