Youngstown State University’s Beeghly College of Education hosted the 12th annual Alumni Awards Dinner earlier this month in McKay Auditorium in Beeghly Hall on campus.
Outstanding Administrator: Linda Ross — a graduate of Ursuline High School and Slippery Rock University majoring in elementary education. She earned a master’s degree from YSU and was in the first cohort of the doctoral program, graduating with a doctor of education in educational leadership in 1998. She began teaching elementary school in Youngstown City Schools, continued her educational career as an instructional consultant for the Mahoning County ESC, taught as an adjunct faculty member at YSU and currently serves as the director of instruction for the Boardman Local School District. She is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Ohio Association of Administrators of State and Federal Programs, and has served on numerous committees at the Ohio Department of Education. Ross was chosen as a Jennings Scholar by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.
Outstanding Counselor: Rachel Hoffman O’Neill — an Ohio-licensed professional clinical counselor with supervisory endorsement. O’Neill earned a doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Kent State University and an M.S.Ed. in counseling and B.A. in psychology from YSU. She is in clinical practice at Meridian Community Care, a behavioral health care organization in Youngstown. She also works as a faculty member at Walden University. She has authored more than 15 scholarly journal articles and book chapters and has presented more than 70 times at national, state and local conferences and workshops. O’Neill was recognized by the Ohio Association for Counselor Education and Supervision with the Outstanding Supervisor Award. She is also the recipient of the 2010 Ohio Counseling Associations’ Herman J. Peters award, which recognizes an individual who promotes innovative ideas and theories in the counseling field. She also was recognized by the Mahoning County Foundation as a 40 under 40 Award recipient. She is the executive editor of the Journal of Counselor Practice and the associate editor for research for the Journal of Mental Health Counseling.
Outstanding Educator: Pamela McCurdy — a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in reading from YSU. She had the opportunity to be a graduate assistant working for the late Phil Ginnetti, a former dean, during the 1995-96 academic year. McCurdy taught elementary school in Warren City Schools, Clark County Schools (Las Vegas) and Liberty Local Schools. She is the curriculum director for the Liberty School District. She is the Title 1 coordinator and also is a resident educator coordinator and mentor, preschool co-coordinator, a grant writer and an Ohio improvement internal facilitator, where she serves on the district and building leadership teams and plans districtwide professional development. She is the YSU liaison working with the Beeghly College of Education, placing teacher candidates in clinical experiences at Liberty schools, conducting student-teacher orientation and student-teacher seminars. McCurdy has earned the Outstanding Student Teacher Award from YSU in 1995 and is a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar. She has presented at the PDS National Conference in Daytona, Fla., and the Trumbull County Literacy Conference.
Lifetime Educational Service: Cheryl Lynn (Mancini) Borovitcky — earned a bachelor’s degree, kindergarten certification and master’s degree as a K-12 reading specialist from YSU. She earned her elementary principal and educational supervision certifications from Ashland University, as well as National Board Certification. Borovitcky served the Poland School District for 35 years as an elementary principal and teacher and joined the Beeghly College of Education in 2001, teaching reading courses, professional development workshops and supervising student teachers. She accepted the 2003 NCLB Blue Ribbon for Dobbins Elementary School in Washington, D.C. She was a SIRI instructor, mentored a future administrator and teachers, directed a summer reading and math program and made numerous conference presentations. She has held many leadership positions with the International Reading Association, including state and local president. She maintained the local Honor Council status, earned the state Award of Excellence and initiated the IRA Award-winning community-service project “Hope Library.” She has received multiple awards, including the Ashland 2000 Golden Apple Achiever Award, PDK Best Practice Award, and was named Poland School’s Educator of the Year in 2001.
Dean’s Appreciation Award (posthumously): Michael R. “Mickey” Soroka — a lifelong Campbell resident, graduated from Campbell Memorial High School in 1980 and earned a bachelor’s degree from YSU in 1987. He coached football for many years and taught upper-level mathematics, computer science, multimedia and technology courses. He was recognized by YSU for his participation in the College in High School program. The Michael “Mickey” Soroka Charitable Foundation was created in his memory.
Diversity Award (posthumously): Clifford O. Johnson — graduated from North High School in Youngstown and had degrees from YSU, Westminster College and Kent State University. He served on many boards, was a devoted member of the Second Baptist Church, serving as a Sunday School Teacher, Adult Fellow president and as a member of the Brotherhood. He was a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. fraternity. He was the first African-American foreman of a Truman County grand jury, the first African-American high- school head coach in the Warren City Schools system and the first African-American on the Warren City Board of Health. The Clifford O. Johnson Educational Memorial Scholarship was created in his honor.