State Support Team Region 9 Serving Schools in Holmes, Stark, and Wayne Counties

Stark State Advanced Technology Center ~ 6057 Strip Ave. N.W., North Canton, OH 44720  
Telephone: 330-492-8136  ~  Toll Free: 1-800-733-7732


2021 Horn and Walter Awards for Outstanding
Achievement in Special Education

R. A. Horn Award

R. A. Horn Award Description

State Support Team Region 9
R.A. Horn Outstanding Student Award for 2021
Michael Reynolds, Canton City Schools

Michael Reynolds is an 11th grade student at McKinley High School in Canton City School District.  He has faced many struggles throughout his life, including attending a large number of schools.  Michael has not let any of this deter his drive and determination to reach his goals.  In fact, he is stronger because of all of these experiences.  He has strength, determination and wisdom beyond his years. 

A number of road blocks were in Michael’s path when he first started attending McKinley High School.  He worked with his teachers to develop strategies to address them and to advocate for his best interests.  Michael requests additional assistance from his teachers when he struggles with a concept.  This fall, Michael demonstrated a true grasp on time management by working part time, being on the basketball team and regularly attending classes.  He received all A's and B's during the second 9 weeks of the school year.   When obstacles arise, Michael is capable of problem solving independently.  He shows pride in himself and his abilities, while being grateful for the help he receives.  His general education teachers love having him in class and have gone out of their way to share their praise for him with other teachers. 

Self-awareness is a strength for Michael.  He is able to reflect on his missteps and problem solve to adjust for the future.  He is willing to assume responsibility for his actions and he can process through a situation with insight and understanding.  Michael is kind to everyone he meets and helps others that are struggling by providing advice and words of encouragement.  He easily adapts the way he interacts with others.  Sometimes he is serious and down to earth, other times he is light hearted and upbeat.  Michael is creative and hardworking.  He values art, music and sports.  This is demonstrated by his participation on the basketball team, with track and field, and in his dedication to improving his guitar skills.

Michael’s self-determination to overcome obstacles and reach success is evident in this example.  Recently, Michael had a very challenging day in his personal life.  The next day he came to school dressed very nice.  He told his teacher that he had moved and that he was really going through it.  Then he said, "I look nice today, I knew I had to look nice today.  I feel awful, I'm struggling.  But, I knew that if I looked nice, each time I hung my head I would look down and see how good I looked, and that would make me feel better.  So I look nice today."

 Cassie Freeman, Michaels’ teacher summarizes the joy Michael brings into the world.
“I have learned so much about demonstrating respect for all students, understanding perspective, finding passion to pursue your dreams, and never giving up from this young man.  Michael Reynolds will leave a lasting impact on our school community and on the world as he goes forward in life.  He is truly one of a kind."

SST9 is proud to recognize Michael Reynolds as our R.A. Horn Outstanding Student for 2021. 

Honorable Mention

Benjamin Moser - Brown Local Schools
Madison Stark - Fairless Local Schools
Anne Alexsonshk - Jackson Local Schools
Jaydon Swartz - Massillon City Schools
Nicholas Liebler - Massillon City Schools
Cristian McElroy - North Canton City Schools
Donte Pocock - Perry Local Schools
Quentin Toles - Perry Local Schools
Deonte Straughter - Plain Local Schools
Aubree Blaurock - Plain Local Schools
Sidney Carroll - Plain Local Schools
Andrew Schumacher - Plain Local Schools
Alyx Bennett - Plain Local Schools
Krista Glaser - Sandy Valley Local Schools
Dillon Patterson - West Holmes Local Schools
Donovan "Donnie" Savage - West Holmes Local Schools
Tahlia Miller - West Holmes Local Schools
Tristan Dana - Wooster Local Schools
Stephanie Sherry - Wooster Local Schools


Franklin B. Walter Award

Franklin B. Walter Award Description

State Support Team Region 9
Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award for 2021
Carissa Egan, Intervention Specialist, North Canton City Schools

Carissa Egan serves as an Intervention Specialist at Northwood Elementary School in North Canton City Schools.  Mrs. Egan’s extensive background in trauma, behavioral supports, and self-regulation techniques helps to provide students with well-rounded academic and behavioral skill development.  She understands that often times, in order for students to excel academically, they need to be ready to learn and able to maintain their ability to stay engaged.  

Carissa begins each day with a ‘check in’ for every one of her students.  Each student has both individual learning and behavioral goals.  She works with the students to determine coping strategies should they face adversity and then they role play and practice the strategies in an effort to equip the students to be successful.  These goals help to meet individual needs and allow all students to access both the academic curriculum as well as control their social/emotional regulations.  

Mrs. Egan involves all stakeholders in the education process. She produces the “Resource Room News” newsletter for teachers, aides, parents,  guidance counselor and administration.  It includes a current topic, resources, coping skills to be implemented and supportive behavioral strategies.  She provides daily communication to parents and works cooperatively with them in an effort to provide consistent expectations both at home and at school.  Carrie is also a leader for Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports within her building, working with teams to ensure PBIS is being fully implemented and offering support to her colleagues to help them have success. 

These comments shared by Carissa’s colleagues demonstrate her commitment to both her students and her profession.
“Mrs. Egan has been an amazing addition to our Northwood Family.  She works so hard to provide a safe and encouraging learning environment for our most vulnerable students.  The strategies she teaches help both the students and the staff to learn about how trauma affects the brain.”

“Carrie understands the importance of the word relationship when it comes to working with students who struggle behaviorally.  Carrie spends a great deal of time building relationships with her students.

“Carrie is such an asset to Northwood! Her background in trauma, behavior and                            self-regulation have shown tremendous progress in students and helped support our staff.  She is a team player and always willing to lend a helping hand.  I am thankful for her support and lucky to call her a team member”.

State Support Team Region 9 congratulates Carissa Egan as our 2021 Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator.

Honorable Mention

Massillon City Schools - Massillon Middle School

Dustin Wilson & Denise Walters - Intervention Specialist Teaching Team

Plain Local - GleanOak High School

Minh McNenny - Math Teacher

Chippewa Local Schools

Kasey Starr - School Psychologist

Marlington Local Schools

Emilee Martell - School Psychologist

Plain Local Schools (Eagle Online K-12 Team)

Mark Beitler - Intervention Specialists

Hannah Reed - Intervention Specialists

Hannah Louk - Intervention Specialists

Leslie Brison - Intervention Specialists

Canton City Schools

Stephen A. Jackson - Intervention Specialist

Dr. Paul Soska, III - School Psychologist

Linda Costello - School Counselor

Erin Class - Intervention Specialist

Rachel Grater - School Counselor

Kevin Brastine - Intervention Specialist

Lindsay Werner - School Psychologist

Bonnie Ault - Intervention Specialist

Maquitta Stokes - Intervention Specialist

Perry Local Schools

Ashley Reinhart - School Psychologist

Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Margaret Jung - Occupational Therapist

Louisville City Schools - Louisville Elementary

Lisa Porrazzo - Intervention Specialist


Dr. Karen M. Williams Leadership Award

Due to the pandemic, SST9 has decided that we would NOT be accepting any nominations nor ultimately awarding a recipient for the Dr. Karen M. Williams Leadership Award. We recognize the exorbitant stress that administrators and other educators are under, and to honor the integrity of this award, it was felt to revisit this prestigious award in 2022. Please please thinking of an outstanding leader in your district, school or LEA whom you may wish to nominate in January 2022.