The Centerville Education Foundation (CEF) honored a group of outstanding individuals for their commitment to Centerville City Schools, the community and improving education during their annual Hall of Fame banquet on April 25. During the 33rd annual event, which took place at The Gallery at Yankee Trace, 18 educators, students and alumni were honored.
This year’s Outstanding Teachers are Brandon Barrometti and Josh Baker. Starting their Centerville tenures in 2007 and 2008, respectively, the two men oversee instrumental music education in Centerville for grade levels 6-12, lead instruction in music theory to students both in and outside the band program, and manage the Performing Arts Department at Centerville High School (CHS). Together, they lead curriculum development, instruction and programming for more than 800 students annually. Recently, they spearheaded a private capital funds campaign, forged an alliance with an American instrument manufacturer, and partnered with Centerville City Schools to secure over $200,000 worth of top-quality instruments used by students at CHS and each of the middle schools. Both men are widely recognized by their peers as two of the top music educators in the country.
Michael Daskalakis was selected by the CHS senior class to receive this year’s Outstanding Student award. He served as a class officer his sophomore and junior years and was elected as Student Council president his senior year. Finishing in the top 10 percent of the senior class, Daskalakis is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honors Society, Knitting Club, Model UN and S.A.D.D. He also participated in the Lunch Buddies and Elk Connector programs and played on the tennis team all four years. He was involved with the Greek Orthodox Church in Dayton, including being the Altar Boy Captain and president of the Greek Orthodox Youth Association. Daskalakis plans to use his Centerville Education Foundation scholarship to study pre-medicine at Ohio State University this fall.
Eric Fanning, a 1986 graduate of CHS, was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus. He recently retired after a 25-year career with the federal government, which began in the 1990s as he joined the staff of the House Armed Services Committee. The U.S. Senate confirmed him as Under Secretary of the Air Force in 2013, followed by his service as Acting Secretary of the Air Force from June to December of 2013. In March 2015, Fanning was named Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense before being confirmed in May 2016 as Secretary of the U.S. Army. He retired from that post in January 2017.
Larry LeVeck was named this year’s Citizen Advocate. A retired General Motors engineer, he began serving as an academic volunteer at Watts Middle School in 1999 and has continued to serve as a math tutor, excelling at helping students understand difficult math concepts. In addition, LeVeck volunteers with the orchestra program, the Watts Fall Party and Family Night. He also works in the community, serving on the planning committee for the Blue Grass Blow-Out. He even recently helped a Watts staff member through a medical emergency, and he and Watts staff members were recognized by the Washington Township Trustees for assisting in saving a life.
Roger Nefzer, the former Director of Information Technology for Centerville City Schools, received a Special Service award. Nefzer began his career with IBM and worked as a sales consultant with Centerville Schools in his efforts to bring technology into the classroom. He came to Centerville as a full-time employee in 1997 and was dedicated to helping students and staff realize the potential of technology. Making the most of a sometimes limited budget, he worked relentlessly to make sure all classrooms and offices in the district had the necessary infrastructure to adapt to technology advances. He also introduced the mobile lab to Centerville classrooms, taking advantage of the latest wireless technology.
Finally, each school in the district selected a recipient for the Excellence in Education awards. The 2017 honorees included:
- Carrie DePalma, literacy support specialist at Primary Village North
- Connie Langford, clerical aide at Primary Village South
- Kelly George, second grade teacher at Cline Elementary
- Jackie Vollmer, intervention specialist at Driscoll Elementary
- Amanda Green, intervention specialist at John Hole Elementary
- Christin Forbes, fifth grade teacher at Normandy Elementary
- Lindsey Godfrey, art teacher at Stingley Elementary
- Marianne Rapp, secretary at Weller Elementary
- Katie Elam, English language arts teacher at Magsig Middle School
- Michael Voytek, band teacher at Tower Heights Middle School
- Wendy Dereix, English language arts teacher at Watts Middle School
- Adam Taylor, social studies teacher at Centerville High School
The Centerville Education Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization founded in 1983 to enrich the education program in the Centerville City Schools. As its name suggests, the Foundation is devoted exclusively to education enhancement with its primary responsibility being to gain support from individuals, corporations, businesses and foundations and distribute funds through a grant program for the benefit of students, faculty and staff. To support its grant objectives, the Foundation conducts fund-raising programs. All proceeds are used to enhance education in Centerville City Schools. Visit http://elksalumni.com for more information.
Centerville City Schools serve more than 8,100 students in Centerville and Washington Township in southwest Ohio, offering a variety of educational programs to a diverse student population. The district operates 13 school buildings, as well as two preschools and a bus facility accommodating and servicing more than 100 buses. Visit www.centerville.k12.oh.us for more information.