Hundreds of students take advantage of the programs offered through Adult Education, and they work with a tireless staff overseen by Director Carrie Fife.
A spotlight was shone recently on the excellent work that Carrie and her staff members do, the first recognition in relation to Pickaway-Ross’ ABLE program and the Adult Diploma Program.
Carrie was named the State of Ohio Contributor of the Year from the Ohio Association for Continuing and Adult Education (OAACE). Connie Shriver, coordinator of ABLE at Mid-East Career and Technology Center in Zanesville and OAACE president, nominated Carrie, citing her longstanding advocacy for ABLE.
“She was one of the first adult education directors in the state to understand that adult education students will ultimately be more successful if they spend a short time in ABLE,” Connie wrote.
A day later, Carrie was awarded the Pacesetter and Bill Ruth awards, two prestigious honors in the Adult Education field, at the PACE (Postsecondary Adult Continuing Education) Spring Conference.
“I was very surprised that they gave me both,” Carrie said.
The Pacesetter Award recognizes exceptional leadership or innovative program achievement through service to the Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education.
In the nomination, Carrie’s work last year in creating an executive director position for PACE was cited, praising her vision that an executive director will help adult technical centers throughout Ohio ensure their students, programs and concerns are considered when state-level decisions are made.
Pickaway-Ross’ Adult Education department also won the Innovative Project Award for its work with the Adult Diploma Program. This is the fourth time in five years that Pickaway-Ross Adult Education has earned this award.
The surprise for Carrie was being awarded the Bill Ruth Award, named for a man considered the creator of the adult vocational education system in Ohio. It honors administrators who reflect Bill’s characteristics: hard work, innovation, action, a “fighting” spirit and a passion for Adult Education.
“I was very humbled,” Carrie said of receiving the Bill Ruth Award. “The previous Bill Ruth winners come back and greet the new winner. I was honored to be a part of that club.”
Carrie said it was an exciting few days and while she may have accepted the awards alone, she didn’t earn them alone.
“These awards are a direct reflection of how hard the Adult Education staff works every day providing needed programs to adult learners.”
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal