Milford’s Teaching Professions program honored as “outstanding program”

By David Yockey

On Thursday, October 10, at the Fall Conference of the Southwest Region of the Ohio School Boards association, Milford’s Teaching Professions program was honored as an “outstanding program.”  This program is taught by Jennifer Shay-Norsworthy and is a “satellite” program of the Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development.

Students in this program recently made a national impact with a presentation on learning disabilities that wowed the judges and earned them first place in the nation at the National Future Educators Association conference in Orlando.  The Teaching Professions students earned the right to attend the conference as national semi-finalists based on research they did on learning disabilities.  In Orlando, they gave a 15-minute presentation on how to make learning attainable to students with disabilities.  “These students did so well in the presentation that the judges stayed for almost two hours after the competition in order to talk with them,” said instructor Shay-Norsworthy.  “They told the students that they came across as professionals already working in the field, not as high school students.”

The presentation included student-made videos as well as such innovative ideas as a “calming caddy,” a pencil contraption they created to help students learn to write properly, and a sensory box for students to practice letters and numbers.  Students were then asked to repeat their presentation for the entire conference of more than 500 educators and future educators.  “The students were full of professionalism and represented Great Oaks and Milford well,” Shay-Norsworthy said.

They were awarded first place in the “Researching Learning Disabilities” category, beating out teams from Delaware, Virginia and other states.

This program is an outstanding example of a cooperative venture between Milford Schools and Great Oaks.  It is a program funded by Great Oaks as a “satellite” class and taught within Milford High School for Milford students.  It is an example of how our students are exposed to career preprartion in high school, along with the academics.  Milford Schools are very fortunate to be part of the Great Oaks district, and I have been fortunate to serve as Milford’s representative on the Great Oaks Board of Directors for several years.

David Yockey is a candidate in the November 5, 2013 school board election. Visit his website at


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