Delaware City Schools Superintendent Paul Craft was awarded a “Hometown Hero” award by radio station Sunny 95 on Monday at Willis Education Center.

City of Delaware Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle said she was contacted about recommending someone for the award, and she immediately thought of Craft.

Riggle added Craft came to mind because he cares about the community, has a military background, and isn’t just the superintendent, he’s part of so many community events.

“I couldn’t think of anyone better,” Riggle said.

Sponsored by CME Federal Credit Union, the “Hometown Hero” award was presented to Craft by CME President/CEO Jeff Carpenter.

“We believe there are a lot of unsung heroes in our communities,” Carpenter said. “Folks that do stuff every day that make a huge difference in our community and don’t often get recognition. We were honored the mayor chose (Craft). He is an incredible individual doing incredible things leading the Delaware school system. It is truly my pleasure, on behalf of our 33,725 members, to present you with our ‘Hometown Hero’ for the month of March.”

Craft said he had been told to come to the ceremony because someone else was going to be given the award, and he added the award caught him off guard.

“Obviously, this was a surprise. I thought I was coming up to see somebody else recognized,” Craft laughed. “I really feel unworthy …”

Before thanking the Delaware City Schools staff for their hard work, Craft joked that he “doesn’t do much” and couldn’t even write a speech without the help of Jennifer Ruhe, director of communications.

“I feel blessed to be part of this community,” Craft said. “I came up here eight years ago and I fell in love. This is a slice of America with all the warts and challenges, but all the incredible caring and love of a neighborhood.”

Craft added he is proud to be part of the community every day, and he thanked the people of Delaware for their support.

“There’s no better place to live, right now, in central Ohio than Delaware, and we are going to keep doing what we can over the next few years of continuing to make this a better place for our kids,” Craft said.

He added the award was “a great surprise” and said he should have known something was up when someone said his wife was at the school.

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.