Delaware City Schools Director of Special Education Angela Macwhinney was recently given the 2020 Outstanding Contribution Award by the Ohio Association of Pupil Service Administrators.
Macwhinney was announced Tuesday as the winner of OAPSA’s Dr. John Opperman Outstanding Contribution Award 2020. The award celebrates Macwhinney’s contributions to OAPSA and to Delaware City Schools.
Macwhinney said Thursday she received more than she expected when she joined the district’s virtual administrator meeting held Tuesday.
“It was a surprise,” Macwhinney said. “I thought I was attending a weekly meeting with district and building administrators. Mr. (Craig) Heath (assistant superintendent) and I had a Google Hangout scheduled right before, and he asked me to stay on to discuss something, so I was a few minutes late to the meeting. When I entered the administrator meeting, I immediately noticed several additional guests and then (OAPSA President Donna Stelzer) started talking and presenting the award. I had no idea, and I was completely surprised.”
Macwhinney was nominated by Dr. Ben Jenkins, a former colleague at Delaware City Schools and current director of special education for West Clermont Local Schools.
In the OAPSA release announcing Macwhinney’s award, Jenkins describes Macwhinney as “thoughtful, kind, funny and most importantly, student centered.” Jenkins said Macwhinney’s opinion is sought out very frequently and “is always sound.”
“Dr. Jenkins explains that Angie has improved student services at Delaware City Schools and one of those improvements was that she created a centralized IEP training for all special education staff members,” the OAPSA release states. “A guiding principal of that training is doing the right thing for the district’s neediest students. It was so well done that other districts, such as West Clermont Schools, wanted to duplicate that training.”
On Thursday, Macwhinney said the award is “humbling.”
“It is always very meaningful to have a colleague or former colleague nominate you for special recognition,” Macwhinney said. “It was very thoughtful of Dr. Jenkins, who recently reminded me ‘there is always time to be thoughtful’ to nominate me for this award. The award is designed for pupil services administrators to receive recognition for the positive contributions made to their district and community. It is very humbling to have been nominated, let alone receive the award.”
Macwhinney added that she’s not one for the spotlight, but she appreciates the recognition.
“I prefer to do my work behind the scenes by developing and implementing supports to staff and students so all of this attention has pushed me far out of my comfort zone,” Macwhinney said. “I very much appreciate all of the positive comments, text messages, emails and congratulations. They certainly help keep me motivated to continue improving upon and providing excellent services to students in Delaware.”
Macwhinney said the award should highlight the district’s special education staff, not just her.
“The timing of this could not have been better,” she said. “The last few weeks have been extremely stressful for school staff across the district. We miss each other and our students. The special education staff in Delaware has worked tirelessly to put supports into place in this new online environment. Without them, none of the practices or processes we have developed would work. They are the ones who deserve recognition.”
Stelzer said Macwhinney will be honored in person when OAPSA is allowed to gather again.
Glenn Battishill can be reached 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.