North Franklin Elementary Principal Elaine Lawless has been doubly honored for her outstanding service.
Lawless was named by the South-Western Council of PTAs as its nominee for the district's 2013 Outstanding Educator Award.
The PTAs from each South-Western school also nominated an educator for the award from their building and the honorees were all recognized Tuesday, April 23 at a ceremony held at Buckeye Woods Elementary School.
Lawless, who will be retiring at the end of the school year, also was honored as the Ohio PTA District 10 Outstanding Educator Sunday, April 21 at the Ohio PTA convention.
District 10 includes Delaware, Franklin, Licking, Fairfield, Perry, Hocking, Pickaway and Vinton counties.
"I'm honored beyond words," Lawless said.
Being recognized in the South-Western district, where she has worked her entire 35-year career, is particularly special, she said.
"I feel so privileged to have been able to work in this district," Lawless said. "Everything I've been able to achieve in my career was due to this amazing district.
"I can never repay the district for all the professional development opportunities they've presented me and all our teachers," she said. "We have such great support from the leadership of our district and the school board."
Lawless spent the first 10 years of her career as an elementary school teacher and has served as North Franklin's principal for seven years.
Earlier this year, North Franklin was recognized by the Ohio Department of Education as a state School of Promise for its results on the 2011-12 state report card.
The credit for that and other successes go to the dedicated staff, engaged parents and hard-working students, Lawless said.
North Franklin puts a focus on learning and making a difference in students' lives, she said.
"All of our teachers recognize that each students is a gift and has something valuable to contribute," Lawless said.
She said she is proud of a poster hanging in the front hallway created by a North Franklin student.
The poster says, "Our school is a place of hope and joy."
"That's exactly what we want our school to be," Lawless said.
Like most educators, making a difference in children's lives is why she chose education as a career, she said.
"The other day I had one of my former students -- he's now 43-years-old -- stop by the school to congratulate me on the awards and let me know he remembered me as a teacher," Lawless said. "I remembered him. But for him to take the time to visit me and thank me, there's no better reward than that."
The Outstanding Educator award recognizes teachers, principals and other staff members for the impact they have on their students, said South-Western Council of PTAs President Suzie Smith-Rios.
Each school PTA considers nominations it receives and make the final choice for its building honoree, she said.
The 2013 Outstanding Educators for each school are:
* Central Crossing High School, Sherry Clark, work-study coordinator.
* Franklin Heights High School, Kristin Martin, language arts teacher.
* Grove City High School, Brian Bosworth, visual arts teacher.
* South-Western Career Academy, Abby Heisterkamp, intervention specialist.
* Westland High School, Julie Haueisen, language arts teacher.
* Brookpark Middle School, Richard Day, social studies teacher
* Finland Middle School, Melissa Smith, intervention specialist.
* Jackson Middle School, Mary Edwards, intervention specialist.
* Norton Middle School, Greg Brandt, Language arts teacher.
* Pleasant View Middle School, Shane Harris, instrumental music director.
* Franklin Woods Intermediate, Andy Stotz, assistant principal.
* Galloway Ridge Intermediate, Courtney Williams, sixth grade math and science teacher.
* Hayes Intermediate, Julie Grey, fifth grade math and social studies teacher.
* Park Street Intermediate, Debbie Delozier, fifth grade math and social studies teacher.
* Alton Hall Elementary, Melissa McCoy, first grade teacher.
* Buckeye Woods Elementary, Shana Taylor, kindergarten teacher.
* Darby Woods Elementary, Laurie Brown, fourth grade teacher.
* Darbydale Elementary, Melissa Bice, kindergarten teacher.
* East Franklin Elementary, Jill Brandt, kindergarten teacher.
* Finland Elementary, Phyllis Amicon, reading recovery teacher.
* Harmon Elementary, Zach Keyes, physical education teacher.
* Highland Park Elementary, Janice Pirro, second grade teacher.
* Monterey Elementary, Karl Mays, second grade teacher.
* North Franklin Elementary, Tamara Baughman, first grade teacher.
* Prairie Lincoln Elementary, Brieanne Jones, second grade teacher.
* Prairie Norton Elementary, Lisa Oney, kindergarten teacher.
* Richard Avenue Elementary, Debbie Poole, third and fourth TESOL teacher.
* J.C. Sommer Elementary, Kim Brady, third grade teacher.
* Stiles Elementary, Tammy Masa, fourth grade teacher.
* South-Western City Schools preschool, Raechel Staugler, early intervention specialist.
* West Franklin Elementary, Kristine DeVore, first grade teacher.