Community service and character development are integral parts of the Dublin Difference.

Providing a well-rounded education is one of the Dublin City Schools' fundamental goals and volunteerism, caring and kindness are as important to us as writing, reading and math.

In partnership with the district and our local business community, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce has developed a tremendously successful program called the Community Champion Awards.

This award-winning program that is celebrating its 15th anniversary recognizes students and staff who give back to our community and volunteer their time to serve others.

The program recognizes Dublin City Schools students in grades 1-12 and staff members who exemplify the best of volunteerism, character, leadership and a sense of caring and responsibility for others.

Its success is dependent on community participation and nominations are needed. You are encouraged to submit nominations online now through the Dublin chamber at

The awards ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. April 18 in the Dublin Jerome High School Center for the Performing Arts. It will be followed by a reception.

Each Community Champion Awards honoree will receive a limited-edition medal, as well as a gift bag filled with items from area businesses.

In addition, 12 seniors will receive monetary scholarships, and one student in each grade -- kindergarten through 11th grade -- will receive $100 in a 529 plan account. Such plans offer tax advantages and are designed to encourage saving for future education costs. The program also awards a Dublin City Schools staff member with a $500 donation made to a school project of choice.

Since its inception 15 years ago, the Community Champion Awards program has recognized nearly 3,000 students and staff of Dublin City Schools and distributed more than $74,000 in awards and college scholarships.

If a business would like to support the Community Champion Awards, please call the chamber at 614-889-2001, or mail your donation to: Dublin Chamber Civic Foundation, 129 S. High St., Dublin, OH 43017.

As a district, we take great pride in our relationships with local businesses, and the chamber has done a great job connecting the business community with our schools.

I would also like to take this opportunity to reach out to our business partners regarding our summer job fair for students. This program is also unique to Dublin City Schools and another example of our partnership with the Dublin chamber.

On April 4, the district this summer again will hold a job fair for all students of working age (14 is the minimum working age in Ohio).

We invite local businesses that hire students for the summer to be part of this large community event at no cost. Several hundred students and parents attend the event each year and employers have had great success hiring students for summer work.

Businesses wishing to participate should contact Tawnya Ewert at 614-760-4379.

Participating companies at past events have included: the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay, Safari Golf Course, Giant Eagle, Wendy's, SportsOhio, Tim Hortons, Scioto Reserve Country Club, Walmart, LaRosa's Pizzeria, Muirfins Swim Team, Dewey's Pizza, Friendship Village of Dublin, GFS Marketplace, McAlister's Deli, Bob Evans, Bruegger's Bagels, Panera Bread, Sunny Street Cafe, McDonald's and Firehouse Subs.

Dublin City School District Superintendent Todd Hoadley, Ph.D., submitted the From the Superintendent's Desk column.