Reaching Heights honors community partners at annual meeting
Hellos, goodbyes and thank-yous dominated the Reaching Heights Annual Meeting in January. Two board members finished their terms and five new board members were welcomed.
The evening’s theme, Honoring A Caring Community, continued with the presentation of the Friend of Public Education award to two community members who happen to be a married couple, Dave Tabor and Saroya Queen-Tabor.
Next, Bryan Barrett, owner of Bryan’s Marathon and a Heights High alumnus, received the Outstanding Community Partner award for employing Heights students and supporting school activities.
Finally, the Reaching Heights staff and board, and the community, thanked Lisa Hunt, who resigned as assistant director of Reaching Heights to accept a parent-engagement position with the CH-UH City School District.
In presenting the Friend of Public Education awards, Jen Vinson, Reaching Heights board vice president, and Talisa Dixon, CH-UH school superintendent, highlighted the accomplishments of each member of this “power couple.”
Dave Tabor, a director at Dominion East Ohio, served as a multi-year PTA president at Boulevard Elementary Schools, co-chaired two operating levy campaigns and, most recently, co-chaired the successful bond issue to fund Phase 1 of the CH-UH Schools Facility Plan to renovate the high school and middle schools. Tabor commented that he was a public school student and is very pleased with the education his daughters are receiving in the Heights schools. He emphasized that his daughters’ education wasn’t good because he and his wife are involved parents, but because they have excellent teachers and opportunities in the Heights schools.
Saroya Queen-Tabor, manager of electronic assessments in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, served as PTA president at Roxboro Middle School, board president of Reaching Heights, and chair of the CH-UH District Strategic Plan Committee. She attended parochial school in New York City, because “there wasn’t a school district like Cleveland Heights-University Heights for my parents to send [her] to.” Queen-Tabor praised the school district for its broad offerings and encouraged families and other community members to gain a better appreciation of the schools by visiting them and getting involved.
In her remarks honoring Bryan Barrett, Olivia Beck, sales representative for Beck Suppliers, representing Marathon Petroleum Company, said, “Bryan has a well-established customer base. That doesn’t happen by itself. It comes from building trust in the community. . . .[He] makes a difference . . . through the contribution of time, effort and support—from community fundraisers to mentoring and employing local teens.”
Barrett said he supports Heights students because he was one of them: “I was a teenager working here and now I own the business.”
Krista Hawthorne is the executive director of Reaching Heights.