Cincinnatus Association honors inspirational educators

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The Cincinnatus Association honored a volunteer, a teacher and a principal for outstanding service to Cincinnati Public Schools.

The awards were presented during the annual dinner put on by a partnership of Cincinnatus, University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, Xavier University and Mount St. Joseph University.

The honorees were Ceair Baggett, principal of Ethel M. Taylor Academy, administration; Lewis Smith of Bond Hill Academy, volunteer in public education; and David Fenton of Woodward Career Technical High School, distinguished teacher.

Smith organizes fundraising events and food drives, chaperones field trips, directs traffic at morning dropoff, tutors and heads the Parent-Teacher-Student Organization.

“Lewis Smith is the most dedicated father and volunteer that I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Candice Patterson, a CPS employee who nominated him. “Of all the roles that Mr. Smith had at Bond Hill Academy, a friend and role model were most important.”

Fenton oversees Woodward’s Independent Career Advancement Now program to help students with disabilities achieve more independence as they transition from school to adulthood.

“He has set a goal for himself to provide each student with the skills necessary to live and work as independently as possible,” wrote Woodward principal Shauna Murphy, who nominated him.

Baggett is the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night. He puts students first, inspires his team and is always the first to believe and the last to give up, said Williams Moehring, director of school services for CPS, who nominated the principal.

“Ceair Baggett instills in children a love for learning and desire to achieve. He is innovative, compassionate, respected and a visionary,”  Moehring said.

“These awards spotlight both the exceptional achievements of the educators being honored and the longstanding commitment of the Cincinnatus Association to educational excellence in our community,” said Cincinnatus president Elliot Grossman. “In recent months, our association has shifted its primary mission to attacking poverty. Nothing holds more promise to reduce poverty – to help more people achieve the American dream – than educators who make a difference in children’s lives.”

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