NILES - Individuals who have helped enrich the lives of others were recognized for their contributions and work during the recent fifth annual Valley Community Mental Health Foundation's Hall of Fame banquet.
The event was co-hosted by Valley Counseling Services.
Youngstown State University President Cynthia Anderson, who was the event's keynote speaker, said every child has attributes and abilities, and it takes a community to care about each child.
"You have come forward and made sure our children are served and not falling through the cracks," Anderson said to the many educators, school officials and mental health workers in attendance.
All children have needs, she said.
"We need to address those needs so the children can reach and achieve their dreams. All children have hidden potentials,'' she said.
"The world is what it is today because of the efforts of teachers," Anderson said.
More than 20 nominations from Trumbull County school principals, counselors, teachers and executives were submitted to the foundation board for different awards. Each nominee will be recognized during the banquet. Students were honored for overcoming barriers and excelling in both the classroom and the community.
Honored and recognized were:
Special Education Teacher of the Year Shari Munno, who teaches at Lincoln K-8 School in Warren;
Special Education Team Award to Mary Ellen Vench and June Bagby, who teach at Lincoln K-8 School in Warren;
Special Education Rookie Teacher of the Year, Stephany Chronistert, Champion Central Elementary;
Educational Assistant of the Year, Bo Greene of Trumbull County Educational Service Center;
Students of the Year, Kieran Hernon of Harding High School, Ashley Parkhurst of Harding, Jason Kirksey of Fairhaven School and Trint Cellars of Howland High School;
Dr. Richard Montagnese, a school psychologist, for his career achievements;
Margie Alexander, from Family and Children First Council, for her career achievements.
The Valley Counseling Mental Health Foundation is a philanthropic organization that was created in 2007 to improve community understanding of mental illness and to eliminate stigmas associated with brain disease.