EHOVE Adult Education Director Laura Dowdell received The Bill Ruth Award at the PACE Conference on April 7. The award is to honor administrators who most exemplify the characteristics that Bill Ruth fostered and demonstrated himself of hard work, innovation, action, a "fighting" spirit, and a passion for education.
Ruth was the pioneer who built Ohio's first adult vocational education system. Ohio Association of Career and Technical Education created the award in 1984, and gives it to one Ohio educator annually.
"I am honored to have been named the recipient of the 2021-2022 William B. Ruth Award," said Dowdell. "About ten years ago, I met Bill Ruth and heard him speak about the importance of offering career tech education for adults at career centers. Since that time, I have watched the Adult Education Directors I have looked up to as mentors receive this award. To join them is truly a humbling experience. Bill passed away in 2015 but I will never forget his passion for adult career technical education. He was truly an inspiration to me and others."
Dowdell was nominated for the award by EHOVE Assistant Adult Education Director Janet Ballard who said in the nomination form that Dowdell was deserving of the award because she "is a consistent advocate for students helping them be the best they can be while facing tough challenges."
Ballard also said, "She led EHOVE Adult Education staff and students through the pandemic with a strong assurance that students would complete their course of student in a timely fashion and she worked hard to ensure they were able to achieve their goal. Even though many post-secondary schools totally shut down, EHOVE moved to online learning quickly and efficiently and Laura worked to bring students back to campus safely just three months after the country's shutdown.
In 2021, EHOVE received word of a perfect COE accreditation due to Laura's drive for excellence. Her hard work and dedication have benefitted EHOVE's students, staff and the community, and in Mr. Ruth's words, she fits the description of an Adult Education 'dragon slayer'."
Dowdell received a plaque to keep and another to display at EHOVE. In line with tradition, the second plaque will remain at EHOVE Career Center for one year, and move to the next award winner's career center next year.