The award was presented at the May 12, 2021, Board of Education meeting. The following comments were shared by Megan Hatta, a Start Talking Grandview member and Grandview Heights Schools parent.
Good evening, my name is Megan Hatta and I am here to represent Start Talking Grandview (STG). Together with Alison Gessner-Rooney, and our entire board, we are very honored to present our first ever, Start Talking Grandview "Prevention Advocate Award".
Over the past seven years, Start Talking Grandview has seen great growth and development. We want to acknowledge that we are here today in part due to the school board and district's commitment to prioritizing the wellness curriculum, wellness initiatives at all the schools, investing in the continuing education around mental health for our staff, and the partnership with STG for parent and community education.
These are the platforms - outside of the home - that support education and open conversations relating to substance use, self care, and fosters an opening to support networks. We highly value the partnership and collaboration throughout our District and the role Board of Education Member Kevin Guse has held as the school board liaison to STG.
Therefore, it is very fitting that our first ever Prevention Advocate Award is in recognition of a Grandview Heights Schools staff member. This award is student driven. Through our engagement with students around substance use and prevention, one specific teacher was repeatedly named by students as promoting safe and important conversations around positive whole person identity and wellness strategies in the classroom.
That person is....Mr. Carl Acton!
Some quotes from students:
Mr. Acton "...does nothing less than encourage and inspire."
"I am proud of the person I have become, the lessons Mr. Acton taught us, undoubtedly factors into my personal growth."
"As my middle school teacher, Mr. Acton taught me the importance of mental health as a student. He was the first teacher that ever recognized and preached for self-worth. He always said "you are not a number". A student's worth and value does not come from a grade. There is so much more to a student's identity. He showed me that teaching is more than teaching the curriculum, it is an opportunity to mold the significance of a young mind. To convey to a student that they matter and are important, no matter their grade card."
Thank you, Mr. Acton for your support of our Start Talking Grandview mission by addressing important and potentially life-saving topics around student mental health, positive coping, and substance use and its impacts.
I now invite this year's Start Talking Grandview Senior Scholarship recipient Lindsey Bertani and Mr. Acton to step forward.
Lindsey and Mr. Acton's words were both powerful and reflective of the supportive district we are proud to share. Thank you again for the opportunity to highlight a school staff member. We are anxious for next year's recipient already!