Media Releases

Braun Named Network Action Team Manager

Sarah Braun, former School Program Supervisor at Homes of Kids Inc. / Child and Family Solutions, will join the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership (EOEP) team on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

Braun, who holds a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and Bachelor of Arts in Community Health and Sociology from Brown University, will serve as EOEP Network Action Team Manager. Her primary role will be as a catalyst for cross-sector collective impact across the Mahoning Valley in four focus areas; early childhood education, third grade reading and eighth grade mathematics proficiency, and postsecondary and career readiness.

She will formulate, organize, and coordinate network action teams comprised of community volunteer leaders in education, business, government, philanthropy, and other local agencies. Together, they will align goals, share relevant data, institute proven practices, and measure results to ensure quality education for all area children. With continuous communication, they will also continue making data-driven decisions for educational success, cradle to career.

Braun previously served as clinical outpatient therapist and community psychiatric supportive treatment worker at Homes for Kids. She engaged elementary students and their families with school teachers and administrators in counseling and multi-tiered support services at Public School 130 in the Bronx earlier in her career. In addition, Braun partnered with the school’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team to integrate evidence-based conflict resolution training into existing classroom curricula.

Locally, Braun is an adjunct professor with the Department of Social Work at Youngstown State University and serves as Treasurer on the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership Board of Directors. She is also an Aerial Yoga Instructor at Body Bliss Connections, and resides in Warren.

Turning Foundation Awards 2016 Innovative Teacher Mini-Grants

Warren, OH – Classroom dreams will soon become a reality for thousands of students across Northeast Ohio. Turning Foundation, a not-for-profit arm of Turning Technologies along with The Raymond John Wean Foundation and Eastern Ohio Education Partnership, announced recipients of this year’s Innovative Teacher Mini Grants. Across Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, 17 teachers were awarded up to $5,000 each for sharing new and creative classroom practices supporting 21st century teaching and learning.

2016 Innovative Mini Grant Recipients:

  • Linda Holler – Saint John School – Ashtabula/Catholic Diocese
  • Tracy Archuleta – Jefferson Senior High School – Jefferson Local
  • Sarah Lowe – Beaver Local Middle School – Beaver Local
  • Michelle Rhodes – Beaver Local Elementary and High School – Beaver Local
  • Kathy Bennett – Crestview High School – Crestview Local
  • Mark Robinson – Youngstown Early College – Youngstown City
  • Stephanie Greathouse – Chaney STEM & VPA – Youngstown City
  • Jordan Moxley – Maplewood High School – Maplewood Local
  • Jill Redmond – McGuffey PK-8 – Warren City
  • Dave Nelson – McGuffey PK-8 – Warren City
  • Brianna Cohen – Jefferson PK-8 – Warren City
  • Marian Mihas – Jefferson PK-8 – Warren City
  • Alexis Williams – Jefferson PK-8 – Warren City
  • Carole Goffus – Willard PK-8 – Warren City
  • Heather Eich – McGuffey PK-8 – Warren City
  • Eugene Mach II – Warren G. Harding High School – Warren City
  • Patricia Fisher – Warren City Schools

A total of $52,096 in cash awards will impact more than 6,200 students in classrooms throughout the region. “I’m passionate about education and to read the many thoughtful and innovative ways of incorporating technology in the classroom was incredible,” stated John Wilson, Director of the Turning Foundation. “I applaud the teachers who participated and put such energy and effort into supporting and sharing their classroom dreams.”

The challenge at hand involved sharing creative ideas, but remaining realistic on being able to implement them in the classroom today. Projects included the use of a 3D printer to combine postsecondary/career readiness with math, technology and creativity, utilizing a makerspace to help students research and experiment with different career fields and incorporating coding to solve real problems.

Grant awards ranged from $2,000 for individual teachers to $5,000 for larger collaboration efforts involving multiple educators and community partners. “During the transition of combining the Neighborhood SUCCESS School Grants and the Innovative Teacher Mini Grants, our teachers didn’t miss a beat.” said Jennifer Roller, president of The Raymond John Wean Foundation. “The program begot just what we intended – innovative grants, new partnerships and an alignment of strategies. I’m excited about the possibilities of what these projects will produce.”


About Turning Foundation:

Turning Technologies, a global leader in learning engagement and assessment services, established the Turning Foundation in 2009 as a separate non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The mission of the foundation is to seek, secure and distribute resources in support of improving educational opportunities and student achievement in PK-16 settings and enhancing community well-being. The foundation supports efforts in the greater Mahoning Valley to enhance and improve education for all and with supports also directed toward the community in general. Turning Foundation also works to connect efforts locally to a broader national education and community development agenda. We hope to help facilitate the connections between education and community well-being, here in the greater Mahoning Valley and nationally.

Ohio Report Cards Not The Whole Story

Warren, OH – Community leaders recognized local school district student, teacher and administrator achievements, and renewed their vows to continue advocating on their behalf to State of Ohio executive and education leadership, at the October 27th Ohio School Report Card luncheon. Hosted by Eastern Ohio Education Partnership and held at The Raymond John Wean Foundation in Warren, nearly 100 school officials, business executives, and community service organizations reviewed 2016 Ohio School Report Card results and discussed how improvements could be seen on future exams.

“These public report cards should not necessarily invoke criticism or praise for our schools,” said Stephanie Shaw, Executive Director, Eastern Ohio Education Partnership. “There are any number of factors impacting teacher and student success, and these tests are but one measurement for evaluating our schools. We are looking at, and then beyond, the report card letter grades to support the exceptional efforts taking place behind the scenes.”

The ongoing transition of testing systems, including the most recent State of Ohio changes from PARCC to AIR math and English exams, have made preparation difficult for teachers, students, and their parents, explained Ron Iarussi, Superintendent, Mahoning County Educational Service Center. In addition, changes from pen and paper to computerized testing models are another likely factor in diminished test scores.

“Standardized tests are designed to equally evaluate student performance by applying the same test in the same condition at the same time each year,” said Iarussi. “The incessant changes we’ve seen each of the last three years in test formats and content introduces inconsistent variables that impact scoring, and recent test scores may, in fact, reflect exam changes as much as student performance.”

With these factors in mind, Mahoning ESC Director of Teaching and Learning Kim Davis presented through a mock report card how State of Ohio Department of Education annually attempt to measure school districts’ successes and areas for improvement in six key components; Achievement, Gap Closing, K-3 Literacy, Progress, Graduation Rate and Prepared for Success. Davis also showed how the decline in this year’s local district test scores mirror a pattern statewide due in part, according to state education officials, changing exam standards and increased scoring expectations.

“Our schools are doing great and improving every year,” said John Wilson, Director, Turning Foundation. “We need to continue as a community – our business, government, and non-profit sectors – working together to align goals, share data, institute programs, and measure results to ensure quality education for every child.” For example, Wilson gave a hands-on demonstration of Turning Technologies audience response systems designed to help instructors identify student progress through real-time feedback, increase learning material effectiveness.

Wilson also led a post-event conversation with several community and business leaders to begin shaping a plan to raise awareness of and advocate for area school districts at the state and local level. Warren City Schools Assistant Superintendent Wendy Hartzell and Senator Joe Schiavoni were on hand to share their feedback and lend support. “This is simply the first in an ongoing series of conversations about how we can and will support our schools,” said Jennifer Roller, President, The Raymond John Wean Foundation. “We recognize the opportunities and challenges presented by standardized testing, and are committed to playing active vocal roles to ensure our schools are successful.”

Eastern Ohio Education Partnership will next publically recognize Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull County school district partners for their exceptional efforts in student growth, valued added, and overall progress, as rated by the Ohio Schools Report Card, at their Excellence in Education 2016 awards luncheon on Thursday, November 10. More information about and reservations for the luncheon can be made online at or by writing

The Raymond John Wean Foundation Supports EOEP’s Work

WARREN, Ohio — The Raymond John Wean Foundation approved grants totaling nearly $729,400 at its June 2 meeting to organizations committed to its strategic priorities of community revitalization and educational opportunity.

Funding includes $115,000 for Western Reserve Land Conservancy, which along with Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., will support the education of residents in tree stewarding practices and enhance technology for an accurate accounting of the housing stock. The work will utilize the previous property inventories of the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, TNP and YNDC.

“The success of the Land Conservancy, along with the local partner’s capacity to impact change, makes aligning these organizations an obvious choice,” Jennifer Roller, president of The Raymond John Wean Foundation, said in a statement. It’s consistent with the foundation’s priority to promote a “spirit of collaboration” and will increase the long-term sustainability of the Valley’s neighborhood revitalization work.”

Toward these efforts, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress was awarded $20,000 in support of a study that seeks to understand and compare the impact of residential rehabilitation to demolition in strengthening neighborhood revitalization.

Educational grants demonstrate the foundation’s support to achieve school, college and career readiness. These grants include:

  • Eastern Ohio Education Partnership: $200,000 a year for two years to strengthen the organization, which seeks to serve as the center of community collaboration around education.
  • Inspiring Minds: $75,000 a year for two years for its after-school and college and career readiness programming for students in Warren.
  • Invent Now Inc.: $13,750 to provide full scholarships for 50 Youngstown Chaney middle school students to participate in its Invention Project STEM program.
  • Warren City School District: $30,649 to build on the success of its 2015 pilot that transitions students from primary to intermediate grades and middle to high school with year-long engagement of youth and their families.

Source: Raymond John Wean Foundation.

EOEP Receives Donation from Home Savings Charitable Foundation

Youngstown, OH  (March 22, 2016) – Home Savings Charitable Foundation has donated $3,000 to the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership. The funds will support the Improving Student Readiness, Preparedness and Success through Engaged Communities program.

“We will operate this ongoing project designed to follow students and measure academic success through the educational continuum, cradle to career,” explained Stephanie L. Shaw, Executive Director, Eastern Ohio Education Partnership. “The funds will be used to assist in the operation of a kindergarten readiness program that includes preschool to kindergarten assessments (aligned with the Ohio Kindergarten Readiness Assessment), collaborative facilitation, teacher training, parent tool-kit resources and parent engagement facilitation.”

“We’re proud to be able to support the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership as they work to bring together the community to create and implement projects lead by the school district, designed for student success,” said Colleen Scott, Director, Home Savings Charitable Foundation.

For more information regarding the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership and the many services they provide, please call 330.675.7623.

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