Educator Extraordinaire – Stephanie Rushin Patrick

Ms. Patrick was invited to speak at this year’s 2021 MLK Honors: Courage to Change Series but was unable to attend in person but she did provide a bio on her life accomplishments. Ms. Patrick noted that she grew up in the projects on the S.E. end of Canton, OH. She attended Allen Elementary School K-8th grades and graduated from McKinley High School. She attended Central State College, a historically black university and graduated with a teaching degree. She returned to Canton, OH and began to teach at Hartford Jr. High School. She continued her education at Kent State University where she obtained a Masters in Guidance and Counseling which she utilized as a counselor at Hartford and McKinley. She joined the faculty at Kent State University where she was instrumental in the staff development for the Keds Desegregation Center on Busing. While at Kent State University she also earned an Administration Certification for K-8th grades and returned to the Canton City Schools as the Principal of Lathrop and then Allen Elementary where she held the position for 24 years. She was then appointed to Hartford Jr. High School where she served until she retired in 2008. Even in retirement she continued to serve Canton City Schools as a substitute principal in the elementary and middle schools. She involved herself in community projects and programs over the years. She stated she was the proudest of being the Chairperson for The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration for 46 years. (The longest running MLK, Jr. program in the state of Ohio.) She was also the co-founder and past president of the Leila Green Alliance of Black School Educators and a member of the Ohio Alliance of Black Educators and the National Alliance of Black School Educators. She was recently honored by the CCS Board of Education in renaming Ira M. Allen Elementary School to Stephanie Rushin Patrick Elementary on July 13, 2020. Her motivation and Courage to Change has always been her desire to work with young people. Her legacy is two-fold. First she has inspired and mentored scores of black and white educators who have gone on to successful careers of their own and Secondly, she “raised the bar” for students who might otherwise be neglected or ignored. She demanded higher performance of students by genuinely caring about them and encouraging them to succeed. Ms. Patrick understood better than most that when students are not educated equitably, none of us can live equally, and our communities suffer.

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