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Erwin and Ebeling 2022 Project Excellence Winners

Posted on: May 9, 2022 12:00 pm

Debbie Erwin and Eileen Ebeling have been named Franklin City Schools' 2022 Project Excellence winners.

Project Excellence, which operates under the Area Progress Council of Warren County, annually recognizes two teachers from each of Warren County’s eight school districts, plus the Warren County Career Center, the Greater Ohio Virtual School, and the Warren County Educational Service Center. Teachers are nominated by peers, parents, and students. Project Excellence was established in 1988 to honor excellence in teaching throughout Warren County; since its inception, nearly 700 educators have been recognized.

Debbie Erwin has been teaching in Franklin since 1993, teaching 4th and 5th grade English language arts and social studies at Schenck. In 2020 she became the TESOL (teaching English as a second/other language) teacher for the district. She teaches all ELL (English language learner) students in grades pre-K-12 how to listen, speak, read, and write in English. Erwin has a BSED from Ohio University and a Master’s in English with a specialization in TESOL from Wright State. In 2021 she received a TESOL endorsement on her teaching certificate.

Erwin said she really enjoys “watching the students light up and get excited when they learn something new.” When asked about a memorable moment from her teaching career, Erwin noted that recently, “It has been amazing to teach American customs to students. We take for granted that everyone knows about Thanksgiving dinners, Santa traveling by reindeer and snow at Christmas, and trapping leprechauns on March 17. It is fun to see an international perspective on things that we think that everyone knows about.”

Erwin added, “I am very honored to be selected for making a difference in the lives of students over the past three decades.”

Eileen Ebeling has been teaching in Franklin for 14 years. She taught 6th grade math, English language arts, and science for 11 years at Hunter. For the past 3 years, she has taught 8th grade math and 9th grade algebra 1 at FJHS. She has a BSED from Miami University with concentrations on math, reading, and science for grades 4-9 and language arts and reading for grades 4-6.

Ebeling said she teaches to make a positive difference in the lives of others. She said, “Learning is what I most enjoy about teaching. Each year I am privileged and blessed to work with amazing middle school students. I cannot be an effective educator without first learning about each student. I love getting to know their stories, where they are in their mathematics education, and their future career plans. My job is never the same since no two students are the same. Each year creates new relationships, joys, and challenges. Each year, it is amazing to witness the growth in knowledge and maturity of each student.”

When asked about a memorable moment from her teaching career, she mentioned the pandemic and specifically noted “the resilience and adaptability of my students and fellow educators in the face of all the unknowns due to COVID. We all witnessed firsthand problem solving, sacrifice, and perseverance. With countless challenges and unknowns, our Franklin community pulled together as a team and weathered the storm together. I was never prouder to be a Wildcat.”

Ebeling added, “There are countless other teachers who are worthy of receiving the Project Excellence Award, which makes receiving it all the more special. I have been blessed to work alongside a fantastic team of caring teachers at FJHS who work tirelessly every day to provide our students with the absolute best education possible. This truly is a team award. I am honored and thankful to whomever is responsible for my nomination and will continue to strive for excellence. Our students deserve nothing less.”