Debbie Pellington, Gifted Coordinator at Genoa and Heritage Middle Schools, was surprised on November 20 when a group of Sunrise Rotarians showed up at Heritage to present her with the Diane J. Conley Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise Service to Youth award. She received a plaque from the club, along with a cake and a gift card donated by the Walmart Supercenter on Schrock Road. In addition, an American flag will be flown in her honor during Westerville’s Field of Heroes display. Pellington and other Service to Youth award winners will be honored at a breakfast in May.
The Sunrise Rotarians said Pellington’s enthusiasm and energy are boundless and that she has a deep and abiding commitment to excellence, never seeking recognition. In addition to serving more than 700 gifted students at her two schools, she has assisted with pupils at the other two middle schools as well, during the extended absence of a colleague. Pellington helps to coordinate the Invention Convention, Battle of the Books, National History Day, Science Fair, Future City and science and engineering challenges, all while serving as a sounding board for teachers looking to stretch their abilities. “She exemplifies all that is great in education and service to youth,” they said.
Rotary Sunrise instituted Service to Youth awards five years ago to recognize exceptional school employees who have made a special contribution to youth; have served as a positive role model for young people; and have demonstrated service above and beyond the call of duty in performing their job responsibilities. The award is named in honor of Sunrise Rotarian Diane Conley, retired Chief of Academic Affairs for Westerville City Schools.