Instructional aide Debra Hogle was surprised on April 10 when a large group of Sunrise Rotarians visited Wilder Elementary School to present her with a Diane J. Conley Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise Service to Youth award. She received a plaque from the club, along with cookies 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. Hogle and other Service to Youth award winners will be recognized at a breakfast in May.
Hogle works one-on-one with a student who has multiple disabilities, serving as a life skills provider and acting as his advocate. She has developed new approaches for pupils with disabilities by doing things like making capes for wheelchair bound youngsters who have difficulty putting on regular coats. Her nominator says Hogle has purchased toys, sensory supplies and photographs to provide stimulation for her pupil, and finds creative ways to adapt his environment to make it more accessible. She sees the potential in all children and refuses to accept the phrase, “No, he cannot do that.”
Rotary Sunrise instituted Service to Youth awards 10 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.