Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award

The Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award is given to an Ohio grade 6-12 teacher who demonstrates exemplary dedication to diversity and teaching the lessons of civil rights in the classroom. Any individual may nominate a teacher and a teacher may nominate himself/herself.

Click here for the Excellence in Teaching Diversity nomination form ​

Award Description:

Each recipient of these awards will receive an honorary certificate, a small gift, and recognition at the Ohio Civil Rights Commission’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing and Multimedia Contest awards ceremony.


•  The nominee must be a current or former grade 6-12 teacher at an Ohio school.

Selection Criteria:

Award selection criteria include, but are not limited to:

•  The nominee’s consistent practice of celebrating diversity with students, colleagues, and community members;
•  The nominee’s ability to incorporate the lessons and tenants of the civil rights movement and Ohio’s civil rights laws into the classroom;
•  The nominee’s positive impact on students, particularly in the promotion of academic excellence and community engagement;
•  The nominee's leadership and communication skills;
•  The nominee’s respect and recognition by his/her peers as one who goes above and beyond the normal expectations of a teacher.

Selection Process: 

Nominations will be reviewed by the staff and Commissioners of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. The Commissioners will select the winner based on the above criteria. Awards will be announced in January 2020.

Nomination Process: 

Nominators can respond directly to the questions on the following pages or attach a nomination in letter form. Please limit nomination letters to two typed pages. Nomination forms become the property of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and may be shared with the public and the nominee.

Although nomination questions are geared toward older children and adults, we do encourage input from young nominators as well – feel free to attach young student nominations to the completed form.

2020 Deadline: 

Nominations may be emailed by 5:00 pm on November 1, 2019, or may be mailed to the following address. Mailed nominations must be postmarked by October 30, 2019.

Ohio Civil Rights Commission

Attn: PACE

30 E. Broad St., 5th Floor

Columbus, OH 43215



Click here for the Excellence in Teaching Diversity nomination form 

The 2019 Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award Winner is:

Ruth Edge

Akron Public Schools - Juvenile Detention Center


Past Winners of the Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award

2018 Winner

Damien Johnson
MC2 Stem High School
Cleveland, OH

2017 Winners             

Jody Pettiford
Mills Lawn School
Yellow Springs, OH

James Casale
Shaker Heights High School
Shaker Heights, OH