Contact: Crystal Hawthorne
Director of Talent Acquisition, Professional Learning, and Development 


Sponsorship opportunities are available to help bring the Youngstown Honors event to reality. Please consider joining us in celebrating Youngstown City School District teachers, support staff, and administrators who demonstrate exceptional leadership. Contact Crystal Hawthorne for more details.

Title Sponsor: $10,000
Platinum Star: $7,500
Gold Star: $5,000
Silver Star: $2,500
Bronze Star: $1,000
Star Sponsor: $500
Star Supporter: $100 

On May 11, educators and community members came together for the inaugural Youngstown Honors event to recognize Youngstown City School teachers, staff, and administrators. 

District employees work tirelessly for our scholars no matter what role they serve. The Youngstown Honors gala was created to celebrate those voted on by their peers to recognize the excellence they foster daily in our district. 

Congratulations to all 2023 honorees. We’d also like to thank Crystal Hawthorne,  Director of Talent Acquisition, Professional Learning, and Development, who was charged with the event and worked diligently to help make the evening possible. 

The district would also like to thank Quickmed Urgent Care for serving as the Shining Star Sponsor. YCSD is also grateful to the countless other sponsors who have given to support Youngstown Honors.

Thank you to the Youngstown Board of Education, team YCSD and the community for supporting our colleagues. We look forward to an even bigger event next year! 

Youngstown Honors is a new employee recognition gala at Youngstown City Schools that recognizes district teachers, support staff, administrators, and retirees who demonstrate exceptional leadership. Awards in numerous categories recognize our educators outstanding efforts in supporting our scholars with educational opportunities, and fostering an environment of excellence.

Youngstown City Schools is thankful to Quickmed Urgent Care for serving as the Shining Star Sponsor. YCSD is also grateful to the countless other sponsors who have given to support Youngstown Honors.

The 2023 Youngstown Honors Award Recipients

 Administrator of the Year

Dr. Martin Freeman

Anthony DeNiro Distinguished Service Awards

Ernest Anderson

Madonna Barwick

Daisy Ocasio-Corso

Shannon Sefcik

Ithica Stewart-Brown

Academic Coach of the Year

Sharon Ragan 

Athletic Coach of the Year

Marlon McGaughy 

Deb DiFrancesco Principal of the Year

Dr. Maureen Donofrio  

Lifetime Achievement Award

John Grahovac 

Newcomer (1st Year Teacher) Award

TaNeka Allison

 Superintendent’s Volunteer Service Award

Ed Komara Jr.  

Teacher of the Year Award

Savanna Boals

State Teacher of the Year Nominee

Ronald Walcott

Perfect Attendance Awards


Years of Service Recognition

Award Categories

  • Teacher of the Year: The Youngstown Teacher of the Year candidate will be selected based on their contribution to the school, excellence in the classroom, leadership abilities, citizenship, community involvement, and going above and beyond for scholars.

  • Deb DiFrancesco Principal of the Year: Candidates must have four years of experience as an administrator, create a climate of inquiry, build a sense of efficacy and empowerment, create opportunities for families, staff, and the community to engage with the school, and ensure the school is a professional learning community.

  • Administrator of the Year: The Outstanding School Administrator Award honors a school administrator whose leadership made a significant contribution to the school building, programs, and district. 

  • Newcomer (First-Year Teacher) Award: The Newcomer Award is awarded to a first-year YCSD educator who demonstrates the drive, stamina, and vision of a career educator.

  • Coach of the Year: The YCSD Coach of the Year award recognizes the positive impact coaches have on the lives of scholars/peers. Every day, coaches work with scholars/peers to develop self-confidence, courage, hard work, and other skills necessary to be successful in life.

  • Anthony DeNiro Distinguished Service Awards: The award was established to recognize outstanding support staff members for their dedication, professionalism, and excellence in their positions. In addition, teachers or administrators who wear multiple hats outside of their normal roles as teachers/administrators can be nominated for this award. 

  • Superintendent Volunteer Service Award: This award provides an opportunity to honor our most outstanding volunteers and recognize the impact they make to the YCSD family.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: This award is granted to an extraordinary individual (current/retired) who devotes/d tireless passion to the YCSD, and dedicates/d their life to accomplishing significant results for the district over the years.