Youngstown Honors 2024:

Thursday, May 9 from 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at the Maronite Center, 155 S. Meridian Rd.

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.

Click here for the 2024 sponsorship form.

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 

Introduced in 2023, Youngstown Honors is a 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.

2024 Youngstown Honors Recipients

Administrator of the Year

Jeremy J. Batchelor

 Anthony DeNiro Distinguished Service Awards

Venus Cataldo

Dr. Martin Freeman

Matt  Garcher

Ermelinda Soto

Tiffaney Trella

 Academic Coach of the Year

Carla Booker

 Athletic Coach of the Year

Dwight Berry

 Deb DiFrancesco Principal of the Year

Kelly Weeks

 Lifetime Achievement Award

Penny Wells

 Newcomer Award - Staff

Sam Gianfrancesco

 Newcomer Award - Teacher

Jeseca Lindberg

 Superintendent’s Volunteer Service Award

Kool Boiz Foundation

 Teacher of the Year Award

Melissa Cooper


Thank you to our generous sponsors for the 2024 Youngstown Honors Gala!

Gold Star Sponsor

MinuteMen OhioComp

Bronze Star Sponsor

Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley

Medical Mutual

RL Smith Graphics

TEMA Roofing Services

YSU Beeghly College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

Star Sponsor

Assured Partners

Junior Civic League

Red Tree Investment Group

Sherman Creative

TEMA Roofing Services

Star Supporter

Studies Weekly

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 and Support Staff ) Award: The Newcomer Award is awarded to a first-year YCSD educator who demonstrates the drive, stamina, and vision of a career educator. The Newcomer Award is awarded to a First-Year YCSD support staff member for their dedication, professionalism, and excellence in their position.

  • Coach of the Year (Athletic and Academic): 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.