Youngstown teacher receives ATHENA Award

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — The 2014 ATHENA Award was handed out Thursday at Mr Anthony’s.

Holly Welch, the curriculum supervisor for the Youngstown City Schools, received the honor. Twenty¬†women were nominated for this year’s award, which is sponsored by the Regional Chamber and The Vindicator.

Diana Tremblay, vice president of Global Business Services at General Motors and a former 10-year resident of the Valley, was the evening’s keynote speaker. Tremblay has ties to the Valley. Her father was one of the original engineers that helped design the Lordstown plant in the 1960’s.

“I think back to the time when my father was there many, many years ago and it’s a completely different place,” Tremblay said.

The ATHENA Award is given annually to recognize area business and professional women who have demonstrated excellence in their chosen career, provided leadership in the community and mentored or contributed to the growth of other professional women.

In 2006, Welch started the district’s biotechnology tech prep program in the basement of the Choffin Career and Technical Center. Because of her work and dedication, Welch has received numerous honors, including most recently, state finalist for Ohio Teacher of the Year in 2014, a Mahoning Valley Young Professionals ’25 under 35′ honoree in 2014 and Teacher of the Year in the Youngstown City School District in 2013.

In addition, the seventh annual Athena Scholarship, a $1,500, one-time award created in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, was presented to South Range High School senior Emily Erb. Erb has received numerous awards, participates in many extracurricular and volunteer activities, such as raising money to donate blankets to cancer victims and survivors, and plans to major in biology/pre-med at Youngstown State University.

For the second year, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield presented two additional scholarships in the amount of $1,250 each to West Branch High School senior Breanna Winters and Boardman High School senior Katherine Auth.

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