The last couple of months, we’ve been conducting a sort of meet-and-greet for you and our resource coordinators serving your schools. Previous posts have included introductions to Roselawn Condon’s Darcus Anderson and Silverton Elementary’s Cheri Jordan.
We’re hopeful that in these posts, we can get you a bit more familiar with what’s going on in your schools and communities, see if there are ways you can be benefitting that you didn’t previously know about, and/or find ways you can support these everyday superheroes in their work. We work hard to meet each communities unique needs rather than prescribe a one-size-fits-all plan to help all schools. “Every school and every neighborhood in Cincinnati is different,” said Deputy Director Rachel Stallings. “It’s part of what makes this city so vibrant and beautiful. And to nourish and grow each of these communities, we need people with unique skill sets that suit each neighborhood. What unites our resource coordinators is that all of them are great listeners and hard workers.”
To learn more about what ABC Resource Coordinators do, please visit our website.
This week, we’d like to introduce you to Onyango Collier (also known by colleagues and friends as Mr. O), resource coordinator at Cheviot Elementary School. Mr. O has been in this position since 2013 and has a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Central State University specializing in Graphic Arts. Previously, he has worked with Beech Acres Parenting Center as a School Based Case Manager, providing him experience as a qualified mental-health specialist, and with Children’s Home of Cincinnati as a behavioral health technician, providing direct service to children with mental health needs.
Mr. O was also honored in May 2019 by Mt. St. Joseph University, who named him the Community Partner of the Year, representing Cheviot School.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is when I have provided a resource, such as food or a uniform, to a child or student’s family in need. I know that, a lot of times, families don’t expect these types of service from a school. I also enjoy that I get to provide the opportunity for some students to play sports and recreational activities at the school.
What is something particularly unique/special about the Cheviot School community?
Cheviot is very special and unique, but there are some things that are particularly interesting about our school community. First, we have a Gifted Academy within our neighborhood school that has a specialized educational program where academically talented students in grades 3-6 can be eligible by ranking as superior cognitive on a cognitive abilities test.
Second, we are also the first FranklinCovey Leader in Me School in Southwest, Ohio who has been awarded LightHouse status, which exemplifies being the pinnacle of a Leader in Me School. Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model developed with educators that gives students the leadership and life skills they need to succeed in and outside of school. Leader in Me helps our students become self-reliant, set and track goals, prioritize their time, complete their homework, and create balance in their lives. Our young students know how to take initiative in their own lives and they have a respect and appreciation of differences that other students don’t. At Cheviot School, we follow Steven Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people by promoting leadership opportunities as a point of reference.
Finally, one last cool thing about Cheviot: our community has statues of the Cheviot Sheep all over various businesses and the school. Cheviot is a breed of sheep who get their name from a range of hills in NorthUmberland and the Scottish border. It’s a fun mark of community pride to see the Cheviot Sheep around town and says a lot about our community’s appreciation for our heritage and history.
If you had $1,000 today to make a difference at your school, what would you do with it?
$1000 can do a lot. I think I would utilize those dollars to buy shoes or recreational items to promote healthy living choices for our students. Those dollars could put a lot of kids in motion, keep them active, and keep them making safe, healthy choices.
What is something you are excited about this school year?
Sporting activities! In elementary schools, athletic programs were not as high a priority to maintain; it was much more important to make sure students were socially distancing, keeping their hands clean, and staying healthy. That year and a half off due to the COVID-19 pandemic kept kids standing still- and now they’re on the move once again. The sporting activities at Cheviot School help to promote family engagement and a sense of work ethic, plus team building skills and positive sportsmanship.
Learn more about Cheviot School:
To learn more about Onyango Collier or Cheviot School, we recommend you check out the Cheviot School website.