OSSPEAC Honors Nominations

Do you know anyone who has made great strides this past year, shown exceptional professionalism or leadership, developed a new or innovative process or made a contribution to our field that has made a positive impact for our profession and/or the children we serve? If so, please consider your colleagues for the awards listed below.

2024 Nominations Schedule

  • Honors nominations deadline of August 3, 2024.
  • Committee on Honors will meet in August to review nominations and select this year's recipients.
  • Award recipients will be notified in August.
  • Recipients will be honored in a special way at the OSSPEAC Conference.

The 3 award categories are Honors of OSSPEAC, Founder’s Award, and Outstanding Service Award.

A short description of the award categories is below. We thank you in advance!  If you have any questions, please contact Ellen Bonk at e@bonk.cc


Honors of OSSPEAC

This honor is awarded to a  speech/language pathologist and /or educational audiologist who has worked in a school/educational setting and is currently an OSSPEAC member. This award is presented to  an individual who has  made outstanding contributions through:

  • Participation in/contribution to OSSPEAC
  • Outstanding work as a clinician/supervisor
  • Providing or initiating innovative programming
  • Contribution to publications/literature/research
  • Other areas of achievement  deemed worthy of nomination

Current Winner 2023:  Audrey Baker

Previous Winner 2022: William Bolden

Founders’ Award

This honor is awarded to up to two members in good standing who exemplify the mission of OSSPEAC,  “Removing Communication  Barriers for  Ohio’s Children” will be honored. The speech/language pathologist and/or educational audiologist will have made an impact through service to their local school district or student(s)  in their school district. The following factors are considered:

  • Improvement of the life of  students who  have speech, language, and hearing needs
  • Collaboration with district  personnel, parents, and students
  • Excellence  in innovative contributions  and programs to the work setting
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership at the  local level

This award is presented by OSSPEAC  in honor of the  Founders’ of OSSPEAC.

Current Winner 2023: Sarah Prahler

Not awarded in 2022

Kathleen D. Shelby Outstanding Service Award

This award is presented to an individual who has provided outstanding support to speech/language pathology and/or educational audiology services being provided in a school/educational setting. Recipients may include a  classroom teacher, administrator, classroom assistant, educational interpreter, intervention specialist, occupational or physical therapist,  counselor, social worker, parent,  legislator, or member of another organization.

Current Winner 2023: Ellen Reaser Lasure

Previous Winner 2022:  Gregg Thornton


Current OSSPEAC Award Winners:

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The 2023 Founder's Award was awarded to speech language pathologist Sarah Prahler.

Sarah has been a pillar of OSSPEAC for over 20 years. She has served in a variety of positions including: Membership Chair, Secretary, ASHA CEU Coordinator, President, and currently Conference Chair. Her history with the organization has kept positive forward motion for OSSPEAC. Sarah is currently employed by the Independence Local Schools where she provides services to preschool and kindergarten students, with a special interest in early literacy development.

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The 2023 Kathleen D. Shelby Outstanding Service Award was awarded to Ellen Reaser Lasure.

Ellen has served as OSSPEAC’s Business secretary since its inception in 1994. Next year will mark her 30th, and final year in this position. In addition, Ellen retired 12 years ago from a 32 year career with the Lorain County ESC. Ellen now resides in North Carolina, but says she remains an Ohioan at heart! She returns often to visit her wonderful children and many friends. THANK YOU Ellen for your commitment and service to OSSPEAC!

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The 2023 Honors of OSSPEAC was awarded to Audrey Baker

Audey received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s from Kent State University. She is currently in her 42nd, and final year as an SLP with Coventry Local Schools. Over the course of her career she has supervised 66 graduate students dating back to 1991! Her commitment to the profession has been to prepare the next generation of SLPs for the challenges and joys of being a school-base practitioner. One of Audry’s recent graduate students stated, “Mrs. Baker made me see the deep and significant lasting effect that speech therapy is capable of.”