CEDARVILLE — Nominated to be Greene County’s recipient of the Ohio Education Service Center Association’s Franklin B. Walter award, Zoe Barger did exactly love her chances.
“I knew a lot of people would be applying for it,” the Cedarville High School senior said. “I looked back in the past. No one from Cedarville has won since 2010.”
Barger is the 2022 Greene County ESC winner of the Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award and will be recognized with all the other ESC winners around Ohio at a May 3 program near Columbus. Ashley Moore was the last Cedarville recipient.
“It was kind of a nice surprise,” Barger said. “I’m not a super expressive person when it comes to things like this. I was like, ‘That’s pretty cool.’ I’m definitely honored and very thankful for it. I am proud to say I am able to represent our district like that.”
The awards program, named in honor of Ohio’s 31st State Superintendent of Public Instruction Franklin B. Walter, was established in 1989 by OESCA to promote and recognize outstanding student leaders. Recipients were required to show outstanding academic achievement and community service as indicated by high school grades, test scores, and school and community activities and awards.
“In order to achieve this level of success, these students have demonstrated bold leadership, resilience, and grit,” said Craig Burford, executive director of OESCA.
Look that stuff up in the dictionary and it says: “See Zoe Barger.”
“Zoe is one of the most amazing young people I have met in my 20-plus-year career,” said Principal Chad Haemmerle. “Zoe is a top-notch student and her work ethic is second to none. Zoe leads by example, and exemplifies Cedarville High School academics. I could not be more proud of Zoe for all she has done, and meant to the Cedar Cliff School District. Zoe is well deserving of this high honor, and all of the honors she is receiving.”
Barger is Cedarville’s valedictorian and National Honor Society president while holding officer positions in various clubs. Ironically, because of all she is involved in, Barger wasn’t 100 percent sure she would be able to attend the luncheon.
“I have a lot going on at school right now,” she said, mentioning the envirothon, end-of-year exams, and award ceremonies. But it’s likely that involvement — and her academic prowess — that set Barger apart from the other applicants.
“Zoe puts her heart and soul into her every pursuit,” Haemmerle said.
In addition to the recognition, Barger — who carries an unweighted 4.0 GPA — will receive a $250 scholarship from the state ESC and $500 from Greene County’s ESC.
“Zoe is an extremely hard worker and very deserving of the scholarship,” said Rachell Tingelstad, Cedarville academic career counselor.
That will come in handy when Barger heads to Butler University to major in web design and development. Her goal is to make high tech more user friendly.
“With today’s world, technology is moving pretty fast,” Barger said. “I would love to be that person designing things to make things easier to use.”
Given her dedication and work ethic, Barger could very well be “that person.“