Crum Receives Prestigious Karen M. Williams Award for Outstanding Leadership

(March 26, 2019) – Jennifer Crum, director of student services for Wooster City School District, was recently awarded the Dr. Karen M. Williams Leadership Award by the State Support Team Region 9 (SST-9) selection committee. Crum will officially receive the award at the 11thAnnual Conference for Families and Educators of Children with Diverse Learning Needs on Saturday, April 27.

The purpose of this award is to honor a leader whose efforts have improved the quality of education and opportunities for all students. 

The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Karen M. Williams, who had more than 30 years of professional expertise in the field of education and served SST-9 as a facilitator, critical friend, and resource person. Williams possessed a deep love for education, her fellow educators and improving the lives of students, which she showcased through her dedication to creating equal opportunities for all students.

“Jennifer has been the driving force behind inclusive practices, social justice and the implementation of our Principles of Practice that call for Wooster City Schools to be fully responsible for the prevention of student failure and the growth of the whole child,” said superintendent, Michael Tefs. “Her facilitation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), professional development and compassion makes her a fabulous recipient of this award.  Jennifer is an incredibly respected professionally regionally and we are so very proud of her.”

Crum has also established other long-lasting efforts to support Wooster’s staff and students, including: the creation of a behavior support specialist position; professional development for Trauma Informed Care; and the addition of a PERK (Passion, Empowerment, Resilience, Knowledge) intervention specialist, among others.

Prior to working as WCSD’s director of student services, Crum served Alliance City Schools as District Special Education Supervisor. She is involved with many professional organizations, including the Ohio Association of Pupil Services Administrators (OAPSA) and the National Association of Pupil Services Administrators (NAPSA). 

Crum has also served as a teacher of students with learning disabilities, students with multiple disabilities and students in a cross-categorical inclusion program.

“I have been blessed with the opportunity to be in the company of fantastic leaders with clear visions during my career,” said Crum. “These leaders have encouraged me on my journey of why and how to lead. The leadership journey never ends, as there are always many new opportunities to learn and grow. Sometimes those leadership learning opportunities are exciting, while other opportunities may be difficult. But desire, self-awareness and continued compassion can remain a driving force even during the difficult parts of the journey. These opportunities are often the most powerful and lasting learning opportunities. I am a recipient of an award that I believe should be shared with the many leaders in my personal and educational life. It is with these phenomenal leaders that I accept the Karen Williams Leadership award, and I am grateful to each and every one.”

Professionals in education, the community, business or non-profit organizations within Holmes, Stark and Wayne counties were eligible for the award.