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Press Release

May 8, 2017

Media Contact:
Dr. Renée Willis
216.692.0086, rwillis@richmondheightsschools.org

Richmond Heights High School Junior Ramir Williams Receives Prestigious
2017 Allen Waddle Leadership Award from The Cleveland Leadership Center

Richmond Heights, Ohio – On Thursday, April 27th, Richmond Heights High School junior Ramir Williams graduated from Look Up to Cleveland, a yearlong civic engagement program created by the Cleveland Leadership Center to expose high school juniors from northeastern Ohio to Cleveland and the people, places and projects moving it forward.[1]

Further, he received the 2017 Allen Waddle Leadership Award, an honor named after the organization’s former executive director, who made significant contributions to building tomorrow’s civic leaders.[2] The award recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, ambition, integrity, teamwork, and an exceptional work ethic.

Involvement in Look Up to Cleveland is its own reward, as any student who participates in the program is chosen from hundreds of applicants through a selective application process because he or she has demonstrated a notable degree of leadership ability, academic success, volunteerism, and initiative.

Richmond Heights Director of Educational Services Kelly Askew believes the program has long-term advantages for its participants.

She says, “This program prepares young scholars to be competitive on all levels within our society. It heightens their awareness of the community they live in, engaging them in activities that allow them to not only expand their knowledge of community and civic engagement, but also apply it to make a difference on a global scale.”

But according to Williams, to be given the distinction of receiving the Allen Waddle Leadership Award on top of being selected as a participant, was an unexpected benefit and made his involvement in the program that much more fulfilling.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he says. “You’ve got students from Bay Village, Berea, Hudson, Shaker and other areas—this wasn’t just a win for me personally; this was a win for Richmond Heights.”

Williams is referring to the disparity between Richmond Heights Schools’ ratings and those of other schools who have met and exceeded the standards of progress outlined by the Ohio Department of Education.

While Richmond Heights may not have the ratings some other schools have, clearly, they still have the capacity for producing strong leaders who do measure up when given equal opportunity and placed on equal footing with their peers.

The organization’s willingness to look beyond schools’ state academic ratings and take a deeper interest in qualities that cannot be evaluated by standardized tests or other data did not go unnoticed by District Superintendent Dr. Renée Willis.

“Ramir is a standout student. The fact that Look Up to Cleveland recognized Ramir affirms what we already know and believe about our students and speaks volumes to the progress we continue to make as a District in preparing them to navigate in an evolving global community.”

Williams will also be honored for his achievements at the District’s upcoming Board of Education meeting on Monday, May 8, 2017 at 7:00pm. Dr. Willis welcomes all to attend the board meeting as she will lay out the extensive summer offerings for students and community residents. 

To secure an interview, or, should you have any questions about the content of this release or Richmond Heights Local Schools, please contact Dr. Renée Willis at rwillis@richmondheightsschools.org or 216.692.0086.


The mission of the Richmond Heights Schools is to prepare individual learners to navigate an evolving global community using 21st century competencies.

The vision of the Richmond Heights Schools is to be a first choice school district providing an equitable educational environment that promotes safe, respectful, responsible relationships, where pride in self, school and community flourishes.

[1] Cleveland Leadership Center. (2017). Look Up To Cleveland. Retrieved from Cleveland Leadership Center: https://www.cleveleads.org/Look-Up-To-Cleveland

[2] Bennett, M. E. (2015, April 24). High-Achieving Students Recognized. Retrieved from Cleveland Leadership Center: https://www.cleveleads.org/document.doc?id=3620

Attachments Available To Download:
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