Congratulations to our 2022 Les Best Scholarship winners!

Posted Jul. 4, 2022 by

OCSEA is excited to announce the recipients of the 2022 OCSEA Les Best Scholarships. Ten awards were given in the Dependents' College and Members' College categories as well as two book scholarships for members.

OCSEA’s Les Best Scholarship makes available a total of $12,000 in scholarships each year to OCSEA members, their dependents and spouses. Because there were no Spouse applicants received this year, the judges made additional awards in the dependents category. An additional $500 is also being awarded to two members through the Pat Callanan-Castro Book Scholarship.

Applicants are encouraged to reapply yearly, as Les Best Scholarship recipients are eligible to win up to three total awards during their educational journey.

OCSEA's 2022 Les Best Scholarship winners:

Dependent’s College/Vocational

  • Isha Patil - parent, Prachi Thombarer, Ohio Dept. of Health
  • Isabelle Kolleth - parent, Adam Kolleth, Dept. of Youth Services
  • Tyler Edgar – parent, Gerald Edgar, Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction
  • George Eric Morar II - parent, George Eric Morar, Ohio Dept. of Transportation
  • Ashley Lockhart - parent, Carl Lockhart, State of Ohio, SCI
  • Madeline Kocher - parent, Russ Kocher, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Autumn Novak - parent, Adam Novak, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Bailey Trusty - parent, Donald Trusty, Ohio Dept. of Transportation

Members’ College

  • Matthew Jakestic - Ohio Dept. of Public Safety
  • Michelle Washington – Ohio Dept. of Education

The Selection Process:

Each year, an outside panel of independent judges with backgrounds in education or labor affairs makes the Les Best Scholarship award determinations to ensure fairness and impartiality. Our judges this year were Stephanie Sanders, Vice President of Enrollment, University of Toledo, Dr. Matthew Ides, Organizer, Ohio Education Association, and Jill McNaughten, a retired guidance counselor with Grandview Heights City Schools.

Points are awarded to each applicant based on requirements for the three scholarship categories, and include points given for essays, grade transcripts, ACT scores, community service and union activism. During the final judging session, the final scores for each applicant from each judge are added together and then averaged. The top score-getters from each category are awarded the scholarships.

Again this year, the judges were impressed with the quality of the applicants’ essays, which answered the question prompt, “During the pandemic, OCSEA and other unions were involved in helping to ensure union members were safe on the job. Why are unions so important during times of crisis such as this?"