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Foundation honors Tusky Valley band director, other outstanding Claymont alumni

| May 13, 2024

UHRICHSVILLE (WJER)(May 13, 2024) – Tusky Valley’s band director received a special award from the Claymont Foundation this past weekend.

President Beth DiDonato talked with WJER News ahead of Saturday’s alumni awards ceremony and scholarship presentation where they planned to publicly recognize Stephen Tripp for his heroic actions after last November’s deadly chain-reaction crash involving the charter bus carrying the band to Columbus. 

“We’re giving him a recognition for courageous conduct for his work and what he did… It’s pretty remarkable. Teachers always say they’ll put their lives first before their kids’, and he’s one who lived what he spoke.” 

The 2007 Claymont grad was honored alongside Distinguished Alumnus Nichole Bache, who’s the nursing director for the New Philadelphia Health Department; Alumnus of the Year Lisa Donato Eschbacher, an attorney who serves as chief legal counsel for the Ohio Board of Nursing; and the rest of the foundation’s 2024 award winners. 

“You know, a lot of people feel as if this is one of the areas that’s impoverished, which we are, but they also feel as though it’s one of the areas that we don’t see much success. But with all of the success we have and celebrate each year, we try to show the kids that, yes, you can get there, too.”

The organization on Saturday also doled out $166,690 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors, Claymont students attending Buckeye Career Center, and past grads continuing their education. 

“I don’t have the figures in front of me but I know it’s at least comparable to if not higher than most of the other years that we’ve given. It seems to go up a little bit each year.”

Tuscarawas County Southern District Court Judge JJ Ong is a 1989 Claymont grad and the foundation’s 2024 Achievement Award winner. The Citizen of the Year is Mic Maple from the Class of 1996, who works as a manager for the Stepping Stone residential facility and donates his time to the Mustang Pride Media organization.

A list of this year’s scholarship recipients is on the Claymont Alumni/Foundation Facebook page

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