A Spark for families
Oak Harbor resident Pamela McKinley loved the children and their families she served as the mental health professional at WSOS. As such, it was nothing for her to go the extra mile to help whoever needed assistance.
It was this attitude that earned her the organization’s Spark Award, which was presented to McKinley recently by WSOS Family Development Director Jacquie Wells.
McKinley was nominated by her peers because of the way she treats and cares for those who come to her for assistance. Her nomination read, in part, “Pam treats those she cares for with dignity and respect while providing a valuable service to the children, families, and staff.”
“Pam is a dedicated worker who is an asset to our Child Development program,” Wells said. “I believe this is a fitting recognition for the work she does with our families.”
McKinley joined WSOS five years ago as a home-based teacher in the Early Head Start program at WSOS, working in Ottawa County. Later, she was named to the mental health professional position, and worked in Fremont.
“This is a huge honor,” McKinley said. “I am so appreciative of the award.”
The Spark Award is presented monthly to a WSOS Family Development staff member who demonstrates innovative and caring service to the children and families of the program. The award is designed to reward those employees who performed consistently beyond the expectations of the children and families in the program.”
McKinley lives in Oak Harbor with her son.
Veterans Affairs Committee
Ottawa County Municipal Court Judge Frederick C. (Fritz) Hany II has instituted a Municipal Court Veteran’s Affairs Committee designed to aid the Probation Department in addressing mental health and/or substance abuse issues unique to veterans.
“In many cases, veterans with no previous criminal history find themselves in the criminal justice system after their tour of duty,” Hany said. “One goal of this committee is to target these cases and direct offenders to resources available for appropriate treatment.”
The committee has also undertaken a project to document and honor Ottawa County Veterans’ service to the nation. Chairperson Peggy Debien, herself a former Naval officer, said, “The displays located in the lobby of the Municipal Court are intended not only to honor our county’s veterans but also to present examples of good citizenship in our country.”
In addition to Debien, members appointed to the committee include County Commissioners James Sass and Jodi Regal; DeAnn Louk, Senior Veterans Service Officer, who is currently on active duty; veterans David McDougall, Roger Velliquette and Ron Distel and military historian Kevin Winters.
Bittersweet Farms’ Pemberville campus held its annual Transition Program Graduation Ceremony May 23.
Program leaders, parents, and students were in attendance to offer their congratulations. Bittersweet Pemberville’s Transition Program offers an alternative to a traditional high school education. The program is designed for adolescents ages 12-22 with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It supports each student’s individual academic goals, vocational skills, social development, physical activity, and life skills.
The farm-based homestead model provides adolescents with a variety of academic activities and vocational training opportunities, individualized to one’s skill level and interests.