David Sells (right) was named Aspire Adult Options HSE Teacher of the Year during the 2022 Adult Education Week event.
EFCTS | June 29, 2022
Rewarding typically describes an emotion that David Sells feels when witnessing a student overcome obstacles to succeed. After four years of continual program growth and an especially successful past year, Sells is now the one holding a celebratory plaque after being selected as the Adult Options High School Equivalency (HSE) Teacher of the Year for Central Ohio, last week.
The award was presented during Adult Education Week (June 20-24) by the Ohio Department of Education Adult Options Team, in partnership with the Ohio Higher Education Aspire office. Each of the five regions in Ohio sponsors its own celebration event to recognize students in its programs as well as the work being done around the state to support those students.
Sells, the student success coordinator at Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools, was nominated for the honor and joined other finalists at the Central Ohio Adult Education Week event, which announced Teacher of the Year awards in three disciplines: 22+, Adult Diploma Program, and High School Equivalency. On the evening of June 22, Sells, surrounded by his family and supportive colleagues, was named HSE Teacher of the Year for central Ohio.
While the honor celebrates an individual, Sells was adamant that this is an award that represents the work of the entire Aspire program at Eastland-Fairfield. He especially gives credit to EFCTS Aspire Coordinator Karen Ross, for placing such trust in him, as well as his colleagues that make every day special.
“I have great co-workers, each of whom deserves their name on this award,” said Sells. “I’m just a piece that fits in the puzzle. I work with great people. It’s fun. We share a common value system. We’re all invested in the same things.”
Sells, soon entering his ninth year with Eastland-Fairfield, began as an instructor in the Aspire program after spending 28 years in the business world, most of that with Nationwide Financial. The move was prompted so that he may better support his family’s decision to homeschool their children, and that bred a passion for education previously untapped. An opportunity to join the EFCTS Aspire team became available in 2014, and he has been impacting lives every year since.
His first four years were spent as an instructor in the Eastland-Fairfield’s Aspire program. Now in his fourth year stationed in Fairfield County’s Job and Family Services as the student success coordinator, he considers himself a facilitator of sorts, connecting people with the resources and programs they need and working through obstacles to help students achieve their goals. He states that he is also a full-time cheerleader, building a system of self-confidence in each person and family with which he works. With a direct but supportive approach that puts a high value on relationships, personal responsibility and accountability, Sells has transformed the program at the Fairfield County JFS and elevated it to one of the more successful Aspire locations in the state.
Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools is the seventh-largest career and technical education district, geographically, in the State of Ohio. We serve more than 5,000 students in 16 school districts throughout Franklin, Fairfield and Pickaway counties. Eastland-Fairfield provides more than 40 programs to over 1,400 high school and adult students. The district has two main campuses — Eastland Career Center in Groveport and Fairfield Career Center in Carroll, with satellite locations at four of our associate high schools: Gahanna Lincoln, Groveport Madison, New Albany, and Pickerington North.
Founded in 1969. Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools’ mission is to engage, enrich, and equip students every day in every experience. We prepare students to pursue their life’s next E: Employment, Enlistment, Entrepreneurship, and/or additional Education. Visit us online at www.eastlandfairfield.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn for regular updates, fun content and information.