December 6, 2021
The Ohio ESC Association has honored Jack Zocolo and Eric Palmer, two local educational service center employees, with the Teamwork Award for their role in organizing distribution of PPE to dozens of school districts in eastern Ohio.
The Teamwork Award was established by the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA) to recognize individuals from educational service centers (ESCs) who promote organizational unity and encourage others to think of educational service centers as a network and community.
When schools began to look at returning to the classroom in the fall of 2020 the ESC of Eastern Ohio (known at the time as the Mahoning County ESC) became a hub for distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) allocated to school districts in eastern Ohio. Eric Palmer, courier, and Jack Zocolo, Director of Business Operations/Human Resources, took the reins and handled the receipt of hundreds of thousands of masks along with other PPE and managed distribution of these items to public school districts in Ashtabula, Columbiana, Geauga, Lake, Mahoning, Trumbull and Portage counties.
Craig Burford, OESCA Director, presented the award during the ESCEO November Governing Board meeting.
“The ESC of Eastern Ohio and its staff stepped up and answered the call during a challenging time for our schools,” says Burford. “OESCA is honored to have recognized Jack and Eric for their contributions to ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the students in the Mahoning Valley and throughout Northeast Ohio.”
Palmer is quick to include the ESC’s partners at the Canfield Fairgrounds and the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center in the recognition. These supporting organizations provided the space for the ESC to accept and store the massive deliveries of PPE, Palmer explains, which needed to be sorted before distributing to the schools in the region.
The duo has facilitated the distribution of several hundred thousand face masks, along with other PPE materials including gloves, gowns, sanitizing wipes, face shields, hand sanitizer and COVID tests.
“The expectations of this role were enormous. Jack and Eric stepped up and truly showed their dedication to our mission in supporting educators, districts, and students” says Dr. Traci Hostetler, ESCEO Superintendent. “We are honored to have them as part of our team.”
Jack Zocolo and Eric Palmer received the Teamwork Award from the Ohio ESC Association in November.
The Canfield Fairgrounds and MCCTC provided space for the ESC to accept, sort, and prepare personal protective equipment (PPE) for distribution.
Eric Palmer receives and organizes hundreds of thousands of masks for seven counties in eastern Ohio in the first PPE distribution in fall of 2020.