Kent Board of Education honors one of its own

Adria Barbour

New award created to recognize spirit of community service

The Kent Board of Education has established a new award in honor of one of its recent retirees.

The Dr. Emilio Ferrara Community Service Award was created to recognize employees of the school district who are involved in community service, said Marc Crail, superintendent of Kent Schools.

The award is given on an annual basis to an employee who has the same volunteer spirit as he had, Crail said.

The award is in honor of Ferrara’s three decades of service to the school board as well as his dedication to other activities and boards.

However, there are still details that need to be sorted out, Crail said. There is no plaque or medal yet, and he is working on the contents of the application.

The Board of Education will personally choose the recipient from nomination forms. They believe this is something they want to be fully involved in or delegated to a committee. There has been no decision as to who can and can’t place a nomination for an employee.

Crail said the board wants as many nominations as possible.

“Everyone appreciates that a very dedicated guy has attended board meetings, graduations and other functions for 32 years,” Crail said. “It’s kind of a record. Most people only serve for one (four year) term.”

Ferrara was born in Kent and has lived here all of his life, his wife, Margaret Ferrara, said. He graduated from Kent State in 1959 with a degree in biology.

He lived in Cincinnati while he did his residency at Cincinnati General Medical Center.

“We could have stayed in Cincinnati, but he wanted to come back to his hometown,” Margaret said.

Ferrara finished his residency in 1967 and started private practice in Kent a year later. In 1973 he was elected to the Kent Board of Education. He retired in December 2005, superintendent secretary Winnie Warner said.

“He thought it was time for younger people to come in,” Margaret said. “It was time for others to take over.”

Contact public affairs reporter Adria Barbour at [email protected].