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Western & Southern Names Susan Grasso 2024 Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year

Western & Southern Financial Group, in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), named Susan Grasso, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Information Technology teacher at Hughes STEM High School, the 2024 Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year.

Superintendent and Susan GrassoGrasso was chosen by Western & Southern and other reviewers from a group of finalists who were nominated by their peers in Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). She was recognized today with a plaque at a ceremony held at the Guilford Building downtown and will receive a personal check for $10,000. At the ceremony, WLWT-TV anchor Courtis Fuller served as emcee, and John F. Barrett, Western & Southern’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, and Shauna Murphy, CPS interim superintendent, congratulated the finalists.

“Western & Southern Financial Group is pleased to recognize Susan Grasso for her outstanding work and dedication to her students,” Barrett said. “Susan’s exceptional commitment to the youth of Cincinnati helps grow our region and make it the best place to live, work and celebrate life.”

"As a District, we are incredibly proud of Susan Grasso and her exceptional care and dedication to improving outcomes for her students. Ms. Grasso goes above and beyond to provide engaging and challenging real-world projects and experiences, equipping her students for careers in information technology,” Murphy said. “Her care for her students is evident and she empowers them to achieve. We thank Western & Southern for honoring Ms. Grasso’s achievements and applaud all our educators who were nominated.”

“This award is very meaningful, especially knowing that I was nominated by my colleagues,” Grasso said. “For my peers to say that I’ve not only made an impact on my students, but also on them is really remarkable.”

Western & Southern established the Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award in 2007 to inspire and reward excellence among CPS educators. This distinguished award honors one educator each year who has elevated the educational process in public schools to an exceptional level through personal commitment, dedicated focus and outstanding results. The namesake of the award, Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins, was a member of the elite Tuskegee Airmen, a well-respected Cincinnati educator, former executive vice president of administration at the University of Cincinnati and former Western & Southern board member. He passed away in 2009.

For more information on the Dr. Lawrence C. Hawkins Educator of the Year Award, visit