OEA, Summit County reveal new historical marker

[August 11, 2023] The state’s newest Ohio Historical Marker is now on full display for the public outside the Summit County Courthouse, commemorating the 1847 meeting there of a group of educators who founded the organization that would go on to become the Ohio Education Association (OEA), the state’s largest union of public school teachers and education professionals today. OEA leaders joined with the Summit County Executive Thursday afternoon to unveil the historical marker, which is one of about 1,750 placed around the state by the Ohio History Connection to tell the unique stories of Ohio’s communities.

“The Ohio Education Association is so proud of its 175 year history as the voice for Ohio’s public school educators and students, and OEA is grateful for this partnership with Summit County that allows us to share our history with the community as we continue to fight for the excellent public schools every child deserves now and into the future,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro, who took part in Thursday’s unveiling ceremony alongside former OEA presidents Becky Higgins and Patricia Frost-Brooks, as well as educators from around the region.

“The legacy of public education in Ohio lives in accomplishments of our students, who become inventors, actors, scientists, athletes, engineers, public servants, firefighters, astronauts, and, of course, teachers,” said Summit County Executive Chief of Staff Brian Nelsen, “Congratulations to OEA on celebrating 175 years serving our teachers and students and we are proud to recognize the start of your story right here in the heart of Summit County.”

The full text of the new Ohio Historical Marker erected in Summit County is as follows:

“On December 30, 1847, six educators met at the Summit County Courthouse to organize the first convention of the Ohio State Teachers’ Association, now known as the Ohio Education Association (OEA). The organizers Josiah Hurty (Richland County), Thomas W. Harvey (Geauga County), M.D. Leggett (Summit County), Lorin Andrews (Ashland County), William Bowen (Stark County), and Marcellus F. Cowdery (Lake County) hoped to “elevate the profession of teaching” and “to promote the interests of schools in Ohio.” In 1853, the General Assembly enacted the new association’s entire slate of proposals into law, thus ensuring free, universal, public education in Ohio. For 175 years, the Ohio Education Association has advocated for fair terms and conditions of employment for Ohio educators and for the betterment and improvement of public education for all students.”

Photos of the new historical marker and the ceremony unveiling it outside the Summit County Courthouse are available on the Ohio Education Association’s Facebook page.


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