MAPLE HEIGHTS SCHOOLS TO HOST 16th ANNUAL PATHFINDERS’ ASSEMBLY
In celebration of Black History Month, students of Maple Heights City Schools will again be recognizing alumni who have been trailblazers to success and non-alumni who have been an inspiration at the local level during a Pathfinders’ Assembly, to be held on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Wylie Athletic Complex.
The five areas of recognition include education, humanitarianism, citizenship/government, business and the arts and science (which include art, fine arts, drama and athletics). The recipients are alumni who have been an inspiration to minorities in one of the categories or non-Maple Heights alumni who have been an inspiration at the local level.
The recipient of this year’s Education Award is Mr. Jalen M. Brown. Brown, currently a board of education member here in Maple Heights also currently serves as an assistant principal at Lander Elementary in Mayfield. Brown a Maple Heights Alumnus, was the valedictorian of the Class of 2013. In addition, he was a member of the National Honor Society, President of the Student Council, and served as Vice President of Future Educators of America at both the State and National levels. He Continued His Scholarly Success By Pursuing A Career In Education. A graduate of Miami University, Brown earned his Bachelors of Art degree in Education. He began his education career in Maple Heights as a middle school teacher at Milkovich Middle School where he taught grades six and seven social studies. During his time at Milkovich, he implemented an Unleashing Black Minds Club and earned his Masters Degree in Education Administration. In addition to his contributions and dedication to students, He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. He taught primary school overseas in Luxembourg. He also founded a nonprofit mentoring group called Unleashing Black Minds.
Mr. Leon Turner, currently music director for R&B Superstar, Gladys Knight is this year’s Arts and Science Awards recipient. A graduate of Maple Heights, Turner travels with Gladys Knight’s R&B Shows, Piano Duo Shows, as well as her Grammy-winning gospel choir shows. Mr. Turner produced and played on Gladys Knight’s gospel album, “Where My Heart Belongs,” Which won the NAACP Image Award. This past year, 2019, he had the honor of arranging the National Anthem for Super Bowl LIII. Born and raised in Cleveland, Turner came from a music-talented family where music has been a part of his life since the age of five. From the ages of 10 to 15, he was a dedicated musician for his family ensemble, the Turner Singers. Then in 2006, Turner began his professional career with gospel sensation J. Moss, specializing in keyboard, synthesis, and piano. Mr. Turner has worked with The Roots, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Yolanda Adams, Eddie Levert of the O’Jays, Donnie McClurkin, Phil Perry, Dwele, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill from the group New Edition. There is no genre that he cannot deliver – whether jazz, R&B, neosoul, gospel, classical or country, he continues to embrace every facet of the music industry. From production to his own solo project, he hopes to encompass it all. When asked what music means to him, Turner’s response is simple, “Music is my Life”. In addition Turner also is the owner of Turner Productions, LLC.
Alumnus Purnell Sweeney is the recipient of this year’s Business Award. Sweeney, currently a Vice President/Project Manager, Sr. for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Columbus, is a 2003 Maple Heights graduate. After graduating high school, Sweeney earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Urbana University; he then went on to earn his Masters of Science in Management at Ohio Dominican University. Sweeney began his career at Woodforest National Bank in personal banking where he was recognized as the top banker in the region. As VP & Senior Project Manager at JPMorgan Chase, he oversees collaborative teams to formulate and implement client focused strategies to develop strong client relationships with business partners. Sweeney also mentors new associates to optimize the training in his market. In addition, Sweeney is a proud member of Kappa Alpha PSI Fraternity and the founding president of Urbana University’s black student union. Some of his greatest accomplishments include being named as one of 60 branch managers in the Nation selected for an executive management program specializing in high complex branches. He is the career mobility representative for Mid-Ohio Central District and is Co-chair and Co-founder of Mid-Ohio Central District Diversity Council.
Phillip E. Beasley, the recipient of this year’s Citizenship and Government Award is also an alumnus of Maple Heights High School. Beasley received his Bachelor’s of Science in Technology Degree from Kent State University and then he went on to earn a Master of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. Beasley’s work experience has included being an Investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an IT Manager for General Service Administration Federal Acquisition Service, and an IT Project Manager for the United States’ Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service. Currently, Beasley serves as Logistics Readiness Officer (Commissioned Officer) with the United States Air Force-Air National Guard, as well as a Lead IT Acquisition Specialist for Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General. Beasley specializes in developing and employing people to crystallize their potential and increase organizational effectiveness and agility by utilizing strategic leadership principals, effective communication skills, and management of organizational resources.
Finally, the Humanitarianism Award recipient is Ms. Marcyline L. Bailey. The Pathfinders Humanitarianism Award honors those in the fields of social and community service. These individuals dedicate themselves to the betterment of others and to helping others to reach their happiest, greatest potential; and Ms. Bailey has done just that by committing herself to helping others live their fullest lives. After graduating from Maple Heights High School, Bailey attended Northwestern University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics. She then continued her education at Case Western University earning a Master of Science in Social Administration with a concentration in management, planning, and community organization. Currently Bailey works at Glynn County Schools in Brunswick, Georgia as a Certified Social Worker where she provides assessments, interventions, and coordination of community support services to students, families, and school staff. In addition she is the owner of M.L. Bailey Consulting, Inc. where she provides psychotherapy and therapeutic interventions using various modalities to individuals, couples, families and group. Additionally, she is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified School Social Worker, a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, and a certified Employee Assistance Specialist – Clinical.
The Pathfinders’ Program was created to recognize individuals who have found or created a path of success for students to follow. In addition to recognizing these individuals, the assembly also serves to inspire students to achieve goals they set for themselves throughout their lives.
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