BY KADE MIROS AND JANAE JOACHIM
Allison Pallija made a trip to her mailbox, like usual, to get the day’s mail. However, she found something unexpected in it when she got there: a plaque awarding her for winning the 2020 Inspiration Award.
Pallija did not know how she won this award or who nominated her for it.
“I was kind of surprised, it just showed up in my mailbox one day,” said Allison Pallija, Intervention Specialist at Wadsworth High School. “It took me a little bit to kind of figure out what it was actually about, and then I felt really honored, super excited.”
The Inspiration Award is an award gifted by the Educational Service Center of Medina County. This award symbolizes the way a teacher impacted a student to do his/her very best and to take extra time out of his/her schedule to help a student succeed in whatever they struggled with.
There are multiple steps in the process of getting nominated for and winning this award. First, a student is nominated by his/her principal for the Top Scholar award. Part of winning this is that the student gets to nominate a teacher or staff member of his/her choice for the Inspiration Award.
“Typically it is a teacher but I think the previous year I attended there was a treasurer of a school district nominated for an award,” said Bob Hlasko, Superintendent of the Educational Service Center of Medina County.
Pallija was the swim coach at Wadsworth High School prior to her resignation following the 2019-2020 season. Kylee Maibach (class of 2020) was one of Pallija’s swimmers for four years.
Mr. Steve Moore, principal of Wadsworth High School, nominated Maibach for the Top Scholar award. Since Pallija had always been there to inspire and motivate Maibach through her high school career, Maibach chose to nominate Pallija for the Inspiration Award.
“Mrs. Pallija was there at 5:30 in the morning when I was doing homework in her room, she was there in the evening, and kinda 24/7,” said Maibach.
Pallija had no one idea that Maibach had nominated her. She was not even aware of what the award was before winning it.
“It is really cool now that I know that it was Kylee Maibach,” said Pallija. I know that I influenced Kylee’s life and hopefully a lot of other kids’ lives, and hopefully I can keep influencing people in a positive way.”
Usually, an award ceremony and dinner is held for the Top Scholar award winners and their Inspiration Award winners, along with the parents of the scholars. However, this was not able to happen this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.