2015 Teacher of the Year

Betsy Lavinder

CEA Ohio Teacher of the Year
Math Teacher
Ohio Department of Youth Services

Armed with her purple pen and a gracious smile, Betsy Lavinder has been a dedicated advocate for DYS youth and staff for many years. Her unwavering devotion to her work with the Department of Youth Services has made her a role model for educational success. Born in Mansfield, Ohio she lives in the Hayesville area. Graduating from Hillsdale High School in 1971, Betsy then attended Ashland College graduating in 1976. She taught one year at Triway High School, Wooster, Ohio. She graduated in May 1998 with her Master’s in Computer Education from Ashland University.

A Mentor Teacher for 10 years with DYS, Betsy has worked 29 years: 25 at Mohican JCF and 4 years at Indian River. She has worked as a Title 1 Math teacher who, as a team from Mohican, received National recognition for their outstanding Title 1 program in 1988. Working lately as the State Council of Professional Educators Vice President, Betsy was in charge of SCOPE Day for ten years where she worked to provide speakers and vendors as well as other duties. She was part of the emerging leaders with Central OEA working with their Professional Development Committee helping set up COTA Day; she received the Central President’s Accolade award for her work and dedication to Central OEA, NEA and SCOPE. She has been a CEA member for many years helping with many CEA conferences with presentations and being a facilitator for other sessions.

Volunteering her time, Betsy has served the community by manning the Red Cross both at local fairs, 4-H leader, Girl Scout Leader, Vacation Bible School Leader and teacher, Walk for Life for the Ashland Pregnancy Center, Relay for Life for the Cancer Society, headed up the Mohican Louis Bromfield High School “adopt a family” for 5 years, and has helped with various other charitable agencies with contributions of her time and resources.

Betsy has been married to Randy Lavinder for 20 years. They have four adult children: Jason Lavinder, 39; Travis Estep, 39; Joshua Estep, 37 (Josh has three daughters: Ciara, 15; Destiny, 13; and Chasity, 11); and Shannon Knecht, 25, married to Justin Knecht, CO at Marion Correctional Institution. They have a daughter, Lindsay, 7. These four beautiful granddaughters are the best part of Betsy’s free time.