Longtime Austintown resident Ken Carano has received the Ohio Distinguished Service Award for 2012, presented at an Ohio Communication Association conference held at Kent State University last month.
The OCA is a professional organization of communications teachers, professors and scholars in high schools universities and colleges throughout Ohio. Each year the OCA honors up to five individuals who exemplifies extraordinary services in the area of communications.
Carano was nominated for the award by Youngstown State University Communications professor Dr. Daniel O'Neill. He was selected for the award from a number of nominees throughout the state.
"I felt very honored when I learned about the nomination," Carano said.
Carano began his teaching career in 1967 in New York. He moved to Austintown in 1969 and began his Falcon career as a speech teacher, for which he was very successful.
"Our speech team was state champion is 14 of the 16 years I was there," Carano said.
He was also instrumental in getting Channel 19 up and running, which was among the first high school television production channels to be aired. Today, it covers Austintown meetings and events as well as sports and specials.
Carano also taught communications at YSU before deciding to go into politics. He served two terms as Austintown Township trustee, and later served four two-year terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. Following that political office, Carano became a regional director for former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
His years of public speaking, and teaching students in the art of speech and debate earned him the OCA award recognizing his devotion to the field of communications.
"On behalf of the members of the OCA and its executive committee, we congratulate you on your accomplishment," Jeffrey L. Tyus, Ph. D., Department of Communications at YSU, said is a letter to Carano.
More recently, Austintown School Superintendent Vince Colaluca announced that Carano will again be assisting with the operations of Channel 19. Carano said it is hard to walk away from a field that has become his life.
"My mouth was always going and it still is," he said.