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Dr. Sarah J. Ramirez             Inducted 2024 - School Counselor


For her first several years at Woodward, Sarah Ramirez had an office in the far end of the main office. She then relocated to the skills center for a few years and switched to the back corner of the main office. She has fond memories of the beautiful old building on Streicher and the anticipation of the completion of the new building.


Sarah earned Bachelor of Education in German Education from The University of Toledo in 1991. In 1999 she earned a Masters of Education in School Counseling. In 2022 Sarah earned a Doctor of Education from the University of Findlay.


In addition to her duties as a school counselor Dr. Ramirez is the Sandy Hook Promise Leader at Woodward, APEX Summer School Coordinator , Woodward’s Director of School Counseling, Bowling Green State University Educational Talent Search Liaison, The Ohio State University Young Scholars Liaison, Armed Forces Liaison, PLATO/APEX Credit Recovery Administrator and Committee Member, Lourdes University Up-ward Bound Liaison.

In her spare time Dr. Ramirez works with the Woodward Hall of Fame, WHS Annual Alumni “Sock Hop” Committee Member 2010-present, Old Newsboys Association; Lifetime Member, Executive Board 2018, President 2022-24 Toledo Kiwanis Club, MOMS Demand Action, Public Education Lead- 2020-present Founding Board Member of the Sarabia Family Foundation.


Dr. Ramirez considers it an honor and a privilege to work with the Woodward HS staff; past and present. This includes fellow 2024 inductee Leo Florkowski.

Where did you attend grade school and/or junior high school? St Paul’s Elementary in Norwalk Ohio.


In what neighborhood did you live while attending Woodward? Please describe it. For my first several years at Woodward I "lived" in the far end of the main office area of the Streicher building, then relocated to the skills center for a few years, then switched back to the back corner of the main office. I have fond memories of my time on Streicher- a beautiful, old building with a great history and a BASEMENT! I recall the anticipation of the move to our new "home" and the excitement of starting fresh in a brand new building! I have "lived" in the corner of the counselors' office of the "new" Woodward High School ever since. This space is homey and reflects my personality with pictures of my family, animals, motivational verses, many many polar bears, and all the tools I need to practice my trade.


Who were your best friends while at Woodward? I have met so many incredible educators and other staff members during my decades at Woodward I cannot name a few for fear of missing others. I must mention my fellow counselors over the years whom I would consider friends as well as colleagues including my current co-counselors Sally Thornton and Brooke Rasmus. Others included Don Gring, James Alexander, Jan Keween, and Dr. Deitra Hickey. Out of all those educators I have met through the years, the greatest of all has been my very best friend, husband, and fellow Woodward High School Hall of Fame Inductee Emilio Ramirez who was a dean and principal at Woodward. He proposed with a diamond and sapphire ring- Woodward blue and white.


Describe an important and/or humorous things that happened to you while you were at Woodward. Bobby Murray (also an inductee) surprised me a few months into my residence at the new building with the old oak bookcase. I thought had been lost to the old building and demolition. It still stands proudly in my office after 25 years- reminding me of the continuity between the two.


9-11 happened while I was working at Woodward. I will never forget watching the news coverage on Mr. Alexander's black and white 6-inch, rabbit-eared TV in his office.

March 19, 2020 we were sent home from school for what we thought would be an early spring break. After several weeks of what turned into virtual learning for the rest of the year and a portion of the next, I made a video using teacher pictures and videos to let the students know how much they were missed. I made a giant mask for Polaris and sign for him to hold that said "Stay Polar Bear Strong Toledo".


Being named Ohio School Counselor Association's High School Counselor of the Year for 2020 and having the award presented at the building because there was no conference that year in the fall due to... you guessed it! COVID.


Attending the Hall of Fame luncheons in the Woodward High School libraries and seeing the inductees meet the students as well as the Hall of Fame banquets at Inverness where I as school counselor get to read the scholarship finalists biographies for our most amazing students. Attending the Polar Pals of Long Ago. Remembering breakfasts at Michael's Bar and Grill aka, the Old Man's Breakfasts and meeting some truly awesome alumni many of whom are also Hall of Fame inductees. Attending the annual Old Newsboys Goodfellows Association scholarship banquets and other banquets over the years where Woodward students are recognized for their scholastic abilities. Forever in my memory will be over a quarter century's worth of Homecoming weeks and dances, proms, graduations, pep rallies, games, spirit weeks, scholarship dinners, field trips, concerts, plays, talent shows, and all the other fun activities that are a part of the high school tradition and experience.

Who were your favorite teachers at Woodward? Why? It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the staff past and present at Woodward. This includes fellow 2024 inductee Leo Florkowski. I cannot pick a favorite here there are too many. My favorite high school teacher (from my original high school years) was Frau Howard who suggested I go into the field of education during a class discussion my senior year. It is amazing how certain teachers can sometimes know more about their students than they know about themselves. I went on to university to become a German teacher, moving through the field of education earning my masters degree to become a school counselor, and have never regretted this career decision whatsoever.

Did any Woodward staff members have a profound effect on you? Who? In what way did they affect you? Jo Ann Scott was the assistant principal when I began in 1999. She retired with well over forty years in education. She continued to substitute for years after retiring. Her great dedication to the field of education and to students has always impressed me.

Please share one of your favorite memories of Woodward. I am so impressed by the dedication of the various alumni organizations and how they support the current students and their alma mater. I will never forget the "sock hop" which was the brainchild of Becky Erd (Hall of Fame Inductee too!), to bring the alumni together to visit the Streicher building one last time before its demolition. It was an awesome event that drew so many people! The year the new school was finished, there was also a "sock hop" to introduce alumni to the building on Central Ave. Following from these two events, there was the first "dance" at Centennial Terrace, the echoing event reminiscent of the "sock hop" that continues annually where adults can enjoy adult beverages unlike at the school. My best memory from this event was the Mackey's bringing their pick-up truck full of bricks salvaged from the old building. The poor tires on that truck almost burst .

Are you married? Please tell us about your family members-- children, grandchildren, etc. Husband: Emilio Ramirez TAAP/UAW President Daughters: Larissa Rochester (Health Teacher- Bowling Green Middle School) and Melinda Barman (Junior Miami University- Chemistry, German and Education) Son-in-law: Michael Rochester (Senior Financial Analyst- Owens Corning) Stepdaughter: Tiffany Cathers (Case Manager -Pathway Home Energy Assistance) Grandsons: Kayden, Bryson, and Xavier (Students at Oregon City Schools)


What are your present hobbies? What do you do for fun? When I have time, I like riding my horse Rebel, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, learning new things, reading, traveling, walking, camping, and hiking. Bringing my therapy dog Maverick to school and seeing the smiles he brings to the students as well as staff makes work seem like fun . I also enjoy volunteering with Toledo Old Newsboys Goodfellows Association, the Lucas County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and Moms Demand Action. How did you feel when you were informed of this honor? I was excited simply to be nominated for this great honor. I strongly considered not returning the questionnaire because I did not feel deserving and put it off for some time. When I found out I had actually been voted in, I was very humbled. The inductees I have come to know and admire have done so very much with their lives. I consider myself very lucky to be counted among them as a Woodward High School Hall of Fame Inductee.


While at Woodward, did you have any nicknames? I don't think I have ever been called anything besides Miss Sarah, Mrs. Ramirez, or Dr. Ramirez at Woodward.

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