BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — An Outstanding Citizen, according to the criteria for Maumee’s Hometown Hero Awards, is an individual who has improved the community. After nominations from several school officials and staff, Dr. Todd Cramer stood out to the selection committee.
That’s why the committee selected the former superintendent as this year’s Outstanding Citizen. He will be recognized at the Hometown Hero Awards banquet on Thursday, March 2 at The Pinnacle.
Having served as the superintendent for Maumee City Schools from 2016 until 2022, Cramer is a widely recognized name among Maumee residents.
MCS board president Mike Wiley said the former superintendent made a significant impact during his time with the district, but how he handled unprecedented events was what truly impressed Wiley.
“When we were in COVID – he lives in Bowling Green – he would drive up here to go to 6:00 a.m. meetings in Mayor (Rich) Carr’s office so they could strategize about how they were going to carry on city government, carry on educating our kids, feeding our kids, making sure they all had WiFi,” Wiley recalled. “He was so invested in the community and doing his best to try and get everything taken care of.”
Cramer’s handling of the pandemic and his unwavering dedication to the district staff and students stood out to several school staff members.
“I believe the way in which our schools and community came together during the pandemic to support one another and find real and measurable ways to meet the needs of our citizens was made possible because of Dr. Cramer’s leadership in the years leading up to that moment,” said current Maumee City Schools Superintendent Steve Lee.
The idea that so many people he worked with at the schools took the time to highlight his work left Cramer feeling shocked and honored, he said.
He credited the community, students, staff and board members for helping to create a strong district.
“I was truly filled with gratitude that I had been fortunate enough to lead such a great district,” Cramer said. “My goal was to just take everything from where it was and continue to move us forward.”
According to his nominators, his ability to move the district forward while taking everyone’s needs into consideration made him a great leader worthy of the award.
His time spent working for other organizations was also admirable, several nominators said, as he was able to form strong partnerships with businesses, city leaders and residents that would benefit the entire community.
“When I first came to Maumee, it didn’t take long to realize how strongly knit of a community I was fortunate to be joining. There are just so many outstanding individuals, clubs and groups that are there to support the community, you can’t help as the leader of the school district to want to get involved to make a larger difference than just during the school day,” Cramer said.
One of the organizations Cramer joined after coming to Maumee was the Rotary Club, for which he currently serves as president. Rotary secretary Sharon Trabbic said the club is heavily involved with the district and knows Cramer wanted to join and do even more for the district, too.
Cramer, who was introduced to the Rotary Club by former Superintendent Greg Smith, said he was impressed by the club’s involvement throughout the community, which includes scholarships for students, national and international projects, a Christmas program that brings presents to young Toledo residents and much more.
Trabbic said Cramer was quick to involve himself with the projects and showcase his leadership skills in order to benefit the community. After someone else left, Cramer was quick to move on to the president track.
“When you’re on the board and on the president track, you’re in every committee basically, so he was super-involved,” Trabbic said.
That is what makes Cramer an Outstanding Citizen, Trabbic said. His sense of leadership, calm presence and dedication are what help him stand above the rest, she said.
“I have that true feeling of gratitude toward the entire community. Both during my time as superintendent and now continuing to serve in my role with Rotary, without all the upstanding individuals that are here, I don’t know where I’d be,” Cramer said.
According to Cramer, his time with the district showed him how dedicated a school system and community can be toward making the area a better place for everyone.
“I feel honored and privileged to receive this award for just doing my job, and I appreciate that they let me bring everything that I could each and every day and the support that they provided because without it, we would not have been able to be the success that I feel that we were during my time at Maumee,” Cramer said.