3 qualities of great citizen

Learn, lead, love, Dean Henry tells local scholars

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Dean Henry, a partner with Behm & Henry Law Offices and a member of the Tiffin City School Board of Education, speaks to senior candidates for the National Machinery Citizenship Awards Monday at Mohawk.

SYCAMORE — A local lawyer and school board member spoke to close to 100 area senior high school students Monday during the 61st National Machinery Citizenship Awards.

Dean Henry has been practicing law for 27 years and earned degrees from Ohio State University and University of Toledo. He has served as a prosecutor, special prosecutor and acting judge. He was elected to Tiffin City Board of Education in 2015.

Henry delivered the keynote address at Mohawk High School, telling students what it means to be a great citizen.

There are three things that one must do to be considered a great citizen, Henry said: Learn, lead and love.

Henry said he attended school without a laptop, computer or smartphone.

“Your generation has the ability to exchange ideas with hundreds, even thousands, of people at such a pace that is blistering and instantaneous that it is mind-boggling,” he said. “We are trying to catch up to you and we are learning from you.”

Henry said technological advances are “exciting, entertaining and at times dangerous.”

Students must educate themselves by treading through too much data on social media and the internet, he said.

To do that, Henry said, “Listen to everyone and think. Taste everything everyone has to say, chew it up but don’t swallow until you understand.”

“It is your job to find the facts and numbers and sort it all out and make sense of that,” he said.

Henry’s tips:

• Surround yourself with people smarter than you.

• Shut up and listen.

• Trust your gut.

• Never be afraid to change your mind.

• Learn to lead and discover what type of leader you want to be.

“You will be exposed to excellent leaders and poor leaders in your lifetime,” he said. “Take lessons from all of them and learn how to do it right. Lead with integrity.”

“Being a great citizen means having the love of your country, but you can’t love your country without having love for your countrymen and women,” he said.

“What you say can have ugliness, hostility and hatred,” he said. “In the hallways and your classrooms, never be reduced to that behavior and if you see it, stop it.”

Students receiving cash awards were Allan Acree, Tiffany Hemminger, Austin Lescallett, Jacquelyn Lininger, Jacob Nye, all of New Riegel; Hunter Bollinger, Brandon Best, Brooklyn Brookes, Ashley Cleland, Jenna Corfman, Allison Drown, Brooke Enders, Alex Forehand, Kaley Gurney, Jared Gurney, Courtney Heiser, Dylan Kalb, Brock Martin, Madison Miller, Paige Sturgill, Aubrey Saylors, all of Seneca East; Rachel Eberly, Sydney Hossler, Thomas Kersting, Gretta Kissell, Billy Koebel, Rebekah Quinter, Kathleen Root, Devyn Smith, Megan Zimmerman, all of Old Fort; Ryan Alvarado, Jacquelyn Burns, Brendan Herbert, Dominic Hedrick, Courtney Hoffman, Jena Huffman, Bailey Jameson, Zachary Kreais, Amber Lee, Benjamin Meade, Emily Pace, Meghan Sayre, Kamren Zirger, all of Hopewell-Loudon; and Jacob Amlin, Shelby Bollinger, Parker Brown, Makayla Burks, Emily Cook, Angela Daniel, Megan Gillig, Hannah Jordan, Kenna Lacey, Ryan Lacey, Bryce O’Flaherty, Elise Stuckey, Ian Pursell, Jared Vargo, Kariss Winings, all of Mohawk.