During the presentation of the Founder’s Award, the OCLRE praised Dr. Seaton with these words, “We know of no teacher who has done more to create knowledgeable, informed citizens than Dr. Shirley Seaton of Cleveland’s John Carroll University.”
Seaton’s commitment to law-related education began three decades ago when she served as principal at a Cleveland elementary school. She was alarmed by students who had a poor image of law enforcement and believed police officers intended to only harm, not help them. Seaton wanted to change attitudes and behavior.
Seaton is an original district coordinator for the “We the People” program, a congressionally supported curriculum available in all 435 congressional districts. Seaton’s leadership in the 11th district has led to the distinct offering of “We the People” as a service learning program at JCU. The service project at John Carroll University pairs student-tutors from the University with elementary and middle school students in the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools to teach the U.S. Constitution. John Carroll students in the Center for Service and Social Action use their knowledge of the U.S. government and their presentation skills to share stories and activities about the U.S. Constitution with the children. The program now embraces 75 JCU students in 13 public and parochial schools in the Cleveland area.