Lady Frances Strickland, wife of Governor Ted Strickland who is a candidate for the United States Senate, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Spring Dinner of the Mercer County Democratic Party on Thursday April 14 at Romer’s Party Room, 1100 S. Main St. Celina.

Doors open at 5:30 with social time at 6:00 p.m., followed by supper at 6:30.  Francis Strickland will speak following the meal.  There will be a cash bar available.

Frances Smith Strickland, Ph.D., was born in Simpsonville, Kentucky, where she grew up on a dairy farm.  Upon receiving her undergraduate degree, she taught two years in the Jefferson County Public School system.  Later, she completed a Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology at the University of Colorado.

She returned to Kentucky and worked in a residential facility for adjudicated delinquents.  She also advocated for children with emotional problems and developmental disabilities.  At the same time, she attained a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Kentucky.  She then devoted herself to a career as a psychologist in a public school system.

Later, she authored a nationally published screening test for kindergartners.  She wrote a children’s biography of Martha Layne Collins, Kentucky’s first woman governor  entitled The Little Girl Who Grew Up To Be Governor.

When she married Ted Strickland, Frances left Kentucky and moved to Ohio.  She continued to work in public education but became engaged in politics when her husband was elected to the United States House of Representatives and eventually as Governor of Ohio.

In her role as First Lady, she served as Chair of Ohio’s Family and Children First Cabinet and led efforts to improve opportunities for children and youth living in challenging circumstances.  She also initiated the Governor’s Institute for Creativity and Innovation in Public Education.  Now, in the private world, Dr. Strickland continues her efforts to support public education.

Cost to attend the dinner is $25 per person and can be purchased by contacting Marge Tobe by phone at 419-925-4939 or by email at mtobe59@gmail.com or Phil Long by phone at 419-733-6947 or by email at palcisv13@gmail.com