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Herink named St. Clairsville Trooper of the Year

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Donald “Jeff” Hernik is the Trooper of the Year for the St. Clairsville post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, based on his outstanding service during 2022.

His fellow post troopers chose Hernik because of his leadership abilities, professional ethics, courteous treatment of others, enthusiastic work attitude and cooperation with supervisors, peers and the public.

After joining the patrol in 1993, Hernik was assigned to the Massillon post and later transferred to St. Clairsville.

He graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1986 and obtained an associate degree from Ohio University in 2022.

He has received the 25-year Safe Driving Award and is a field training officer.

Melissa J. Rath was named the post’s Dispatcher of the Year.

She is also the recipient of the 2022 Ohio State Highway Patrol Telecommunications Award.

Post managers, dispatchers and troopers chose her based on technical job knowledge, ability, enthusiastic work attitude, teamwork and prompt and courteous response to the public’s requests for information and assistance.

She joined in 2009 at the St. Clairsville post.

Originally from Rayland, she is a 2001 graduate of Steubenville Catholic Central High School.

Prior to working for the patrol, she dispatched for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

She and her husband, Sean, reside in Rayland with their daughters, Payton, 13, and Karsyn, 10.

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