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Norton board OKs new high school football coach

4/19/2012 - West Side Leader
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By John Benson

The Norton City Schools Board of Education approved the hiring of John Tanksley as the new varsity head coach of the Norton High School football team during the April 16 meeting.

“It’s my pleasure to introduce John Tanksley,” said Norton High Principal Ryan Shanor. “... We feel fortunate to hire someone of John’s caliber. This is his first head coach job, but he’s had success as defense coordinator at Northwest and Green high schools. We’re just ecstatic to bring him in.”

The roughly half-hour meeting began with the district recognizing its various students of the month. Beginning the acknowledgements was Cornerstone Elementary Principal Julie Gulley, who introduced her student of the month, third-grader Zoe Easterling.

“Zoe is an excellent role model in our school,” said Gulley. “She’s a sunbeam that lights our school. She works hard academically. She comes to school ready to learn. She’s said on more than one occasion, ‘I like homework,’ and she means it. She’s a leader and not a follower.”

For Grill Elementary, Principal Sharon Herchik talked about second-grader Keyonna Moore and read a letter from her teacher Jennifer Lehman. She said, “Keyonna does her best each day at school. She’s a model for the class. Keyonna excels in all subjects and writes neatly. She takes her time with her work and has never missed her homework. She’s a very special little girl here at Grill.”

Rounding out the elementary school students of the month, Norton Primary Principal Eric Morris talked about fourth-grader Abbygail Hemminger.

“She was nominated by our musical teacher, Mrs. Williams, who wrote this letter,” Morris said. “She has a positive outlook and her enthusiasm is contagious. She’s a strong leader. She quietly leads by example. In a day and age when many people are thought to be self-centered, Abbygail is exactly the opposite. She will be truly missed at [the Primary School next year].”

Norton Middle Principal Joyce Gerber talked about her student of the month, eighth-grader Connor Knight, in the same fashion.

“He’s very dependable, wants to do a good job and is very engaging with other students,” Gerber said. “He understands the responsibility of making good choices. Connor was on the wrong track and in seventh grade became focused.”

Rounding out the student of the month accolades was Shanor, who introduced senior Andy Stranger.

“He’s such a great young man,” Shanor said. “Andy is a young man with varied interests. He’s on the football team and in the school play this weekend. The main reason why Andy won this award is because Andy is one of those young men you know he’s the same person when he’s looking at you and when you turn your back. To me that’s one of the greatest aspects of leadership. Although Andy is involved in a bunch of things, that’s the one characteristic that sticks out the most.”

In other news, the board accepted the retirement of Norton Middle School technology teacher Bunny Perren.

“I’ve been in the district for five years and had the opportunity to work with Bunny,” said Superintendent Dave Dunn. “When you think of Norton City Schools being an excellent district, we’re that way because of the people that are here. ... Thank you so much for all you’ve done.”

In other news, Dunn said Norton High is staging “Alice in Wonderland” today, April 19, through April 21.

“I know those are always very entertaining,” Dunn said. “If you could make one of those evenings, that would be greatly appreciated.”

Board President Diane Farmer noted she attended a board leadership institute event.

“I brought things back for us to talk about,” Farmer said. “We have a lot of things happening in Norton and across the state we have to respond to. Also, we are planning before our next meeting, May 21, a State of Schools address from the superintendent.”

The next Norton school board meeting is set for May 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Norton High School Library, 4128 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

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