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Leave your comment here about how you feel about the plan that has been proposed to the Board of Education to eliminate Timken High School. Comments need to be approved prior to been seen on the website, so if you don’t see it right away it probably is just pending for approval. If you wish to leave a comment anonymously then send your comment to admin@timkenalumni.com.

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24 comments to Community Comments

  • timkenalumni

    Parents and students are emotional now! Many are stating that they WILL NOT send their children to Mckinley. Students are saying that they WILL NOT go to Mckinley ! This emotion may diminish somewhat. But, the strong emotion of resentment WILL NOT. I look for many to follow through with their plans to leave the district . And, many by next school year. Others ,with less means, will ponder it and will probably follow. In 1976, when Lincoln and Lehman were closed, close to 500 families left the city. This not only takes money from our school system BUT also REVENUE FROM THE CITY OF Canton.

  • timkenalumni

    The manner in which the superintendent’s proposal was written and presented is not acceptable. Who did meet to write this proposal and why was done without notice to the public? Why was no input allowed from the community UNTIL AFTER THE PROPOSAL WAS WRITTEN. THE PROCEDURE IS QUESTIONABLE AT BEST!

  • timkenalumni

    We are writing to voice our concern about the proposed merger of the Timken and McKinley high schools. What seems to be the rush? Something this huge should have been brought to the publics attention so there could be more input from the community as well as the students themselves. A merger should keep some evidence of both schools. Your proposal is swallowing up everything that is Timken and keeping nothing but the building itself. The Timken Foundation put a lot of money into Timken High School, not McKinley. The school at the very least should be named Timken McKinley Senior High. The Timken Foundation donated the money to build the school and has had a tremendous impact on our city. Their name should continue to be associated with the high school.

    Sincerely,
    Chuck and Debbie Russell
    *Chuck is a 1960 graduate of Timken High School

  • timkenalumni

    * Some of these kids planned from the time they were in grade school to attend Timken for their basketball program.

    * Current students should be able to graduate as Timken Trojans.

    Trojans will NEVER become bulldogs

  • timkenalumni

    These are comments made to City Council on January 26.

    Pamela Lagodich, Timken class of 1972, Canton City SchoolSecretary for 15 years, 13 at Timken, President of the Timken Adult Booster Club. I have many Trojan students, parents, staff members in this fight. Many, including myself, who believe that going to one high school is not the only way to cut costs. However, we understand the discussion needs to happen.

    At the community meeting at Timken, I had a member of this body tell me that they were not on any side. It takes one skill set to be a politician. You all have this skill set or you would not have been elected. There is a totally different skill set to be a public servant. This member was obviously wearing their Politician hat.

    This issue is controversial and divisive. Students, parents, staff are already pitted against each other. Adrian Allison believes he is being “courageous” making hard decisions. If he is really “brave” and believes going to one high school, closing down an elementary, and moving a group of Early College high school students virtually ripping a true high school experience out from under them is brave he would have gathered all the stake holders, studied the issue and planned for smooth and timely and well thought out implementation.

    If this is truly “not about athletics’ this change does not need to be AND SHOULD NOT be decided in 6 weeks. And it would not be necessary to shove the McKinley name, colors and mascot down the throat of every Canton City School student. If this is not about D1 status for McKinley and already a done deal, we would not be searching for a new football coach FOR A ONE HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT—WHICH DOES NOT EXIST YET. If this is truly not about athletics: then a new name, new colors, new mascot decided BY STUDENTS—a REAL MERGER possibly with a McKinley Campus and a Timken Campus would have been proposed.

    If this is truly “about money” possibly the current leadership of the Canton City schools should have been thinking about that for the last few years. The CCS admin staff has increased from 71to 96 for an increase of $1 million. I find it hard to believe they have given this issue the time necessary to truly develop a responsible cost cutting and spending plan.

    This is important to you because Canton is only as strong as its schools. If you do not think this issue will affect the levy ballot box in the future, I predict you are sadly mistaken.

    I ask you to look inside yourselves individually and as a body to discover if you have the skill set of a public servant. If you do, please put on your public servant hat and pull up your public servant pants and by way of a resolution urge the Superintendent and the Board of Education to slow down this process. Gather all the stake holders, study the issue and plan for a smooth, timely and well thought out implementation that both McKinley and Timken supporters can rally behind. One where every Canton City School student has a brighter TODAY and tomorrow.

  • timkenalumni

    To Whom It May Concern:

    If nothing else, is there no acknowledgement left to be given to the ever so generous Timken family? They were there when needed and now thrown under the bus. What kind of greed is this with no signs of gratitude and respect to be offered. Why not revert back to Central High School. McKinley is not the only acknowledgement that Canton Ohio has to offer.

    Sincerely,
    Andy and Nancy Good
    agood@sssnet.com

  • tobinecho

    Let me start with this proposal by Adrian Allison is not a merger, it’s a takeover. It is very clear that the agenda is to re-establish the McKinley sports teams of the past. He states the new school name needs to be McKinley because of it’s national recognition in sports (not in education). Schools objectives are to provide career and college ready students. It should be about the education not the sports. Only about 6% of high school athletes play sports in college. Adrian has put his personal agenda above the needs of the children in Canton.

    Students choose either Timken or McKinley based on their academic needs or social needs. There are over 300 students at Timken participating in extra-curricular activities. This includes sports, academic challenge and speech and debate. The takeover of Timken will displace these 300 students who are a part of programs that keep them involved, thus giving them an identity and belonging that is much needed for a well-rounded high school experience. Combining the schools also combines the extra curriculars, which takes 300 kids out of programs.

    I’m under the impression that the Superintendent should be concerned about every child within his school district. The Timken student’s wants and needs have not been taken into consideration. There are still 2 schools in Canton, and the needs of both should be the primary objective. Displacing 900 students from their chosen school will be comparable to a feeling of homelessness. We Timken Trojans are being kicked out of our home without our voices being heard.

  • timkenalumni

    IF THE SUPERINTENDENT AND CANTON BOARD OF EDUCATION ARE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE EDUCATION AND SAFETY OF OUR STUDENTS…..THEY WILL NOT PROCEED WITH THIS CURRENT PROPOSAL. IT DOES NOT DO WHAT’S BEST FOR OUR KIDS. !!!
    Anonymous post

  • timkenalumni

    Dear Mr. Allison,

    As a 1954 graduate of Timken High School, I want you to know that I take as much pride in being a Trojan with blue and gold colors  as you do being a graduate bulldog from black and red McKinley.  Why would you think just because McKinley sports “was” the dominate team in Canton, that that’s a  good enough reason to make such a  huge controversial change that only pleases one entity.  As you already know, most of us from Timken can agree on one high school—just not one only named McKinley with red and black colors and the bulldog mascot.  If you want unity instead of division, change the name, colors and mascot making for a happier community.
    Your McKinley is not anymore important to you, than Timken is for proud Timken Trojans.
    President McKinley was from Canton, but the school was named for his sister, not him.  Abraham Lincoln certainly as a very significant president—but Lincoln High School was dissolved.
                                                                Respectfully submitted,     Patricia Linz, Retired Canton City Schools’ Teacher
                             

  • timkenalumni

    WHY SHOULD WE TRUST THE SUPERINTENDENT?

    ANYTIME A PROPOSAL OF THIS MAGNITUDE IS DONE IN SECRET AND FORCED, IN AN UNTIMELY MANNER, UPON THOSE WHO WILL BE AFFECTED….. DOUBT AND MISTRUST BECOMES AN ISSUE!!!

    FOR MANY OF US, IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO GIVE ANY VALIDITY TO WHAT MR. ALLISON HAS TO SAY FROM NOW ON!!!! WE DO NOT TRUST HIM?
    Anonymous Post

  • tobinecho

    Bottom line….if it’s a true merger, we need to get a new name, new colors, new mascot. Only then will it make sense for Canton and it’s students!!! How about Union HS, the first high school in Canton. That will offend no one, and appease everyone!!!!

  • timkenalumni

    Let me introduce myself. Donna Kirkpatrick, TVHS Class of ’51, retired treasurer of the Canton City School District. Graduated June 7, started work on June 11, 1951 and retired December 31, 1981. Started as a staff clerk and was named Treasurer in 1969.

    I couldn’t agree more with your points of view. This kind of change should have been discussed with ALL of the community and then plans should have been drafted based on the input received. Not presented as a ‘done deal.’

    It was mentioned in the Repository that deleting the Timken name is a slap at the Timken Foundation and all it has done for the CCSD. The Timken Building ($1,250,000); remodel and update 25 years latter ($900,000); C. T. Branin Natatorium. Not sure but I think this was over $2,000,000. The Timken Foundation and the Timken Family have done so much for the students in Canton. We need to remember and honor them.

    One school may be the only feasible solution but not as presented. This needs to be discussed at length by ALL the community. Implementing it this year is too soon. If we do have to go to one school, start it with the incoming freshman of 2015. That would mean that the class of 2019 would be the first graduating from the new combined school and it would be something other than Timken or McKinley. The original high school on the Timken site was called Central High School. But making it the Canton High School and using black and gold as the colors might work. Mascot?

    Perhaps the auditorium in the current Timken could be named the Timken Auditorium and the library, the McKinley Library. That keeps both names.

    And another question, how will the HOF Village, if it comes to be, feel about several hundred teenagers in their backyard? This idea is really far out, but what about turning McKinley High building into retail, office space and family-style restaurants connected to the HOF Village? Keep the natatorium, field house and auditorium for community use. Events could be sponsored by CCSD, HOF and others.

    Bring all high school students to the center of the school district on the site originally designated for school use when the city was established by Bezaleel Wells. Having one school on the northern edge of the district makes transportation a problem. Need to save money by having as many students as possible use SARTA rather than Canton City School buses. Back in my day, (the dark ages) we all used city buses if we didn’t walk. There were NO school buses for high school kids.

  • gwhipkey

    Here is the speech I gave at Monday nights BOE Meeting:

    A Message from Gail Whipkey, President, Timken Alumni Association

    The Board of Education policy manual states that “Community participation in the schools is essential to promote and maintain the quality of education for all students”. The manual also states that one of the superintendent’s responsibilities is to “base his/her recommendations upon the results of a study and upon the judgment of the staff and study committees” when approaching the BOE with a proposal. Committees formed of staff and community members were not consulted prior to the proposal by the superintendent being presented.

    We’ve been told that one of the reasons for the need for this proposal is because of the governor’s upcoming cuts in funding to the district. According to the recent press release by the governor’s office the cuts will cost the district no more than 1% of the state funding CCS already receives. In fact the cost per student that the state currently pays will be going up from $5,800 to $5,900 next school year and may result in no changes in the funding from the state to CCS.

    Secondly, the superintendent states that there will be fiscal efficiencies for these changes. However, research from the National Education Policy Center warns that consolidation of schools for fiscal efficiencies “does not average reduced educational expenditures”. If fact, schools with larger populations often experience “reduced rates of student participation, more dangerous school environments, lower graduation rates, lower achievement levels, and larger achievement gaps.” The author’s reported that students “received less individual attention, had fewer opportunities to participate in school activities (a result of both increased competition for limited spots and transportation issues)”. Community and parent involvement in the plan prior to the proposal may have mitigated the negative feelings about this consolidation. “The loss of a school erodes a community’s social and economic base – its sense of community, identity and democracy.”

    So why is the superintendent proposing this school merger? What research has been performed that supports the proposal? How can you be asked to make a decision of such magnitude without the support and research information necessary to make that decision?
    The fact that the plan keeps evolving is indicative that the superintendent is listening to some of the community. However, it also indicates that prior planning taking into account scenarios and concerns were not considered. The community has more to say than what can be gathered by the three specific questions that were asked at the community meetings. The committees that the superintendent intends to bring together now should have already been included. Before the board votes on this proposal, let’s do the talking, listening and proper planning necessary to put together a proposal that the whole CCS community can claim as its own!

  • timkenalumni

    From Eric Resnick – Timken Alumni Grad and former Board of Education Member
    Is this what you voted for? Part 1 of a series.
    As you can see, the question about support for going to one high school in Canton was asked during the 2013 campaign.
    The answers are listed separately below.
    As you can also see, my position on this has been consistent. I said the same thing Monday to the Board of Education as I have since January 14 as I did during the campaign.
    That kind of consistency is easy when the evidence is on one’s side and one wants to be transparent.
    But I don’t have the vote on the 25th, Mr. Rinaldi does, so please look at what he told you when he wanted your vote.
    “I stated previously as a CCS board member, as long as we can pay our bills, the two high school system is fine with me. Money and common sense will be the factors that would warrant one high school,” Mr. Rinaldi wrote.
    No doubt Mr. Rinaldi meant what he wrote, and the facts are clear that the Canton City School District has been paying its bills, and would have been able to pay its bills with two high schools as long as state aid did not decrease from this year’s $79.6 million.
    According to the governor’s office of management and budget http://www.obm.ohio.gov Canton City School District state aid will INCREASE to $87.5 million next year and $96.3 million the following year.
    That kind of state aid ensures that the district will be able to pay its bills and do a number of new things! In honesty, this was not expected, but it is what it is.
    Mr. Rinaldi also says here that such a decision “would/should be a collaborative effort involving all stakeholders; students, parents, BOE members, teachers, administrators, etc.”
    So far, the stakeholders are telling the Board of Education to slow down, study the situation and not make a decision right away.
    Did Mr. Rinaldi mean what he wrote?
    You have the right to know, and you can find out by asking, and letting him know how you feel as a collaborator in the decision.
    His e-mail addresses are rinaldi_j@ccsdistrict.org and pumpitup15@aol.com. He is on Facebook at J.r. Rinaldi
    His snail mail address is 220 Harter Avenue NW – Canton, Ohio 44708 and phone there is (330)454-4033.
    Please share what Mr. Rinaldi tells you.

    John M. Rinaldi Response:
    3. Should the CCSD merge Timken and McKinley into one high school? Why or why not?
    It takes a very strong board member to make a decision to merge/close schools. I have
    been in that situation as a former board president and have the experience it takes to
    lead this initiative if there comes a time when the data and finances support a need for
    this. However, no one person can make this happen. It would/should be a collaborative
    effort involving all stakeholders; students, parents, BOE members, teachers,
    administrators, etc.
    In 2007, the district did a performance audit that stated that there are too many
    students to close either high school. Unless that has changed, closing either building
    would not be feasible. A major restructure would need to be prepared and structured
    around what our current and future enrollment would look like. As state funding
    shrinks more and more, these decisions are not too far away. I stated previously as a
    CCS board member, as long as we can pay our bills, the two high school system is fine
    with me. Money and common sense will be the factors that would warrant one high
    school. When the time comes to make this decision, I have the strength and common
    sense to move this district forward in its best interest.

    Eric Resnick Response:
    3. Should the CCSD merge Timken and McKinley into one high
    school? Why or why not?
    No. Unequivocally, No.
    I am old enough to remember the trauma to the District in 1976 when four high schools
    were condensed to two. In fact, you still find folks in what was the Lincoln High School
    area who hold grudge over it.
    Right now, the Canton City Schools needs to be focused on the Brighter Tomorrow Plan.
    Implementation will be hard work, and require resources and community trust.
    In that light, even the suggestion of merging Timken and McKinley high schools would be
    a reckless distraction that would put Brighter Tomorrow in jeopardy.
    Both Timken and McKinley high schools have long, proud traditions, alumni support,
    beautiful campuses and facilities, and loyal student bodies. This is something the
    community should celebrate and be proud of. It is one of the reasons why the Canton City
    School District enjoys considerably more support from its community than most similarly
    situated districts, and the students reap those benefits.
    To even propose such a radical idea of merging the schools would require a compelling
    educational case, but in fact, the compelling educational case actually supports the two
    high schools as they are.
    The schools are different – they have different climates and cultures. They “feel” different
    when you walk in the door. This is a good thing. This allows students to choose the
    environment they like. Such intra-district choice is consistent with the philosophy of the
    District, a philosophy that extends to middle schools and beyond, and serves us well.One reason why the graduation rates at Timken and McKinley are higher than most
    similarly situated high schools throughout the state is intra-District choice, and the ability
    for students to fit into one of the small schools at McKinley (A.L.I.V.E., Impact, and McK
    Stars) or one of the academies at Timken (Arts, Tech, and Services) – a program they
    choose, and one that provides wrap around support and interest-based opportunity.
    Again, this is a good thing, and the Canton City Schools Community at all levels is wellserved
    by this design.
    Those are the reasons that matter, at least in my mind. What we have created is working
    for us. The community supports it because it works, and there should be no attempt to
    undermine the District through such reckless and unfounded proposals

  • billtrbovich

    It is shocking and troublesome to all of us that Superintendent Allison has issued a proposal to close the doors of Timken High School!

    To close the doors of an educational institution bearing the name Timken is not only unbelievable but a gross disrespect to the Timken Family. The Timken Foundation has given millions of dollars to the city of Canton. Included is the beautiful, fortress-like original Timken High School building located on West Tuscarawas Street. It is the alma mater of over 22,000 students. Its oldest alums, from the class of 1940, are now 93 years old. They, too, must be heartbroken. This proposal is so blatantly unfair. It completely disregards the entire Timken High school community…. especially the current Timken Students who selected to go to Timken. The seniors will be forced to attend McKinley for their senior year. They will be forced to graduate from a school they DID NOT select.

    The manner in which this proposal was made is not and will not be supported by Timken Alums. Many McKinley parents and students are also unhappy with the proposal as well. Absolutely NO input was requested from the staff, students or alums before the proposal was made.

    In my opinion, as well as others, Mr. Allison should have called for a meeting with CCS principals, teaching staff, support staff, parents, students and Alums. At that meeting, he should have shared with them the problems facing the Canton Schools. Study groups should have been created. Each group could then share opinions, suggestions and possible solutions that would help the school system. Mr. Allison could then utilize the input and make a compromising proposal.one that was made with input from all. This proposal, in my opinion, would be a more acceptable one. The proposal would create ownership by the study groups. The school community would have fewer questions and doubts about why such a proposal was made.

    Also, much more time is needed to create a revamped school district. Two months is hardly enough time to thoroughly think out what is involved and what is at stake for our children. Also to be taken into consideration must be the future of the current Timken Students and Staff. They deserve the more!! How unjust!!

    If the superintendent and Canton Board of Education Members want a peaceful more compromising transition to one school, please step back, listen to the community and consider the feeling of all affected.

    If money IS the main factor, others cuts should be made before breaking the hearts of the Timken Community

    Sincerely,

    William Trbovich

    Timken High School Class of 1956

  • timkenalumni

    From Eric Resnick – Timken Alumni Grad and former Board of Education Member

    Is this what you voted for? Part 2 of a series.

    In this installment we look at Canton City Schools Board member Ida Ross-Freeman who has spent most of her life working for justice and speaking for people at the margins. It’s one of the reasons why I supported her when she decided to run for school board.

    The Canton City School District is a very high poverty urban district where many students come with many academic interfering needs, and I hoped Ida would be their champion and see to it that they were educated well and justly, no matter the challenge.

    I’m disappointed now, and Ida has pulled a petition to run for re-election this year.

    I’m disappointed because Ida has been arguably the most vocal board supporter of the proposal to go to one high school – an issue the Ida I supported would be on the opposing side of!

    The Ida I supported cared about quality opportunities for students and best practices.

    The Ida we see today doesn’t seem to care about either.

    She says she supports the proposal “for the children” but can’t tell us how the children of the Canton City Schools will benefit. (They won’t, by the way, and that’s the crux of the problem.)

    Ida maintains this almost cartoonish posture despite evidence to the contrary being thrown against the proposal, and one must wonder why. It’s not rational, and it isn’t the Ida I supported.

    The literature is overwhelming on the value of small schools, small classes, safety, interest-based choice, and good school climate, especially in school communities like ours. We have seen the value for ourselves over the last ten years in almost every aspect of our high schools, especially the high graduation rates and the safety. Our kids do NOT walk through metal detectors and our schools are not run like prisons.

    The article tagged to this is long, but here’s the “money quote”:
    “In terms of its influence on teaching and learning, contemporary school consolidation efforts often fail to deliver the promised enhancement of academic offerings. Even when consolidation does produce a wider menu of educational experiences for students, evidence suggests that large school and district size negatively affects desirable academic outcomes. A sizable body of research investigating school size has consistently found larger size (after moving beyond the smallest schools) to be associated with reduced rates of student participation in co-curricular and extracurricular activities, more dangerous school environments, lower graduation rates, lower achievement levels for impoverished students, and larger achievement gaps related to poverty, race, and gender.”

    Got that?

    For no stated compelling reason, our superintendent is ready to undermine Canton City Schools’ hard work building two fine urban high schools, and Ida Ross-Freeman seems all too willing to lend a hand, though she can’t or hasn’t articulated a compelling reason why.

    I want my friend Ida back! This is not what I voted for!

    Please contact
    •Ida Ross-Freeman

    PO Box 21864 – Canton, Ohio 44701

    330.588.8110 – rossfreeman_i@ccsdistrict.org and scumadaop@sbcglobal.net

    http://nepc.colorado.edu/pu…/consolidation-schools-districts

  • timkenalumni

    From Eric Resnick – Timken Alumni Grad and former Board of Education Member

    Is this what you voted for? Part 3 of a series.

    You might remember the 2011 Canton City School Board races.

    The district was in dicey financial shape that year and a 7.9 mil levy was on the ballot at the same time as two at-large seats.

    Every candidate in the pack talked about finances and the need to be fiscally responsible. By the written record and news accounts, there was really no substantive difference in anything the candidates said.

    The levy passed, and the two winners of those at-large seats were Ida Ross-Freeman and Lisa A. Singleterry Gissendaner, who is the subject of this installment.

    Ms. Gissendaner was the top vote getter that year, and though her reported-on statements were part of a homogenous crowd, her campaign literature and spoken statements also talked about the need for the board to be transparent and for the board to seek out public involvement before making significant decisions.

    You see, Lisa was upset with the board and driven to run over the proposed change in usage of the Hartford Middle School building.

    As a board member, Lisa eventually voted FOR the STEAMM Academy going in that building, essentially voting for a concept similar to what she was unhappy about months earlier, but that is not where I am going with this.

    As a candidate looking for your vote, Lisa promised to improve how the board engages the public, and promised the most transparent and open board ever.

    As Board President, however, Lisa presided over a board that took unprecedented steps to take its business out of public view. It has become the most opaque and deceptive board in memory!

    Even before this latest high school proposal, the board Lisa chaired started an initiative to talk people out of public speaks at regular board meetings. District employees started phoning those who signed up to speak in order to dissuade them.

    Lisa presided over the board that dissolved all but two of its standing committees and councils. While that may sound trivial on the surface, know that some of those had citizen members. Committees and councils also operate in the sunlight according to Ohio open meeting laws, so there are public records and public notices. They are another window into what the Board is up to.

    By dissolving the committees and councils, the board Lisa presided over also concentrated and siloed all the information and oversight of it in the superintendent’s office, giving the superintendent unprecedented power, and the ability to present or withhold information from the board and the public.

    Under Lisa’s leadership, the board and administration became less responsive to public records requests. (I have two outstanding right now.)

    Lisa led the board to an era of very little public deliberation about anything! Board meetings became 30 minutes, as opposed to 90 or 120.

    All board meetings were held at Timken High School instead of rotating through all the buildings, giving the public accessibility and the chance to celebrate every school.

    Look at the meetings. Dissent is rare. Issues are brought up and voted on with no discussion (that’s why the meetings became so short), and board members started nodding their heads instead of questioning and investigating what was in front of them.

    So I guess it should come as no shock that the decision to close Timken High School appeared so suddenly and out of nowhere, and appears to have already have been voted on, with of course, obligatory and token input that is aired, but not considered.

    No shock because this is exactly the Board of Education Lisa Gissendaner spent all last year creating.

    It’s a very different picture from what she told you she was about when she wanted your vote, eh?

    Luckily for Lisa, there is opportunity for redemption before the vote to close Timken.

    She can live up to her campaign promises by calling on her colleagues and administration to SLOW DOWN – to spend a year doing real work, investigating, planning and hearing from stakeholders before such a radical change. Lisa Gissendaner could be a hero here by showing that leadership.

    Or she can seal her legacy by leaving a Board in a state that will take years to repair. (Incidentally, her term ends in 2015, and she has sent signals to some that she plans to seek re-election, and others that she is finished.)

    Contact Lisa. Appeal to her better angels. Tell her you want her to fulfill her campaign promises.

    • Lisa Gissendaner
    2445 – 3rd Street NE – Canton, Ohio 44704
    330.418.2155 – gissendaner_l@ccsdistrict.org and also lasbg1@yahoo.com

  • timkenalumni

    From Eric Resnick – Timken Alumni Grad and former Board of Education Member

    Is this what you voted for? Part 4 of a series.

    A community has the right to expect regularity and responsibility from school board members, and in the Canton City School District the member most counted on to have those traits right now is Rich Milligan.

    At 15 years, Milligan has more tenure as a board member than the other 4 combined. He is a respected attorney, and intelligent. He has also ‘been around the block’ with the Canton City Schools, having served it as a citizen advisor, parent and building fund chair even before his election in 2000.

    Milligan also believes that board members need to interact with the public, and on the current issue of closing Timken high School, has been the only board member willing to meet with Timken advocates, and he deserves kudos for that.

    Interestingly, he conditioned that meeting on me not being there. His e-mail to Trojans reads, “I put only one condition on such a meeting – that it not include Eric Resnick. That would be counter-productive.”

    Interesting, in that I served with Rich, understand a bit about the school district from a board member’s perspective, and know stuff. I won’t speculate further on the motive for his demand or why he didn’t want someone with my perspective in the room.

    Besides, that is not the most interesting thing we need to know about Rich Milligan. This is:

    In 1997, Rich Milligan wrote an op-ed published in the Repository June 8, headlined “Canton needs two high schools.” It is pictured here in its entirety.

    “About tow months ago, we were asked by members of the Canton City School Board to independently evaluate the recommendation to form a single high school,” Milligan wrote. “Since then, the 23 members of our committee have spent countless hours discussing the consolidation plan.”

    Milligan continued, “Our committee came to the task from all walks of life.”

    Other members of that committee you may know were former board member Jennifer Keaton, Pastor Walter Arrington, Gloria Talarico, Paul Martin, Phil Palumbo police officer Grant Pressley Jr., and deputy mayor Fonda Williams.

    “Despite the remarkable variety of our past experience, our committee was unanimous in concluding that creating one high school in the city of Canton is not in the best interest of the students or the community,” Milligan wrote.

    Got that? Citizen stakeholders “spent countless hours discussing the consolidation plan.”

    The work of that committee is public record, too.

    So where’s that Rich Milligan?

    Why isn’t he advocating the formation of a committee to spend “countless hours” looking at this plan?

    Why is Milligan seemingly OK with rushing this plan through with no diligence and only token public input in a period of about 5 weeks? During that token public input, 3/4 of the response charts told the board and superintendent to slow down and do the work before deciding.

    But what’s more remarkable than this committee’s recommendation is what they considered to be important back then.

    Milligan called the proposal the “wrong solution” to what was then Timken’s difficulty attracting students.

    “Our committee believes Canton City high schools should compete to be the best, not the biggest. We believe that creating a school this large makes it more difficult, not easier, to provide quality education to all students,” Milligan wrote.

    “A single high school removes choice from the school system. The proposed plan will require every student to attend that combined high school,” according to the committee.

    Milligan noted as a positive that both schools “provide a superb and unique learning environment.”

    The op-ed ends with milligan writing:
    “The school board and community need to do what is right, not what is easy. The easy choice is to combine the schools and force students to attend school where they do not want to be. The more difficult choice is to commit to the time and effort necessary to make Timken High School a place where parents want their children to attend. Let us not take the easy way out, we urge the repository, the school system and the community to join in a commitment to academic excellence and choice.”

    Academic excellence and choice.

    The 23 member committee actually understood organically what the literature for high poverty urban districts has been saying for a decade. That best practices for academic excellence are small schools, small classes, safety, and good climate and interest based choice. Our schools give them that now.

    In its wisdom, Milligan’s committee chose correctly. Why is Milligan now so reticent to even discuss the best practices he championed earlier?

    Charter high schools are chomping at the bit to move into the district and provide the choice this board will abandon if Timken is closed.

    And today, the board of education is faced with a slightly different problem as well.

    You see, today, it is McKinley that is in distress, not Timken.

    Over the past ten years, Timken’s enrollment has increased 4.9%, while McKinley’s has decreased 21.9%.

    The Freshman classes at Timken have been larger than those at McKinley both of the last two years.

    Timken High School students increased their performance in every subject on the OGT from 2012-13 to 2013-14, and graduation rates continue to rise.

    Timken’s band is larger than it has been in 20 years, and it is larger than McKinley’s.

    Timken’s boys basketball team is poised to win state championships this season and next.

    In other words, Timken has become that center for excellence, and they want to shut it down!

    Please contact Milligan. Ask why he doesn’t want to follow the same good advice he gave in 1997 – That “the school board and the community need to do what is right, not what is easy,” and now that means to “make [McKinley high School] a place where parents want their children to attend.” One does not fix McKinley by closing Timken, and the board should not rush to wreck public confidence by thinking it does.

    The community deserves the more thoughtful, responsible Rich Milligan to show up for this vote.

  • timkenalumni

    February 17, 2015

    Dear Mr. Ryan Brahler,
    Please be advised that the proposal made by Superintendent Allison to close Timken High is a very unpopular one. It had drawn much criticism from the Canton Community. There is outrage, anger, mistrust and concern throughout the Canton City School District.
    There is an all- time low in the morale of the staff and students. There is an overall feeling of mistrust and doubt directed toward the superintendent. This same sentiment of mistrust and doubt will also be directed toward anyone on the Canton Board of Education who votes in favor of Mr. Allison’s proposal to close Timken High School beginning with the 2015-16 school year.
    The superintendent’s proposal will create more problems than it solves. First of all, the fact that the superintendent did not reach out to the staff, students, parents and alumnus is quite troubling. They all have a vested interest in Timken High School. They also have the expertise that is required to devise a plan that could help resolve the problems being faced by the Canton School District. Why were those groups not asked to help? Who exactly wrote the proposal? Why was the proposal done in such a hurry? Decisions of this magnitude require time. Decisions of the magnitude also require the input of those involved and affected by the decision. This is a school system not a corporation.
    The current juniors at Timken and McKinley will be thrown together for their senior years. They will end their high school years in an atmosphere of disruption, fear, trauma and resentment. Put yourself in their places. How would you like that situation for you senior year of high school.
    In addition to that, there is the fact that the environment created by mixing the two student bodies for these student could result in an unsafe and volatile environment. It certainly would not be an environment for optimal learning. In other words, the senior year for these students would be wasted.
    The above school conditions can be avoided by telling the superintendent “no” to his proposal. Instead, ask that more time be taken before any proposal of this magnitude is made. At least one more year of further study is required. The proposal should also be made after adequate input is received from the staff, students, parents and alumnus. This, I believe, will result in a more compromising proposal. The proposal will have community ownership and be far more acceptable that the current proposal.
    Please take the above suggestions and concerns to heart. The future of the Canton City Schools is at risk. Consider the consequences of making a decision too quickly. How do you want to be remembered as President of the Canton Board of Education?

    Sincerely,

    Tim Trbovich

  • timkenalumni

    Eric Resnick’s Press Conference Thoughts:

    Over the past month I have been asked why it’s so important to have Timken High School, why it’s so special, and why it matters.

    Why would Angie Bonner, a basketball and volleyball superstar, and attorney travel here from Illinois for a week to tell the superintendent and board to save her school?

    Why are we out here in the cold and the snow marching around when we could be some place warm texting about how what a bummer it is?

    It is significant that today Trojan Nation is represented by current students, recent graduates, teachers, parents, alumni who live nearby, and those who traveled far. We are diverse across every demographic, and we are family.

    (Intros)

    Our ancestors who came out of Timken’s world renowned vocational and technical education programs built this community. That’s right. Where would Stark County’s economy have been without the machinists and the metal workers, welders, draftsmen, accountants, auto mechanics, nurses…. In good times and bad, including during World War II when those shops helped the war effort, when there was a need to get it right, everyone turned to Timken High School.

    Some time has passed, and the needs of the economy have changed, but not the culture of Trojan Nation. We’re still getting it done. We know who we are, and we know who the competition is. We know what’s important, and we know that there are some folks out there who don’t get us.

    On the field of life, we know how to win. We know we’re not the favored child – we never have been. We know we’re not entitled and we don’t expect anything. We know we have to work twice as hard to get half the credit from the powers that be. It’s part of our character. Our graduates don’t have to raise flags and flash bling. Our greatness comes from a different place, a place of substance and depth.

    We’re humble, but if you mistake our humility for anything other than strength, shame on you!

    We’re not fickle. A rough season in a marquis sport doesn’t bring on calls to fire our coaches, shame our athletes or start doing illegal and immoral things like recruiting star players from other schools.

    Our teams are great because they are part of us, and they matter to us no matter what the scoreboard says. In the Timken Trojan tradition, there are no throw-aways. If you come here, there’s a place for you, and a family to nurture you. Our alumni don’t need you to score touchdowns or make baskets to care about you when the numbers come off your back.

    Sure, we like it when the scoreboard goes our way, who doesn’t? But Trojan fans will be there for you regardless. Gold and Blue don’t run!

    And by the way, have you seen our boys basketball team? PAC-7 Champions 7 of the last 8 years, and a shot at state championship this year and next.

    When Coach Hairston started seeing the fruit of his labor as their coach, and the sports community started noticing, you heard the favored children bark. First they were indignant that basketball talent would choose to be Trojans, not the anointed. When that didn’t work, they tried to pass it off as an aberration, an accident of fate. That didn’t work either, so now they want to take our school!

    Like any family, we have moments, but if outsiders think they can disrespect us, they are miscalculating.

    If they don’t understand why Timken High School matters, shame on them!

    It’s appropriate that I have a tuba here today. My first attraction to Timken High School was the band. That was the summer of 1978.

    Timken High School in its current form was the result of the reorganization of 1976, and I never left town, so I have seen quite a bit. I have seen it as a student, as a Canton City Schools teacher, as a community member, Board of Education member, and Trojan advocate.

    The values, the culture and climate, the spirit, the leadership, the traditions that I found at Timken are still there. They are unique to Timken and they matter. Our community suffers a great loss without Timken High School.

    I never liked school until I became a Trojan. Belle Stone Elementary and Crenshaw Jr. High were OK for me, but they were never home.

    This may come as a shock, but I’m not the conformist type. I’m a little nerdy, a tuba player. I was awkward, thought I was weird, and about to figure out I am gay. I like to raise a little hell. Yes, I have been on the roof of the main building, gotten into it with teachers, pulled pranks, got tested, tested others, met lifelong friends, and finally started to believe in myself.

    I was never elected to student council. I never made National Honor Society. I did earn the two left feet award in Marching Band, and had a starring role in the musical Bye Bye Birdie.

    By the time June of 1981 came around, I was one of the kids everyone knew. My world had grown, and so had I.

    Would that have happened at the other school? Maybe.

    But a nerd who thinks he’s weird and plays the tuba would probably have had a different experience in the culture and climate of that other place, and I’m thankful I chose right. My values align with Trojan values.

    It’s not an accident that Timken is the only high school in the county with a class in Afican-American History and Contemporary Issues. It’s not the only school that needs it. It’s the only school that values it.

    It’s no accident that Timken is the only Canton City School to have ever had a Gay-Straight Alliance. It’s not the only school that needs it. It’s the only one that values it.

    And which Canton City high school has Junior ROTC? Timken, of course!

    And an awesome Step team, Championship Robotics team, Gaming, and those awesome traditions of world class excellence in all parts of life.

    This is who we are and how we roll at Timken High School. We don’t need affirmation from sportswriters or blessings from on high. If you need those things, there’s a school across town for you, and we’re not being critical of that. But we’re nothing short of damn proud of our heritage and our accomplishments, and if you don’t see value in greatness, shame on you!

    If you mistake Trojan strength and values for “learned hopelessness,” I question your fitness to be the superintendent of the Canton City School District.

    Some of you have probably seen the reaction from the backers of the school across town to our strength as we push back against this bad plan.

    Like a spoiled sibling, they can’t stand that they might have to share.

    Instead of empathy, they organized a red and black out at the Field House to protest the possibility that there could be one high school that wouldn’t be named McKinley and wouldn’t be red and black.

    More than 160 people have signed an online petition to that effect.

    An Early College student is complaining online that it’s so unfair that she may have to go to Timken Early College High School.

    Are they that insecure?

    Like every child of privilege, they want to slime us for not rolling over and taking their disrespect.

    Maybe the superintendent needs to learn what real “learned hopelessness” is, and fix it there instead of messing with us.

    Shame also on the board of education members who talk a good game about welcoming Timken students to a new school, but who don’t seem to see this as disrespect and sit silent. It’s not surprising, though. They are more concerned with what the Timken family thinks about this than what Timken students and their families think, and that’s the problem.

    It’s not enough for them to take Timken athletes, band, Division I numbers. They want our inheritance and birthright, too, and are willing to think of themselves as our victims if we stand up and fight.

    This is nothing new from that corner. Some of us have seen this go on for the last 35 years, and are glad we made better choices for ourselves. We don’t criticize their choice, either.

    We have our values and culture. They have theirs.

    After the February 9 Board meeting, I was approached by a member of the community who was obviously interested in the way Timken students and recent graduates conducted themselves. Especially Isaiah Bingham, who, no pun intended, took the superintendent to school, and got it right.

    She wanted to know if I was surprised.

    “No,” I answered. “I’m impressed and proud, but not surprised.”

    I know where they came from. I never met Isaiah or Cassidy or Jackie before this happened, or the many other Trojan student leaders who have conducted themselves on behalf of their brothers and sisters with style, class, grace, panache, and Trojan Pride.

    But I know where they came from. I was there once, too, and so were most of you. My guess is none of you are surprised, either.

    That’s why Timken High School matters.

    I can’t close without mentioning the man I think of when I hear “Mr. Timken.” That would be Fred Harold. The gym in the commons appropriately bears his name.

    Fred Harold was a Timken student, teacher, legendary basketball coach, athletic director, a school board member, and the founder of the Timken Alumni college scholarship program.

    Having 12 children, Fred Harold also helped populate Timken High School, but that’s another matter.

    Fred Harold was a character, in the best way. He was a force, and an inspiration to everyone who knew him.

    Fred Harold used to say, “I’ve got Timken in my heart, and I bleed blue and gold.”

    And I think were he standing here today, Fred Harold would be angry and extremely vocal. And I think he would be very proud – proud of our students, past and present, proud of the good work that is done at Timken High School every day, and of the character of those lucky enough to be part of Trojan Nation.

    And did I say he would be angry?

    And no matter what happens Wednesday, Fred Harold would tell us to make sure we fight for our kids and their future to the best of our ability, and we will.

    We cede nothing! We’re Timken Trojans and we’re proud! It’s who we are and how we do things downtown.

    ONWARD TROJANS!

  • timkenalumni

    Dear Mr. Allison:

    As a 1958 graduate of Timken Vocational High School and a member of the Timken Alumni Association, I strongly object to combining, or rather the absorption, of Timken High School into McKinley High School. I will never support the proposal that Timken High School will be closed as a single entity and thrown away to be forgotten. Timken has such a rich history and filled such a unique and important place in the history of Canton and its educational opportunities that it is difficult to believe that anyone who valued that history would propose or even suggest that Timken should fail to exist. Although it has changed through the years, it still offers unique opportunities to the young people of Canton; opportunities of which they should not be deprived nor can they get at any other high school. It is clear that not much thought was put into this proposal or, if it was, It certainly has not been conveyed to the citizens and voters of Canton or the Timken Alumni. I also find it hard to believe that Canton and the students are best served by having only one high school. At the least, a cost/benefits analysis should be done and reviewed by all of those that would be affected by this drastic measure.

    I understand that the Timken High School Alumni Association and other Timken organizations have given the students of Timken High School close to $200,000 and I have contributed to that cause as well. I had intended to continue contributing generously to Timken students in the future. However, I have no intention, nor will I, contribute to McKinley High School students.

    I am joining the voices of the other Timken organizations and the large number of others in the Canton community that are not in agreement with this proposal and am requesting that more time and thought be given to this proposal.

    Respectfully,

    Patricia A. Horton
    Class of ’58

  • timkenalumni

    PRESS CONFERENCE 2/21/2015

    We have come together to stand for the students of Timken Senior High School, students who are at risk of losing their school. We come together for a community of Alumni who are risk at losing their legacy and history. We come together for a community of residents who are at risk of being left with an inadequate High School structure, one that will fail to support the needs of its youth. We come together to stand for what is right, what is just, what is supported by facts/data and what is in the best interest of all those concerned. We come together to stand against a proposal that is not founded in research, supported by the masses or building a Brighter Tomorrow for our children.

    Superintendent Allison offers four critical areas where serious damage has been caused to the District as a result of operating two high schools. Each of these areas show flaws in reasoning, are not supported by research or data, and do not reflect the desire of much of the community.

    ACADEMIC INEQUALITIES
    Superintendent Allison states there are approximately 40 additional courses offered at McKinley that Timken students cannot access. We challenge this logic on several points. The 40 courses consist of the same class being offered numerous times throughout the day. This wording misrepresents any disparity between the schools curriculum. Currently there are advanced placement courses offered at Timken including things like calculus. Additionally, Timken offers courses that are specialized and unique in infrastructure. To enable McKinley students to enjoy the benefits of this education more than 200 students are transported to Timken to take part in these unique educational experiences. Why doesn’t the Superintendent offer the same courtesy to Timken students, affording them the opportunity to take some of the far fewer than 40 courses unique to McKinley? Alternatively, these courses could be offered at Timken as well. There is even the ability to share Instructors across the campuses, giving our educators more opportunity. Have any of these alternatives been explored fully before recommending the consumption of Timken into McKinley? No.

    He further states that one of the top priorities when he was hired was to ensure social justice for CCSD students. Social justice, simply stated is ensuring justice and equality in terms of distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges within a society; and in this case, educational society. However, the root of issues at our CCDS High Schools has nothing to do with social injustice and inequity between city schools and suburban schools as Superintendent Allison would lead us to believe. The root cause of the academic inequalities Superintendent Allison has proffered includes poor decision making of past Superintendents, which would only be compounded by the poor solution being offered today.

    FINANCIAL INEFFICIENCY
    Superintendent Allison initially stated the primary and most compelling reason to close Timken High School is that the District would be facing financial cuts from the state and would be unable to keep both schools open. We reject this outright, but it more significantly became moot when the Governor’s office of management and budget announced that the Canton City Schools will get significantly MORE money from the state.

    State aid to the District will increase from $79.5 million this year, to $87.7 million next year, and again to $96.3 million the following year. The Superintendent would be correct in pointing out that those numbers are not set in stone until the state legislature approves them in June. This fact, however, supports the need for the Board to slow down and do more diligence on this proposal. The Superintendent also knows that since Governor Kasich has been in office, the legislature has generally obtained his educational aid numbers. There is absolutely no reason to believe that state aid to the Canton City Schools will decrease. At the very least, the District has time to think about how many high schools it should have. But more appropriately, it an be stated conclusively that the District can afford both high schools, and what is best practice for high poverty urban districts; small schools, small classes, safety, good climate and interest-based choice.

    Data also shows that Administrative staffing has grown from approximately 71 to 93. That is 22 additional Administrators over the last 3 years at a cost of nearly $1 million a year. This figure does not include the cost of support staff for each administrator. At a time when financial resources are stretched to the extent that the Superintendent believes it is necessary to eliminate a High School, it is only prudent for an aggressive review of Administrative expenditures to be conducted. This must happen well in advance of any decision to consolidate and reduce educators; a move that will directly impact our students at the closest level.

    Superintendent Allison offers that the consumption of Timken into McKinley will lead to a $1.6 million savings annually. That “savings” is flawed in that it fails to take into account costs associated with the changes. Cost such as expenditures for transportation and additional security just to name two. There will also be a reduction of state provided per student funding due to the erosion of our student base. There are students who have specifically stated they will seek education outside of the CCSD before they will be forced to attend McKinley. The history of the Lincoln and Lehman elimination proved this to be true. The proposal calls for an increase of security staff while reducing educational staff. This is not the most effective way to spend District funds at a time when resources are constrained. If educational excellence is our goal, dollars most certainly should be directed toward educators verse security and any plan that fails to facilitate this should fail.

    The Superintendent argues that a basis for his proposal is a decline in District enrollment since 2002. While District enrollment and McKinley enrollment have declined, Timken enrollment has increased by 4.9 % over the last 9 years. The current proposal fails to in any way acknowledge or reflect the fact that our students are choosing Timken’s culture and offerings in a manner that defies the declining trend of the District. What is Timken doing right and why is it the school slated for elimination? In building a Brighter Tomorrow, the Superintendent has failed to study and learn all that can be gleaned by Timken’s faculty, staff, students, coaches, and culture, prior to dismantling and destroying a prestigious institution that offers a wealth of lessons to the District.

    ARTS LIMITATION AND ATHLETIC INEPTNESS
    Superintendent Allison proposes that by consolidating schools, participation in arts and athletics will increase, training will be better, lower grades will be better aligned and younger students will be afforded better opportunity to grow and develop. However, what he again fails to address in any manner is the impact of his proposal. Our students will have fewer opportunities to participate. There are currently 350 students at Timken who participate in athletics. This proposal will fill the roster at McKinley where they are short, but there will be nearly 300 students with no way to participate. There will be fewer opportunities for current high school students to participate, there will be fewer opportunities for students in lower grades to participate at higher H.S. levels once they enter H.S., there will be a negative short term and long term affect on those students excluded from programs they once participated in, and there will be negative future affects on our younger students who are excluded from H.S. participation. These programs go a long way in keeping students off the streets and engaged in school activities. A future that limits these opportunities for our children exposes them to higher risk of drop out and delinquency.

    There is a legitimate possibility that the proposal is designed in part to save Division 1 status for McKinley at the expense of Timken. The state requires that in order for a school to maintain Division 1 status for athletics, they must retain male student enrollment at approximately 608 students. Because of McKinley’s declining enrollment, (612 males in 2013) there is a real and eminent risk that Division 1 status will be lost in the near future. The OHSAA makes their recommendations for next academic year in May.

    COMMUNITY DIVISIVENESS
    Superintendent Allison offers a vendor encounter to support his position. This example in no way depicts community divisiveness. It is wholly unrelated to the issues he outlines as central to his proposal. It in fact is irrelevant and nothing more than noise and distraction from the issues at hand. Lastly, he cites animosity and negative sentiments expressed and words used by students, staff members, and adults as support for his proposal. However, the proposal itself has sparked a new level of animosity within the city. The proposal only worsens any community divisiveness or creates it where none previously existed. To see this you need only review pages on Facebook and Twitter where the proposal is being debated.

    The last time the CCSD closed high schools was 1976. The resentment and bitterness continues to exist today, 40 years later. History also shows that families vote with their feet. More than 500 families left the District as a result of that decision. Have we learned nothing from our history? Will we repeat our mistakes of the past?

    CONCLUSION
    In closing, a report from the National Educational Policy Center (NEPC) found that the effects of consolidation, when it results from policy that implements large-scale forced consolidation, suggests that additional consolidation is likely to result in neither greater efficiency nor better instruction outcomes. The report also shares that the research comparing pre- and post- consolidation expenditures found that district consolidation does not on average reduce educational expenditures and that some studies reported increased costs, because operational budgets were affected by diseconomies of scale that resulted from increased expenditures for transportation, operation, management and supervision, security, and guidance. The very things that are necessary to facilitate the current proposal.

    Section K of the Canton City Schools Board Policy, clearly articulates that community participation is essential to promote and maintain the quality of education of all students. And that the Board should give consideration to the advice it receives from individuals and community groups. The strong public outcry against this proposal should not only cause the Board to reject it, it should inform them that much more study and collaboration is needed before further changes to the CCSD High Schools should be proposed.

    Section B of the Canton City Schools Board Policy, requires the Superintendent to base his recommendations upon the results of a study and upon the judgment of the staff and study committees. Superintendent Allison has failed in his obligation to engage these studies, staff and study committees prior to submitting his proposal to the Board of Education for vote. Any reliance on studies and debates held 12-18 years ago are outdated and insufficient. Because the policies and principles of Board Policy has not been followed, the Board of Education should not take action on such recommendations until they are brought in line with these requirements.

    The Board of Education has the power. They can force this change, reject this change or modify it. For these and other heart felt reasons, we urge the Board to vote NO to the proposal on February 25th. This is our City, our voice, our schools.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    The Timken Senior High School Alumni Association,
    Concerned Citizens, Students, Parents and Alumni

  • billtrbovich

    Hello to All. The editorial in today’s(Sunday, February 22, 2015) Repository says it all!!! The editorial stated the exact sentiments of the majority of our community..if not all of Stark County. It was right on target…clear, concise, direct and right to the point! If that message is not clear to all, I am not sure what would be!!!

  • timkenalumni

    February 21, 2015
    TO: Canton City School Board and Superintendent
    FROM:    Janet Wendling Harlamert – Timken Class of 1956
    RE:     Merging and closing of Timken High School

    You, as Superintendent and School Board Members, have the opportunity to make this a smooth merger and transition more equitable to students, faculty, and voters (supporters of tax levies). I know this is a difficult decision concerning the financial and declining enrollment issues of the Canton City Schools. You may wish to think about moving slower rather than an all or nothing attitude.

    I live in Berea, Ohio and our school district (Berea City School District) combined our two high schools for the 2013-2014 school year. Many community meetings were held and compromises were made by the three communities that are involved in the Berea City School District. (Berea, Brook Park, Middleburg Hts.)

    This involved the following topics:
    Changing the name of the school.
    Changing the logo/mascot.
    Combining the school colors.
    New band uniforms with new school colors.

    I understand the combining of the two high schools because of decreased enrollment. Our school system went from 19,000 students to the current 7,500. Many hours went into planning with parents, students, sports teams, and music programs. The sports teams practiced together the whole year before the merger took place.

    As I recall, Lincoln school colors were maroon and gold and Lehman school colors were scarlet and gray. Why not incorporate all these colors into the new combined school with a new name. Timken High School is a very substantial building and has had several additions and updates. Is it feasible for the building to be used as a community/recreation center?

    Janet Wendling Harlamert

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