The issue: Retirement of veteran CCS board member
Common sense and passion don't always co-exist well, but veteran educator Nadine McIlwain-Massey has made the combination work in many memorable ways.
McIlwain-Massey, who just ended a 12-year tenure on the Canton City Board of Education, was happily surprised recently when her fellow board members named the district's administration building in her honor.
It's a wonderfully appropriate gesture. Even so, we'd bet that hearing from some of her former students who attended the presentation means even more to her.
Some teachers never know the impact they've had on some of the young lives they've touched. Artesia Hawkins and others made sure that wasn't the case with McIlwain-Massey. "She always said, 'You are going to be something,' " Hawkins said. "If it wasn't for her, I would've quit a long time ago." She's nearing graduation from Stark State College with a degree in social work.
That's why people become teachers — an aspiration McIlwain-Massey discovered in herself when she was in the eighth grade. She spent nearly 30 years in education, including 19 as a teacher at Timken High School and nine as a principal in Alliance and Dayton, before taking on the thankless role of school board member.
She has tackled the Canton City board's business with diligence, zeal and a grounded focus on how its decisions affect students. In her board work, as with her efforts on behalf of Coming Together Stark County and other nonprofits, she has skillfully
juggled her leadership talents with a desire for teamwork and unity.
Though we trust that she will stay active in the community, we will miss this eloquent, effective advocate for children on the Canton City board.