Michael Gallina had many people to thank today as he thought back on 30 years in education, with the last eight in North Canton.
The North Canton City Schools Board of Education met this morning with the sole purpose of considering the district superintendent's resignation for retirement, effective June 30.
"The passion around North Canton sucked me in," Gallina said this morning. "As an outsider, you don't know you are going to be accepted in a career. But it was like family. Made you feel like a brother or sister, a father a times, a coach — it just didn't matter. So that's what made this so special. You actually loved me back. And in that way I was so happy to serve."
Gallina had that he would accept a position as the new director of Outreach and Organizational Development with the AultCare Health Network and start in August.
Board members had agreed in October 2011 to . The contract would have been effective Aug. 1, 2012, though July 31, 2017, and included no changes. Gallina's salary of $130,936 plus benefits also remained unchanged.
Gallina told North Canton Patch after today's meeting that he didn't actively seek the job opportunity at Aultman. He sits on the board for the Aultman Foundation as well as the McKinley Life Board of Directors and has heard from people in those circles, for the past three years, that he'd be a good fit for private-sector work.
"They said, 'Really, just do what you do, but we'd like you to come to the private sector,'" Gallina said.
AultCare formally offered the new position to him March 28.
"The hardest part for me is leaving the students, staff and families," Gallina said. "It's truly a love for me."
The new position requires Gallina to focus on group and staff development, host leadership seminars and participate in public speeches. The fact that it's "outreach" means he may find himself doing some of those things within the school district once again, depending on the opportunities, he said.
"I will stay in the community and be supportive of the community in any way I can."
Board members approved Gallina's resignation for retirement and said they will announce within the coming days a meeting with both the Stark County Educational Service Center, which would lead a search for free, and the Ohio School Board Association, which would conduct the search for a fee.
The board does not plan to appoint an interim superintendent.