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Community Reacts to Michael Gallina's Retirement

Gallina, North Canton City School District superintendent, announced Monday he would retire from education for an opportunity with AultCare Health Services

When sophomore Mollie Wright first heard her school superintendent planned to leave the district, she was shocked.

"Oh my gosh. I'm going to cry," Wright said outside Memorial Stadium Monday afternoon.

She and a couple friends had just learned of for a positon as director of outreach and organizational development with the AultCare Health Network. Gallina made the announcement to his staff through an email Monday morning.

Friend also chimed in, saying Gallina always took the time to get to know North Canton students.

"You couldn't ask for a better guy," said Morris, also a sophomore. "The way he acts around us is really great. He doesn't just make you feel like a student in the school; he has a one-on-one relationship with you."

The girls talked about Gallina's efforts to make it to every important sports game, attend every seminar and make a lasting impression on students.

"In most school districts, people don't even know who their school superintendent is," senior Tess Johnson said. "But he made an effort to know everyone."

Kathy Yaros,  family and community director, said Gallina has "gathered so much momentum in this community" as he's participated in everything from the YMCA Board to with her.

"He's such an energizer for the community. It's a real loss to our community," Yaros said. "We certainly wish him well."

Gallina's decision to leave didn't come without a heavy heart. He wrote in his staff email Monday: 

As I will share in the upcoming days, it has been a tremendous honor to have humbly served WITH all of you in our wonderful school district.  NC is a VERY special place and it is because of all of you, our students, our families, our administrative team and board, and our community in general that has allowed us to be considered one of the best districts in the area, state, and nation!  As I reflect upon all of this, I become very emotional, given my relationship with all of you. I have been blessed beyond measure because of my friendships and relationships with all of you!

Gallina's goodbye comes at a turbulent time for North Canton City Schools. The district must transition into all-day, every-day kindergarten for the 2012-2013 school year, and Gallina has been instrumental in setting the district up for that transition.

The switch, referred to as the , means students in K-2 attend  and , and students in grades 3-5 attend  Intermediate School  Intermediate School. All four schools now are elementaries.

The North Canton School Board plans to launch a search for a new superintendent, North Neighbor News reported Monday. The district could look to the Stark County Educational Service Center to lead a search for free. Or it could pay the Ohio School Board Association, the newspaper reported. The Board must also decide if an interim superintendent should be appointed.

Gallina did not return a phone call from North Canton Patch inquiring about his new position Monday.

A special board of education meeting is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Thursday in the District Office. The sole agenda item is Gallina's resignation for the purpose of retirement.

Carrie Touchette April 03, 2012 at 01:12 PM
This community is going to miss him. As a parent and as a former educator, I've never seen a more-involved superintendent. Whoever takes over that position will have very big shoes to fill, indeed.
elbe April 03, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I would like to hear the replay of the statement to which you are referring to from WHBC - your comment is not a part of Mr. Gallina 's mindset to make a statement such as that........also, check your spelling!
Jeff W April 03, 2012 at 01:58 PM
There's good ole' clueless Jim who knows nothing about what it takes to run anything, especially his own household. Good luck Mike...thanks for all your hard work! Jim....get help.
Ann Marie April 03, 2012 at 02:15 PM
What about the all day kindergarten mess he created? Just goes to show you what he is all about--greed. There are many other people who could do his job just as well or better and maybe there is someone that could possible quit asking for levies and manage the taxpayers money better. I wish they would of left the elementary schools the way they were. Everything was working just fine.
GratefulNCMom April 03, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Some people (Ann Marie and Jim... cough cough) are so ignorant. Mike Gallina was a guiding force for North Canton schools and we were lucky to have him. The all-day kindergarten plan had to be put in place to move our school district forward and keep our kids in a learning environment conducive to our excellent school ratings. If you want to complain about your tax dollars being misspent, remember Mr. Gallina was not holding that checkbook alone as he is part of our SCHOOL BOARD. Mr. Gallina, we are saddened by your departure but thank you for the years you dedicated to our children, families and the NC community!
jim April 03, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Patch: Do you notice a pattern to the posting activity on your web site. Some one posts a comment on an article you publish and then people attack and insult the poster (they are ignorant, clueless, need help) just because they do not like his or her opinion. How about giving a judgment call on this behavior from the Patch publisher? Or please give your blessing to those who have been personally bashed to throw stones back at those posters who log on just to attack your readers.
GratefulNCMom April 03, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Jim: Why is it ok for you to bash someone with integrity and class but you can't take it when you and your unsupported, malicious opinions are challenged? Are you "telling the teacher" because it's not fair? Go ahead and throw your stones back if you feel you must but remember.... The Gallina supporters far outweigh the few "Jim's" out there.
Morgan Day (Editor) April 03, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I hope we can steer this conversation back to the actual story — that Gallina is leaving North Canton City Schools.
jim April 03, 2012 at 03:51 PM
gratefulncmom. A story was published on someone in the public sector, who takes the public stage any time they can, that makes policy’s affecting the public and I commented on the story. People like you can not stand for any one to not have your opinion so you bash others that do not share your opinion as ignorant, clueless ect. Thank you for showing how ignorant and clueless you are. I did ask for a judgement call from the editor to try to be fair to the publisher when people like you turn the forum into trash talking each other and leaving the story behind.
jim April 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Jeff W Get some help yourself Mr. know all see all. How the heck do you know what goes on in my household??? Are you staring in my windows now? Sick.
GratefulNCMom April 03, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Go ahead, Jim... You can have the last word ;)
jim April 03, 2012 at 05:02 PM
GratefulNCMom Thanks
GratefulNCMom April 03, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Hmmmmm.... Wonder why you deleted your original comment post, Jimbo?
Jeff W April 03, 2012 at 06:19 PM
GratefulNCMom..... Yah....he is like THAT. :-) The door swings both ways Jimmy boy.....and you post nothing but negative garbage on the Patch. Sure.....I GUESS it's your opinion, but it's always the most negative, anti-city, anti-school, anti-life stuff on here. I chastise myself for letting your constant negative monologue bug me. Morgan....consider me scolded! :-)
Holly Pierpont April 03, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I believe that Ann Marie did raise a valid point. Taking the emotion out of it, the fact remains that Mr. Gallina, as much as we all love him, made a huge landmark and controversial recommendation last year and is not going to be around see it through. We have now seen two of three administrators that pushed the UED, or ESP, last year, leave our district before it was implemented, and I think it's completely understandable that anyone would be worried about that. It does not take away the good person that he is, and the many good things he did for the district, to point out that valid concern. I think it's great to hear actual students know of him, and feel that attachment towards him. Morgan - hats off to the Patch on breaking this story yesterday like no other new source. You had more information than the Repository and others, much earlier in the game. That's what makes me come to the Patch for local school-related news.
keith price April 03, 2012 at 08:52 PM
If he's not leaving until June 30, then no need for an interim until then. I'd hope they could get someone selected and hired in a couple of months. Simply promoting someone from within the district should not be an option. NC can do better than that.
Morgan Day (Editor) April 03, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Jim, I deleted your latest comment because I viewed it as a personal attack.
Morgan Day (Editor) April 03, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Keith and Holly, thanks so much for the thoughtful comments. And Holly, that's a pretty valid point about the all-day, every-day kindergarten plan. I plan to ask Gallina some more about that at the special board meeting Thursday. And I really appreciate what you said about our school coverage. I have to credit our readers for keeping me in the loop this week. I'd really be in the dark without you guys sometimes. I truly appreciate every tip and story idea that comes through.
jim April 03, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Well Jeffry boy, once one more post from you that has nothing to do with the article. I wonder if you read the articles or just go to the comments to bash posters. With people like you it is one way, your way. I post positive as well as negative but intolerant people like you can not handle another point of view. If reading the posts bug you then take your advice and go out the door. Yeah, I posted that I am not a fan of Gallina's revenue raising philosophy/positions as well as how he viewed that taxpayer while he has been superintendant. He has a new lesson to learn when he gets to his new job as reported here. He will not be able to just bring more cash in by using guilt and twisting facts.
Ann Marie April 03, 2012 at 11:25 PM
GratefulNCMom North Cantons elementary schools were fine the way they were. There did not need to be any change. That is my opinion along with many others. All day kindergarten is nothing more than a free babysitting service at the taxpayers expense. I have a feeling there is not going to be enough money for these changes and guess what, another levy. And as our property taxes are raised I am seeing more and more forclosures. Some cannot afford any more. And no I am not ignorant. I just have common sense.
jim April 03, 2012 at 11:46 PM
OK, so NCMOM's comment "Some people (note she said people not opinions) (Ann Marie and Jim... cough cough) are so ignorant" isn't personally attacking??? Seemed like a personal attack to me........ This is why I asked you for your call at the time she posted it. I respect your decision that if someone makes a negative comment on a news article they are then open to the tangent of others simply bashing that poster they disagree with. I would have favored a policy where you are free to comment on the story (or public figures in it as long as you are not doing something like threatening them) but leaving the article to just trash the poster is tagged out.
GratefulNCMom April 04, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Ann Marie: Please accept my apology for the "ignorant" comment that I directed towards you earlier (it was actually my reaction to and was directed moreso towards "Jim"). Yes, there are many, many opinions about the upcoming changes to our school district and Mr. Gallina, given the position he was in, did (what I consider) the best that he could for the given situation. Personally, I don't blame him for wanting to leave. I wouldn't want to deal with what our school board has become and as 'truthfullyyours' commented, the "ugliness" that has taken over North Canton City Schools and our community. The reality is the changes ARE HAPPENING and everyone needs to accept that fact. It is unfortunate that the "ugliness" has trickled down to our children by them listening to all of the negativity from the parents unhappy with the transition (I have personally heard this). It is time to come together and make the best of the upcoming changes that Mr. Gallina has lead our school district to.
GratefulNCMom April 04, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Ann Marie: Your comments regarding our current school board members... I couldn't have said it better myself!
Diane April 04, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Last I checked, the taxpayers already spoke. Why would you continue the "ugliness" with such horrible remarks? Our elected board members will do a fine job of filling the role. I agree with Keith Price above: they should take their time and consider all possibilities.
Sarah April 04, 2012 at 01:14 PM
So sorry to see Mike go. I think he was an exceptionally good superintendent and took the time and effort to connect with people, which is so valuable. I wish the school board well in the process of finding another quality person for the position. I am sure it is not an easy job or that the process is taken lightly.
jim April 05, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Ann Marie has good common since and is far from ignorant. She makes several good points like the one about all day kindergarten is nothing more than a free babysitting service at the taxpayer’s expense, To keep up with the rest of the world our school systems need to add class hours to the 16 year olds not 5 year olds. She is right on about the tax situation in NC. Gallina’s dream was a blank check for the education system. I agree there is a correlation between the high property taxes and foreclosures in town. A couple grand for property taxes in NC for a modest sized home is the difference between a lot of people owning or renting.
Jeff W April 05, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Jim, One last time. Please do me a big favor and show where you have posted at least ONE positive comment. I know they seem positive to you, but not really to anyone else. Oh....and interesting that recently "Anna Marie" and you seem to agree on the same things. Coincidence........hmmmm.....same household.....hmmm....would be an interesting investigation.
Jeff W April 05, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Hey truth.......evidently you don't know Mike very well. Because your comment is all bullcrap. If you think he left because of any elected school board official, you really don't know the man. Having known him for over 18 years (before he ever came to NC), he would never succumb to any kind of "board pressure" (especially when it is allegedly only from two board members.) You are making a political statement against certain board members, and that has no bearing, or place, in this forum.
Ann Marie April 05, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Jeff W Just because someone agrees with someone else does not mean they live in the same household. Does that mean everyone posting on here that agrees that the all day kindergarten is a good idea all live in the same house? What about all the people that keep on voting yes for levies to up our property taxes? All live in the same house too? Let me quote someone from another paper--"The people who benefit the most from public education today are the adults employed by the school system." So the school system makes nothing but fools out of all of the taxpayers. People need to wake up.
jim April 06, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Jeff W Do me a big favor and back off. Look at the election results of these increase NC tax levys that have passed and there are hundreds to over a thousand people voting against them each time they appear on the ballot.Gallina was/is a strong advocate of high taxes, I strongly voiced my opinion, and predictably people like you attack people using free speach until my comment was taken down. I have no idea who Anna Marie is but I agree with her and believe many others agree with her. Your earlier comment about my household and your last one about wanting to investigate Anna and I are creepy.

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