Manion to serve as principal By APRIL HELMS Reporter Published: August 6, 2017 12:00 AM
When students at Tallmadge Middle School begin their new school year Aug. 16, they will have a new principal as well as new bell and bus schedules -- although the new school leader is someone they probably already know.
On July 19, the Tallmadge School Board approved a two-year contract with former assistant principal Jeff Manion, who became principal effective Aug. 1. His salary is $93,326 per year.
Board President Rick Kellar said that the board "unanimously supported" hiring Manion as the new middle school principal.
"We have great confidence he will do a great job as the new leader at the middle school," Kellar said.
The former principal, Rob Kearns, left to take a position with the Youngstown schools, Manion said.
Superintendent Jeff Ferguson said he was happy that Kearns was about to take advantage of an opportunity "closer to home."
"We would like to thank Rob for his service," Ferguson said.
Manion said that he and his wife, who teaches at North Canton schools, moved to Brimfield two years ago from Uniontown and have three school-aged children, two sons and a daughter. They attend the Tallmadge schools, he said.
All of his 15-year teaching career has been with Tallmadge Schools, Manion said, starting out as a substitute teacher. The door opened up for him when he was called to teach French and Spanish for two weeks after the regular teacher contracted mononucleosis.
"By the way, I have no idea how to teach either one," Manion said, and he laughed. "But someone must have been impressed because when a position became available, they asked me."
Manion said that he taught at all of the buildings at one point or another as a physical education teacher. Five years ago, he was moved to the middle school, 4 1/2 of those years as the assistant principal. Previously, he spent 10 years at Munroe Elementary, "teaching a variety of grades."
Manion said he looked forward to working with the staff and students in his new position in the upcoming year.
"I think my staff would tell you that here at the middle school, you have to be flexible," Manion said. "You are dealing with middle school students and you have to be flexible with this age group."
However, Manion said the school has "a fantastic staff," which takes a student-centered approach.
"They make my job a lot easier," Manion said.
Ferguson said he was pleased to see Manion take the principal's seat.
"He started as a teacher and has worked in many positions," Ferguson said. "I think it will be a smooth transition."
New schedules for buses and bells
The daily bell and bus schedule for Tallmadge Middle School has changed with the 2017-18 school year. The schedule will begin 10 minutes earlier than last year's schedule. Additionally, the high school and middle school bus routes will be separated so that each building will have its own route.
With the new schedule, buses will drop off middle school students starting at 7:05 a.m. All students must be on campus by 7:25 a.m. to avoid being tardy. At the end of the school day, buses will leave by 2:30 p.m. and all students must be off campus by 2:35 p.m., unless they are involved in an after-school activity.
"The decision to adjust the schedule and separate the bus routes was made to alleviate traffic, increase student safety and save time across the district," Ferguson said. "We are happy to report that the new schedule does not require any additional buses and will even save time on some bus routes."
Historically, the district ran high school and middle school bus routes together. In the morning, buses would drop students off at the high school, then drop the remaining students off at the middle school. After school, buses would pick up high school students first, then travel to the middle school. Some high school students would then transfer to a different bus to get home. The middle school also experienced increased congestion due to buses, parents picking up students and high school athletes gathering for practices during the after-school timeframe.
"We are confident that separating the bus routes will help reduce congestion before and after school, as well as improve safety for our students, their families and our staff members," Ferguson said. "Additionally, we will be breaking ground for new building construction this fall, reducing the amount of space at the middle school. This new schedule will be beneficial during this process as well."
The middle school bell schedule will coincide with the high school schedule. To view the full middle school bell schedule, visit: http://www.tallmadgeschools.org/TMSBellSchedule.aspx.
Aug. 10, there will be an ice cream social for sixth-graders from 6-7:30 p.m. Open House for seventh and eighth grades will be Aug. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m.
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