NASHVILLE -- A quartet of kindergartners addressed the West Holmes School Board at its monthly meeting, sharing essays about who they are and what they want to be when they grow up.
"Here at Nashville we talk about leading and learning every day," Nashville Principal Brian Zimmerly said. "A few weeks ago, Mrs. (Julie) Dial and Mrs. (Natalie) Eichelberger asked me if they could have some students read something they have been working on in class at this month's board meeting."
Logan Allison and Kaydan Martin, students in Dial's kindergarten class at Nashville Elementary, read their essays about what they want to be when they grow up. Martin wants to be a construction worker and Allison a sheriff's deputy, both picking the careers of their fathers.
"We chose two very shy boys from the class, but they did very well," Dial said.
Jocelyn Jones and Kaitlynn Kaufman of Eichelberger's class at Nashville read their essays about who they are.
"I have long hair. I am 6 years old. I have four pets, one cat and three dogs that live with me. My mom and dad love me. I go for walks with my sister. I like to ride my bike. What do you like to do?" Jones read.
Zimmerly said this is a little glimpse of what goes on daily at Nashville.
Superintendent Bill Sterling said that coming after the children was a tough act to follow.
"I feel like small potatoes anyhow, because the next guy I'm going to recognize was recently recognized in front of 20,000 people at the state wrestling tournament," Sterling said, asking Jeff Woods to come forward.
"We've been doing a lot of interviews and I released Mr. (Aaron) Kaufman and Mr. (Tyler) Renner from tonight's meeting, and Mr. Woods has put in a lot of hours as well, but we'll release him another time," Sterling said. "This is a gentleman who for 26 years has dedicated his life to this district, to our kids, so they would have opportunities they normally wouldn't have had.
"He's opened up his home to kids, driven people everywhere, not just for wrestling tournaments, but for things they needed in everyday life," the superintendent continued. "He's connected with kids and he's made a difference."
Sterling noted how difficult it is to be both a building administrator and coach, but Woods has done so successfully for the past eight years.
"One job wears on you. I don't know how he's done both," Sterling said. "But he's done it well. His goal was to leave things in good shape when he left and we have a whole crew of young, excellent coaches that he's leaving to take over the program. I just wanted to recognize Jeff for everything he's done."
Woods was inducted into the Ohio High School Coaches Hall of Fame at the recent state wrestling tournament.
Sterling then had the newly hired teachers introduce themselves.
Zach Golec will be teaching fourth and fifth grade at Clark; Andrea Anderson will be teaching Spanish at West Holmes High School; Hannah Frank will be teaching language arts at Millersburg Elementary; and Zach Gardner will be the new West Holmes football coach and social studies teacher.
"The amount of commitment we're getting from the kids is exceptional," Gardner said. "We've got between 35 and 40 kids for our spring lifting program, and we're making major gains in the weight room. Something special is happening."
Anderson and Frank are products of West Holmes High School.
Other new hires who were not at the meeting included Preston Goodie, high school science, and Tes Kinsey, family and consumer sciences.
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.