New Superintendent Gets to Know Board
Board tells stories of their connection to Mayfield City Schools
If Mayfield City Schools is looking for a theme upon which to base a high school musical, they could do no worse than looking towards Tuesday’s special school board meeting for inspiration.
New Superintendent Dr. Keith Kelly met with all five board members in a “Getting to Know You” session to learn more about the people with whom he will collaborate as a new era begins in the district.
No one sung any bars of that famous chorus from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I,” but the communal atmosphere was certainly there for anyone desiring to shatter a glass or two in high tune.
Remembrances of the past and notions of the school district’s future were exchanged warmly between them at the SOM Center Rd. administrative offices, but it was the board members’ sentiments about their connections to the district and each other that transcended discussions of policy.
Board president Sue Groszek tasked her fellow members about a month ago to put together a biographical sketch that discussed their connection with the district and their hopes and fears about its direction.
Each member had a chance to tell anecdotal stores about themselves which left Kelly more enlightened about his fellow school officials.
“I heard the depth of their leadership and the depth of passion and knowledge they have for the school district,” Kelly said. “It gave me a scope of where we want to be and what we want to do for the school district and the community.”
Here are some of the evening tidbits:
Groszek joined the board at the same time as Al Hess 12½ years ago and expressed her appreciation for the friendship she’s had with current board vice president George Hughes.
While people often think of her as a Mayfield native, she actually grew up in Shaker Heights. She lived on Lyman Blvd. which is essentially on the border between Beachwood and Shaker Heights.
As a youth, she climbed a willow tree at her home, peered out to see the former Beachwood Board of Education building and had a thought.
“I want to work there someday,” Groszek, 56, said.
And sure enough, she did after earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and the education of the hearing impaired and deaf at Michigan State University in 1979.
Carlson graduated from Mayfield High School in 2004 and will teach math at University School in the fall. He has a bachelor’s in math from Case Western and a master’s in library science and information from Kent State and will hopefully acquire a master’s in education in the near future.
“I’m a very analytical person. That’s what I bring to the board, along with my youth,” Carlson said.
Despite his academic credentials, he expressed a desire to adjust certain teaching methods that he believes aren’t effective teaching methods.
"Nobody learns from somebody lecturing for an hour,” Carlson said.
Glynos, 36, graduated from Mayfield High School in 1996 and has worked for Highland Heights as its main mechanic for the last 6½ years. He was three children, aged 1, 2 and 4 at Center Elementary School and two other very young children, one a baby.
Glynos, who bounced around between various school districts in the area throughout his youth, felt his educational experience began to blossom upon entering Mayfield High School.
“I know what the school did for me, and I want that same thing for my kids,” Glynos said.
Hess graduated from Mayfield High School in 1972 and was a member of Millridge Elementary School’s very first, first-grade class. Hess has served on the board for 12½ years and has been Highland Heights assistant service director for the last five years.
Hess, 58, just celebrated his birthday Saturday but decided to visit legendary Maple Heights coach Mike Milkovich. Hess, who wrestled for the Wildcats and was a member of John Carroll’s 1975 national championship team, had many battles against Milkovich’s teams.
“I said, ‘today’s my birthday, but I’m here for you,’ ” he said to Milkovich who let out a few tears upon hearing the sentiment.
Hess’ favorite wrestling move: Fireman’s carry.
Hughes, 78, came to Ohio from New Orleans where he was raised and where he served on the police force for 16 years before coming to Gates Mills to become its police chief from 1973 to 1997. All agreed that Hess summed up much of the night’s sentiments.
“I want what’s best for the kids overall. I’ve been on the board for 15 years, and I really believe I’ve participated in positive change in the district … I want to see the excellence of the district to remain.”