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Former superintendent Dunn dies

By John Published: July 2, 2010

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Rootstown school board President Robert C. Dunn has died at age 82 after serving more than a half century in education.

Mr. Dunn, a teacher, coach, school board member and superintendent of four area districts, died Wednesday at Robinson Memorial Hospital.

His career in education began and ended in Rootstown, which twice elected him Citizen of the Year.

A graduate of Rootstown High School and the University of Akron, he started with the Rootstown system as a teacher in 1956. He was a championship-winning football coach and high school principal.

He spent most of his early career in Rootstown, except for two years in the mid-1960s, when he was superintendent of Atwater schools and then co-superintendent of the new Waterloo district, created by the merger of Randolph and Atwater schools.

In 1970 while pursuing a master's degree at Kent State University, he became Rootstown's superintendent when the board fired his predecessor without explanation.

His career took him to Summit County, when Green named him superintendent in 1976 and then to Stow in 1983.

He oversaw the construction of a new high school, which did not sit well with some people in the Stow community and was the focus of criticism in letters to the editor and comments at public meetings.

He told the Akron Beacon Journal in 1987 that he never understood the complaints about the new school.

'''I was flabbergasted at the reaction of some people,'' he said to a reporter. ''Here they seem to say it's too good for us. . . . Why don't the kids here have something as good as kids in Kent and other places?''

Fearing a levy would fail because of his unpopularity, he announced his resignation at the end of the 1987-88 school year. The levy passed.

Mr. Dunn, already a member of the Rootstown school board when he resigned from Stow, served through 1993. He also served on the board of Maplewood Joint Vocational School in Portage County.

In 2005, he again was elected to the Rootstown board. His term expires in 2013.

Mr. Dunn, a former chairman of the Portage County Republican Party, was a charter member of the Rootstown Lions Club and received an award for 50 years of perfect attendance.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Wood-Kortright-Borkoski Funeral Home, 703 E. Main St., Ravenna. A Lions service will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

Friends also will be received on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. service at First Congregational Church of Rootstown, UCC, 4022 State Route 44.

John Higgins can be reached at 330-996-3792 or Read the education blog at



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