CANTON: In a major shakeup Friday, the Canton City school board let go of McKinley High School’s principal, reassigned most of the deans of students hired last year and dismantled the district’s new Office of Health and Wellness.

The board also appointed Mallory Floyd as assistant superintendent, removing the interim label from her title beginning July 31.

The moves, which result in a loss of eight administrative positions, were approved with a 4-0 vote during a 7 a.m. special board meeting. Board member Mark Dillard was absent from the meeting.

Hill, who was hired last year as McKinley’s principal, and his attorney spoke to the board in a closed-door session for roughly 45 minutes before the board approved not renewing his contract. Hill declined to comment following the decision.

School parents Audi Everett and Jennifer Hug said they were disappointed and saddened to see Hill go. They were among the roughly dozen people who attended the meeting in support of Hill.

They said Hill was the most hands-on principal they have seen, noting how he attended nearly every school event, would show up at football practices and even rode the student spirit bus during the McKinley girls basketball team’s playoff run.

They said instead of simply demanding attendance and timeliness from students, he would sit with the students to figure out what was preventing them from meeting expectations.

“You are going to have a lot of disappointed kids,” said Everett, who has had three children in the school system. “All the kids I’ve talked to love him.”

Eric Resnick, vice president of the school board, said he appreciated the people who attended Friday as well as the emails, text messages and phone calls he received regarding Hill’s employment.

“It means that people are interested and people care and that people recognize that, for good, bad or indifferent, the way this district is organized that every single student in this district eventually ends up under the tutelage of the high school campus principal so it is a very important position,” Resnick said. “It’s important to get it right.”

Following the meeting, Resnick declined to elaborate on why Hill’s contract wasn’t renewed and deferred to interim Superintendent Barbara Maceyak, who could not be immediately reached for comment.

During the meeting, Maceyak said the reductions and reassignments of 10 administrators were due to the district’s budget and financial constraints. The changes, which eliminate the positions of deans of students and directors of instruction, essentially reverse the hirings and appointments made last summer that were meant to address issues related to learning climate, behavior and chronic absenteeism.

Maceyak said the district was able to reassign some administrators it planned to let go due to open positions in the district. Others chose to resign in lieu of being laid off.

The administrators who were reassigned include:

Russell Burt, dean of students at Lehman Middle School, who will become an assistant middle school principal next school year;

Matthew Chambers, dean of students at Hartford Middle School, who will become an assistant elementary principal;

Micki Krantz, director of instruction for grades 3-8, who will become an elementary school principal;

Loriann Nickels, school counselor and senior class adviser, who will become an assistant high school principal;

Isaiah Wyatt, dean of students at McKinley’s downtown campus, who will become an assistant high school principal;

Lance Thornton, dean of students at Crenshaw Middle School, who will return to teaching.

Willie Cook, dean of students at McKinley, Aretha Paydock, director of instruction for grades 9-12, and Sabrina Scott, director of the district’s Office of Health and Wellness, all resigned effective July 31.

The board also accepted the resignations of elementary school principal Aaron Bouie, adult nursing program coordinator Jill Nardo-Gilliland and teacher Drake Yost. The resignations are effective July 31.

Reach Kelli at 330-580-8339 or kelli.weir@cantonrep.com.

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