By the end of the 2022 school year, six staff members will be retiring from their positions at Wadsworth High School.
BY LILY LOVE
John Burton, a former WHS Biology teacher who has coached Cross Country and Track for the past 28, is officially resigning from the position this year.
Burton’s love for these sports started when he initially participated in both of them during high school. He wanted to become a coach in order to continue his involvement with the sports.
In terms of where he has coached, Burton spent all of his coaching years at Wadsworth High School.
There are many different things that Burton believes make track fun to coach and participate in. There are multiple events in this sport, making for more diverse student abilities to be shown.
“Track is a multi-tasking, multivariate sport in terms of the different events that are there,” Burton said.
Over the course of time that he has coached, Burton has been able to create relationships with the students involved in track, as well as the other event coaches. To him, this is one of the things that makes the track so enjoyable.
“During the years that I’ve coached track, I’ve gotten to form a lot of different close relationships with the students who I have coached. Just to have the opportunity to form some meaningful relationships, and see them be successful. It’s fun.”
One of the goals of every sport is to do the best that they can do every time. During the 2020 and 2021 seasons the team placed 10th in states, and over the past five years, different groups of athletes have made it to state competitions. To the team, this was one of the best accomplishments they have experienced in their many seasons.
“That’s probably the most fun and exciting thing. It was a great accomplishment for the kids that were in the group and got to compete. It’s fun to be together as a team and to get there is a lot of fun.” Said Burton.
How each athlete places during their season are important to the team and the coaches, but Burton feels that as long as the students have fun in their event and always do their best, then any level of competition is rewarding.
“Getting to state, and any of the levels of competition I’ve coached has been awesome.”
Overall, coaching at Wadsworth High School has been a highlight in Burton’s career.
BY BRI PERKINS
Mr. Rich Barnett, a Media Communications teacher at Wadsworth High School, prepares for retirement this year after his 23rd year of teaching. After teaching through the Four Cities Compact, Barnett has impacted many junior and senior students in Wadsworth, Barberton, Copley, and Norton.
While getting his master’s degree, Barnett worked part-time at the University of Akron which is where he found his love for teaching. Barnett came from a non-traditional teaching background as he worked in Akron and Cleveland broadcasting, both radio and television, prior to getting involved with full-time teaching. After doing an interview with former Superintendent, Chuck Parsons, Barnett discovered the Media Communications job position at WHS and jumped on the opportunity. He enjoys seeing his students succeed and participating in the creation of the minds of the future.
“Seeing students who’ve walked step-by-step through the process of learning a technique begin to apply that technique to their class projects with a sense of accomplishment and joy,’’ Barnett said.
After being hired, Barnett has influenced many students and colleagues around him. A former student who is now studying video production at Kent State, Micah Beck, elaborated on how Barnett gave him a jump start in some of his current classes through Media Communications.
“He had all sorts of wacky creative ideas, which really helped us develop creatively and come up with some amazing content,’’ Beck said.
Barnett’s love for his students and the material he teaches shines through in his persona as a teacher and impacts many students. As a teacher, you can tell he loves his job and his students are definitely going to have a hard time with his lack of presence. Not only did he teach his requirement, but he also promoted group work and class bonding, giving students more opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.
“He even did things to encourage our bonding; before class every day he would have us all chant ‘Excursion into Excellence’, just to get the energy flowing,” Beck said. “That was definitely something I know all of the students enjoyed doing, and we all tried to be as loud as possible while doing it because it was so fun and one of the most memorable things about that class.”
This is just one of the many moments that remains special to Beck from Barnett’s class. Not only did students look up to him, but even his boss, Roger Wright, the director of the Four Cities Compact, had no negative things to say about Barnett. Barnett was a big asset to the Compact and Wright believes he is going to be a hard man to replace in the compact.
“He loved nothing better than to see his former students going out into the field to accomplish great things,” Said Wright.
Wright highlights Barnett’s many accomplishments from teaching, to the department chair, to even just supporting after-school programs.
As he looks back, Barnett says he is going to miss his students the most.
“I will miss the students, their enthusiasm, creativity, and sense of adventure. It truly has kept me young!” Barnett said.
Barnett is not only a teacher but also a lively person outside of the classroom. He is looking forward to his newfound go-with-the-flow lifestyle and is taking retirement one step at a time. He hopes to stay involved with WHS in his retirement but is still pondering potential other plans. The Four Cities Compact program is currently looking for another teacher to fill Barnett’s role.
BY JADE WILCOX
Ms. Rhonda Clem has spent her years at Wadsworth High School working with students as a teacher’s aid. She says that students who interact with her often have trouble listening and paying attention at first, but they always come through in the end. Clem said that having fun in school is the most important thing in obtaining an education. This is probably the reason why the quote she is most known for is, “It is what it is, just be happy.”
Clem enjoys hanging out with anybody close to her, and she loves having fun whenever she can. The greatest people she is worked with her teaching career are Mrs. Baxley, Mrs. Beavers, Mrs. Dobbins, and Mrs. Lamonica. She is very close with these teachers and enjoys spending time with them. She hangs out with them both during school and outside of school by attending concerts and going swimming together.
Clem’s favorite moments of her teaching career were not only the times spent with her students, but also teaching in the same buildings as her own children. While her kids were going through the school system, she got to be instructing students while watching her children grow throughout their education. It made her very happy when they all got to watch the school’s “12 Days of Christmas” performance together, as well as be near each other during school assemblies. Clem intends to visit her mother in California after retirement, and pursue her love for travel. Since she is retiring, she should now have the time to do all the things she has not had the time to do and be able to thoroughly enjoy it.
BY LILY LOVE
Among these retiring staff members is former Head of Attendance offices Mr. Kirk Kresowaty. Kresowaty has worked in the offices throughout the Wadsworth City School District for the past 33 years.
Kresowaty will be retiring at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Kresowaty started his job with the Wadsworth City Schools District as Head of Attendance, working with all grade levels, as well as the different school buildings.
“The job details have not changed over time, but the way the job is done is the part that changed,” Kresowaty said. “This job has also been one that technology has helped to improve and make easier.”
Kresowaty’s job entails different things in the different buildings throughout the district. Though the job is spread out, Kresowaty says that most of the work is done from high school.
“My office is here at the High School and everything has always been here pretty much,” Kresowaty said.
“It’s overseeing the attendance for the school system, and as other schools needed I would help with the attendance there,” Kresowaty said. “It’s just maintaining the attendance for each student, and making sure everything is done correctly,” Kresowaty said.
Kresowaty believes his job choice to be unique.
“I had a photography business in the ’80s, where I did photography, mainly for school sports. So,
I already had some contacts and connections with various school districts in the area. Through the business, then I was able to get a job coaching football at one of the local high schools,” Kresowaty said. “After coaching, I was able to hear about an opening attendance officer at the high school, and I’ve worked here ever since,” Kresowaty said.
Kresowaty says he does not have one because there is always something that makes each day unique. Kresowaty does, however, feel like the job he has not only impacts him but it impacts the kids that he works with as well.
“It’s hard to find anyone thing, but the biggest joy and the biggest part I’ll always remember is just working with the kids.”
An additional principal will be added to the school system next year, replacing Kresowaty’s current position.
BY JADE WILCOX
Mr. John Thompson began teaching 35 years ago. He spent 13 of those years supervising and instructing for his Industrial Arts class, and the rest teaching math to students.
He also used to be a football and track coach, so he got to meet all sorts of people in his career. Thompson says that his teaching career has been a blur and he hasn’t had many bad days-if at all.
Mr. Thompson thoroughly enjoys traveling, going outside, playing guitar, and golfing. He fully intends to do more of these things after he retires. Mr. Thompson also wants to learn another language besides the Spanish he had already learned when he was in school. He believes that retirement is a time to relax and slow down. He also believes that retirement is a time to do the things that he has always wanted to do, instead of keeping busy with another job.
Mr. Thompson wants to travel to Disney World when he leaves and says that his favorite Disney villain is Cruella DeVil.
Mr. Thompson also enjoys seeing new teachers that used to be students come teach at the school. Mr. Thompson enjoys joking around with his students while watching them grow and learn.
Thompson wants WHS to know that he has enjoyed sharing his life with everyone.
BY ALEX BANKS
After six years of working at Wadsworth High School as an Attendance Clerk, Mrs. Kandy Wallet is planning her retirement and will be leaving at the end of the 2021 – 2022 school year.
“I keep track of who is absent for the day and I also keep track of who is signed in and out of school,” Wallet said.
Wallet works with all four grade levels of high school students. While working, she can usually be found at the attendance desk in front of the school. She began this job at Wadsworth High School in 2016.
“I first started working as a substitute for the school and I had also worked as a study hall monitor,” Wallet said. “Then, I saw that the attendance clerk position had become available and I took it, and I have been doing it for a while now.”
Although she does not think she has worked at Wadsworth High School long enough to have one specific favorite memory, she says that she enjoys getting to see and work with different students every day.
Once she retires, she is hoping to go hiking in a mountain range located in the southeastern part of the United States, the Smoky Mountains. She is also looking forward to spending more time with her family and having the opportunity to watch her granddaughters grow up.
“When I am outside of school, I really enjoy watching and spending time with my granddaughters,” Wallet said.
She has three granddaughters, with the youngest one being two years old and the oldest one being eleven years old.