Manchester School Board honors outgoing board members and staff

Football coach James France is recognized by board member Richard Sponseller. Photo by: Eric Poston

Several staff members and two outgoing school board members were honored recently by the Manchester Local Board of Education.

During the Dec. 19 school board meeting, the board honored outgoing board members Kelly Dolan and Randy Hoppe. The board also recognized Gwendolyn Lenart for her service to the bus garage and James France, for his success as football coach.

Lenart served as a bus driver for three years before becoming bus coordinator and serving in that position for 20 years. The board and Superintendent James Robinson thanked her for her dedication and hard work. Lenart said her husband brought her into Manchester 33 years ago and they raised four kids in the community. She said she started out part-time driving bus before she would later on move into the coordinator position. The switch in position was hard because she said she missed the children. Board member Richard Sponseller said she never seen Lenart not smile.

France was also recognized for breaking the all-time state wins record on Oct. 27 when he won his 382 game as head football coach. He has been with the program for 46 years.

“Your winning record speaks for itself,” Sponseller said. “You were also a father figure to many players.”

France said he has been blessed with good health and very good players. He hopes to coach another five or six years.

Robinson also thanked Dolan and Hoppe for their service on the board and always putting children first. Sponseller said they both had a huge impact on the district.

Dolan said it was a great pleasure and honor to serve on the board and to help assist in hiring a superintendent. Hoppe said he always wanted to focus on safety for the staff and students.

In other business Dec. 19, the board:

– Heard from Robinson about Spring Hills Golf Course, which doesn’t charge Manchester’s golf team to use the course. It also allow players to practice during the summer and he said the district is grateful for this. He also thanked the city of Green for allowing the tennis team to use Boettler Park, since the district doesn’t have tennis courts.

– Heard a performance from the Manchester High School Singers.

– Approved for the board to support Public Education Week Jan. 21-27.

– Approved for a joint agreement appointing the Business Council of the Educational Service Center to serve as the Business Advisory Council for the district.

– Approved the 2018-19 school calendar. Robinson said the schedule matches neighboring districts Green, Coventry and Springfield, which will be more effective when it comes to busing students who attend the Portage Lakes Career Center. The first day for students is Aug. 21 and the last day of school will be May 30.

– Accepted $300 from Panther Paws, $50 from Grace Bible Church, $500 from Akron Council ACESS, $350 from the Middle School PTA, $150 from the Retired Officer Association Ohio Western Reserve Chapter and $50 from RAAB Enterprises Inc.

The next Manchester Schools board meeting is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Administration Building 6075 Manchester Road.


This story was also published in The Suburbanite.