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Canton South Hall of Distinction

Last Updated: 9/9/2021 11:43 AM

Second Hall of Distinction Class Announced

The Canton South Alumni and Friends Foundation is proud to announce the inductees of the Hall of Distinction Class of 2021: Jim Abbott, Barb Cush, William Hayden, Dr. Rosemary Johnson, Dr. David King, Amos and Ida McDannel.

second class of inductees

The inaugural class of Charles “Red” Ash, Sharon Lane, Louis “Lou” Mikunda and Dr. Walker, as well as members of the Class of 2021, will be celebrated at the Hall of Distinction Recognition dinner on Thursday, September 30, 2021, at Canton South High School.
   • 6:00 p.m. Dinner  - $45 - Meal includes salad, lemon chicken, pasta and peppers.
      Vegetarian option available
   • 7:00 p.m. Program - No cost to attend the recognition program
   • Those interested can RSVP 

Inductees in the Hall of Distinction must demonstrate an outstanding record of achievement spanning their professional career, distinguished service to their community, or sustained activities that show an exceptionally strong commitment to the Canton Local community and must be of the highest integrity. Honorees do not need to be alumni of Canton South High School. 

The 2019 Inaugural Hall of Distinction Class 

Red ash Charles “Red” Ash: Canton South High School teacher and coached football, basketball and baseball. During his 37-year tenure he was one of Stark County’s winningest coaches and was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. After retiring from education, he was elected and served in the Ohio General Assembly. 
sharon lane First Lieutenant Sharon Lane, RN: Canton South graduate 1961. Graduated from the Aultman Hospital School of Nursing before joining the U.S. Army Nurse Corps Reserve. Only American nurse killed as a direct result of hostile fire in Vietnam. 
mikunda Louis “Lou” Mikunda: Canton South graduate 1943. Beloved CSHS Booster Club member, basketball score keeper, football equipment manager, baseball field groundskeeper, team bus driver and Kiwanis summer baseball team coach. 
walker Dr. H. R. Walker: Began his teaching career in 1953 at Canton South High School. After two years, he was appointed principal of Amos McDannel Elementary School. At the age of 30, Dr. Walker was named Superintendent. Through his insight, determination and untiring efforts, he brought community-centered and child-centered education to the district.
Class of 2021  
abbott Jim Abbott: A journeyman electrician, Mr. Abbott founded Abbott Electric in 1978. He and his wife have lived in Canton South for over 50 years and, along with their family, are tireless volunteers and generous supporters of the Canton Local School District and community. In 1985, Mr. Abbott and Ralph Martinelli established the Wildcat fund, preserving athletic programs and offerings for students during a difficult financial time.
cush Barbara (Ferren) Cush: Canton South 1953 graduate. Mrs. Cush served as secretary to the principal and guidance department at Canton South High School and Walker Elementary School. She was inducted into the Canton South Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015, a tribute to her dedication and years of service as a member and treasurer of the Canton South Athletic Booster Club. William Hayden: Canton South 1946 graduate.
bill hayden Mr. Hayden was a Korean War veteran serving as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He started his teaching career in Canton Local in 1955 becoming a principal in 1959. He was named superintendent in 1964, a position he held for 23 years. Mr. Hayden was honored as “Ohio Superintendent of the Year” in 1978. The Hayden Career Technical Annex was dedicated in his honor.
Johnson Dr. Rosemary Johnson: Trump Elementary school principal from 1980-1984. Dr. Johnson was named superintendent in 1986, becoming the first female superintendent of Canton Local and in Stark County. Dr. Johnson was a highly respected educator and strong advocate for students of all abilities
king Dr. David King: Canton South 1979 graduate. Dr. King graduated with honors with a Doctor of Optometry Degree from The Ohio State University. He opened King Eye Center in 1987 in China Grove, North Carolina. Dr. King has volunteered for decades providing free eye care to those in need through community clinics, at state prisons and through mission trips to Guatemala. Dr. King has also displayed a strong commitment to the growth and development of his local community through his service to the local board of health and other organizations aimed at helping underserved populations.
amos Amos McDannel: Amos McDannel, served as a teacher and principal in the Canton Local School District for 48 years. In 1955 the district named an elementary school in his honor. Mr. McDannel was recognized for his loyalty to his fellow man and God, which was exemplified by his concern and compassion for children. 
ida Ida McDannel: Known as the “first lady of Canton Local Schools.” Mrs. McDannel shared her husband’s passion for education, serving on PTAs and planning events for children and families. The beloved couple made it their life-long practice to help young people obtain an education and become successful in their chosen careers.




Links and Resources

The Canton South Hall of Distinction is designed to recognize Canton South Alumni and other individuals who have distinguished themselves and have exemplified the education and moral values that are respected by their community and school system. 

To be considered for this honor, nominees must meet the eligibility requirements as defined by the Canton South Alumni and Friends Foundation. Those selected into the Hall of Distinction will be memorialized with a permanent likeness and inscriptions at Canton South High School. Those receiving recognition are strongly encouraged to attend all recognition events. 

Application Guidelines

A. Nominations and supporting material must be in writing to the Canton South Alumni and Friends Foundation. 

  1. Application packets are available at Canton Local Administration Building and online at
  2. If you are unable to pick up a packet or access online, call 330-484-8019 and one will be mailed to you. 

B. To qualify for induction in a particular year, nominations must be received by June 30. 

C. A selection committee made up of members of the Canton South Alumni and Friends Foundation shall review applications and make a final decision.

D. All persons making nominations will be informed of the final selections.


Canton South Alumni and Friends Foundation
The purpose of the Canton South Alumni and Friends Foundation is to promote, sponsor and encourage the pursuit of excellence for all students attending school in the Canton Local School District and to recognize Canton South alumni and other individuals who have distinguished themselves and exemplified the education and moral values that are respected by their community and school system through the Canton South Hall of Distinction.  

The following have been appointed as officers and members of the Foundation:
President, Teresa Purses (former CLSD superintendent)
Vice President, Scott Hamilton ('80)
Treasurer, Bruce DePietro ('69)
Secretary, Mike Abbott ('89)

Voting Members:
Ray Hexamer ('79)
Don Noll ('64)
Matt Trissel ('09) (Alumni Association)

Ex-officio Members:
Superintendent Brett Yeagley
CSHS Principal Jeff Moore
Director of Operations Chris Noll ('93)
Lucas Murray ('07), Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC
Communications Specialist Karen Vrabec