The Inaugural Class of 2019 and the Class of 2021 were inducted on Thursday, September 30 at the Hall of Distinction Recognition dinner and program held at Canton South High School.
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
Charles Red Ash
A Canton South High School teacher, Red 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. Read full introduction
First Lieutenant Sharon Lane, RN
A Canton South 1961 graduate, Sharon graduated from the Aultman Hospital School of Nursing before joining the U.S. Army Nurse Corps Reserve. She was the only American nurse killed as a direct result of hostile fire in Vietnam. Read full introduction
Louis “Lou” Mikunda
A Canton South 1943 graduate, Lou was a beloved CSHS Booster Club member, basketball scorekeeper, football equipment manager, baseball field groundskeeper, team bus driver and Kiwanis summer baseball team coach. Read full introduction
Dr. Harold Walker
Dr. 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. Read full introduction
Class of 2021
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. Read full introduction
Barbara (Ferren) Cush
A 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 member and treasurer of the Canton South Athletic Booster Club. Read full introduction
A Canton South 1946 graduate, 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. Read full introduction
Dr. Rosemary Johnson
Dr. Johnson joined Canton Local in 1974 as the Director of Confluent Education. In 1977, she became the Director of Human Relations. In 1980, she was named principal of Trump Elementary School, and in 1984 was named Faircrest Memorial Junior High Assistant Principal. Dr. Johnson was named superintendent in 1986, becoming the first female superintendent of Canton Local Schools. She was the second African-American woman in Ohio to be appointed superintendent of a school district. Read full introduction
Dr. David King
A 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. Read full introduction
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. Read full introduction
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. Read full introduction
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.
A. Nominations and supporting material must be in writing to the Canton South Alumni and Friends Foundation.
Application packets are available at Canton Local Administration Building and online at cantonlocal.org.
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 April 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 (website link)
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 DiPietro ('69)
Secretary, Mike Abbott ('89)
Ray Hexamer ('79)
Don Noll ('64)
Matt Trissel ('09) (Alumni Association)
Superintendent Brett Yeagley
CSHS Principal Jeff Moore
Director of Operations Chris Noll ('93)
Lucas Murray ('07), Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC
Communications Specialist Karen Vrabec