Head principal Douglas McGlynn is retiring at the conclusion of the 2013 school year, leaving the school in need of a new head principal. After his retirement McGlynn will be working another job as the principal at Berlin Center, grades 6-12. “It’s a good opportunity for the next stage of my career,” he said.
For the past 23 years, McGlynn has been the head principal here at Austintown Fitch High School. Attending Fitch, McGlynn first worked in a produce warehouse for 14 years through high school and college earning extra money. Inspired by his father-in-law, he began teaching in 1981, first at West Branch where he worked for seven years, as a history teacher as well as football, basketball, and baseball coach. From there he moved into what would become a long career as a principal, beginning with Tuscarawas Valley for two years, and then Fitch from 1990 until the present.
Being the principal of AFHS is something that McGlynn has enjoyed doing, “You can reach out and touch so many different people at so many different times in so many different venues,” he explained. Being able to see students and parents throughout the community has been great interaction, according to McGlynn.
Many teachers and students say farewell to their principal with heavy hearts. Fellow principal Mr. Roger Day explained that working with McGlynn for the past 13 years has been amazing, “He’s a good man, with a big heart,” he went on, “It’ll be very difficult to replace him. He’ll be missed by more people than he realizes.”
Other teachers in the building have mutual feelings about the retirement. English teacher Mrs. Jennifer Leugers stated that working with McGlynn is the “perfect working condition.” She explained that, “He is approachable, understandable, cooperative, inviting, there’s no intimidation there.” Senior cookouts are a memorable experience with McGlynn for the teacher, revealing that “he’s always my date. I’m the line cook and he’s the chef. I can always count on him.” After McGlynn leaves, Leugers says that, “our loss is their gain. He’s a fantastic principal.”
Math teacher Mr. Joe Carcelli was hired by McGlynn 18 years ago, also acting as his freshman dean at the time. “We did a lot of cool fundraisers outside of school and became very close friends,” Carcelli claimed. After McGlynn made the move to head principal, Carcelli moved with him becoming the senior dean. “I’ve been with him ever since,” he said, “best boss I’ve ever had hands down.” Wishing him the best and believing he will truly be missed, Carcelli said of McGlynn, “Good luck in the future. If anyone deserves good fortune and good success, it’s him. He does a great job, he’s a wonderful principal and they’re very lucky to get him and we’re very unlucky to lose them. I just wish him the best.”
After a long career as head principal, it is evident that McGlynn’s legacy as a great administrator will live on for years to come. McGlynn will miss the people and kids of this school, “They’re great. There’s no one better,” he concluded. He leaves the students with these words of advice, “Live life to the fullest. Always reach out for your dreams because if you don’t make an effort, you’ll never know if you can get there.” It’s sad to lose another member of the Falcon family; however, the family trusts that he will be leaving Fitch in capable hands.
The Talon staff would like to extend its congratulations and well wishes for the next step in your life. You made Fitch a Falcon Family, and we will try to let that legacy continue. Thank you for everything you have done for us.