NILES Retired principal gets honor

Board members forgave about $20,000 in delinquent taxes for the library board.
NILES -- City school board members are honoring a retired principal and teacher by appointing him an elementary principal emeritus.
Louie Tabor Sr. was the school district's first black teacher and also served as principal of two of its elementary schools. Tabor also is active in several educational, civic and social organizations. He has served as a volunteer reading tutor for Niles pupils.
"Mr. Tabor was my fifth-grade teacher and I was a teacher in the first building he was principal, and I was his first principal candidate," Catherine Joseph, supervisor of pupil services and special education, said at a board meeting Thursday in presenting the title to Tabor.
She described Tabor as the district's Renaissance man -- a poet, painter, a gentleman and a scholar.
"I'm short of words," was Tabor's only response.
The resolution calls Tabor a role model for pupils, staff members and parents of the schools through many years.
"This is something the board of education has never done before -- I checked the archives," said Superintendent Patrick Guliano. "Your name will be on the letterhead and on the door at the board's administrative offices and you'll do what you've been doing, advising and helping all of us."
Taxes waived: The board also approved a resolution waiving about $20,000 in delinquent taxes on the former National City Bank building. The property is owned by the McKinley Memorial Library.
Patrick Finan, library director, said the library took the building as a donation in 1993 but discovered it would be easier for the city to get a grant to demolish it.
"The city took the property in good faith and didn't expect to have it very long, but it took longer to get the grant," he said.
The library got the site from the city last year, and delinquent taxes had accrued in the meantime. The property is to be used for the planned McKinley House replica and research center.
Finan said the library has to go to the county, city and school board to forgive the taxes.
Memorials: The board also heard presentations for memorials to Sam Natoli and Deborah A. Infante. Natoli, city service director for 10 years, died Monday after a battle with cancer.
"He was truly a friend of Niles City Schools," Guliano said. "When you needed something and no one else in the city building seemed to know what you were talking about, you could go to Sam."
John Davis, board member, said Natoli never got angry and did everything on an even keel.
"He's going to be sadly missed."
Infante, an educational assistant at McKinley High School's library for 16 years, died of cancer Jan. 31.

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