Catsoules also was a former Youngstown City Council member.
By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- An educator who served 14 years as superintendent of the Youngstown city schools was remembered Monday as a man dedicated not only to the schools but also to the community.
Emanuel N. Catsoules was 70 when he died unexpectedly Sunday. He served as superintendent for the district from 1978 to 1992.
"Mel Catsoules was one of the greatest men I ever knew. He was an asset to the Youngstown school district," said Rose DeGise of Youngstown, who was on the school board during Catsoules' tenure as superintendent.
"He had a real love for the city and the school system."
"Not only do we lose a person dedicated to the field of education, but we lose a good person in the community," added former school board member McCullough Williams of Youngstown.
"He was a ... councilman and a community activist, and he gained the respect of the community."
Catsoules, a 1952 graduate of The Rayen School, earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts and sciences from the University of Illinois in 1956 and a master's degree in educational administration in 1964.
He taught at Rayen from 1962 to 1966 before becoming an assistant principal at West Branch High School in Beloit. He then returned to Rayen as assistant principal in 1968 before becoming principal there in 1971 and principal at Chaney High School in 1974.
He also served as a 3rd Ward Youngstown City councilman from 1968 to 1975 and as council president in 1976 and 1977.
A friend's tribute
"He'll be remembered as a pillar of the community," said Socrates Kolitsos, a board member during Catsoules' superintendency and a friend. "Many people went to him ... for advice, and he always had solid advice."
Kolitsos said Catsoules wanted pupils to succeed.
"He basically wanted each and every one of them to give it their best," he said. "He wanted them to believe in themselves and that, no matter what their background, they also could succeed and excel."
Kolitsos also pointed out that the name Emanuel was appropriate for Catsoules, as it means "God is with us."
"He was properly named. He may not have been overly active religiously, but he lived a godly life," Kolitsos said. "And he passed that on to everyone in his life. He was always looking to help somebody."
"There's a legacy that was established in educational, political and community-activist circles because of him, and that is what is lost," added current Superintendent Benjamin L. McGee, pointing out that Catsoules continued to work with the Rayen Foundation after his retirement.
"It's certainly a tremendous loss," said the Rev. Lonnie A. Simon, former school board member and pastor emeritus of New Bethel Baptist Church in Youngstown. "He was an intellectual person and a leader in his own right. You don't have a lot of effective leaders in the community. It certainly will be a great loss to the community."