By Elise Franco
Dante Zambrini, who leaves his post as Canfield superintendent at the end of this month, said he is a life-long learner.
Zambrini announced his plan to retire in October 2011. He began as a student teacher for Canfield Local School District and spent his entire 36-year career there after being hired in 1976.
He said in all his years as a teacher, principal and superintendent, his most notable accomplishments center on students.
“I think the key factor for me is helping students reach their full potential,” he said. “When I was in the classroom, that was my direct relationship with them. I not only taught English, but I taught life skills.”
Zambrini, a 1972 graduate of Ursuline High School, said he’s proud that many students he taught over the years have gone to on earn jobs in fields such as medicine, science and education.
“Many of our students are productive members of society,” he said. “They’ve become citizens who are leaders in their fields.”
Zambrini said he’s comfortable leaving the district in the hands of new superintendent Alex Geordan, who is leaving the superintendent post in the Pymatuning Valley School District to join Canfield in August.
Zambrini said Geordan has valuable ideas about where to take the district in the coming years.
“I think he will move Canfield forward with using more technology and use blended learning [online and classroom learning] to develop strong support systems,” he said.
Geordan, 43, will earn $105,000 annually over the course of a three-year contract. Zambrini’s final salary is $103,399 annually, and he will receive a severance package of $45,021, according to Pattie Kesner, district treasurer.
Kesner said unused sick time and perfect attendance for nine of his 10 years as superintendent were factored in to the severance amount.
Adrianne Sturm, board president, said Zamrbini’s experience and presence will be missed throughout the district.
“As a Canfield resident and a member of the Canfield school family, [Zambrini] has demonstrated consistently that he cares deeply about our students, our schools and our community,” she said. “Few are aware that throughout his career his contributions have always exceeded what his job has demanded.”
Sturm said Zambrini was the kind of person who, even as an administrator, made time for students no matter how busy his schedule.
“This was the reputation he earned and which I had heard of even prior to arriving in Canfield,” she said. “Rarely was there a day at dismissal that he was not seen in the middle of Wadsworth Street directing traffic, acknowledging each child with a smile, a wave and a kind word.”
Cathy Mowry, Hilltop Elementary School principal, said she considers Zambrini a mentor.
“We have worked very closely, with me being principal at Hilltop,” she said. “I very much appreciate, most of all, everything he has done. He’s a superintendent who has children’s best interests at heart.”
Zambrini, who often credits his accomplishments to the students, staff and parents around him, said being an educator taught him early on that there is always more to learn.
“No one is ever done learning because there’s always something more to learn,” he said. “It invigorates, stimulates and makes you young.”