By EMMALEE C. TORISK
As the newest lead principal of Struthers High School, Roger Day knows he certainly has some big shoes to fill.
Hired by the Struthers Board of Education in May, Day replaces Joseph Fuline Jr., who retired in late June after serving as the high school’s associate principal for almost 10 years and collectively spending more than 35 years in education.
Day officially began his tenure Thursday and said he’s eagerly anticipating the opportunity to “do a good job of leading Struthers High School” — which he hopes he’ll do “for very many years.”
“The school had a principal there who is a great man, and who epitomizes what Struthers is all about: It’s a hard-working community,” Day said. “I’m excited to get started.”
Day graduated from Poland Seminary High School in 1995, then attended Youngstown State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in educational science.
He taught for nine years as a social-studies teacher at Austintown Fitch High School, was the sixth-grade principal at Austintown Middle School for one year, and then returned to the district’s high school as an administrator for three years.
His new assignment pays $83,915.
But even before his hiring at Struthers, Day already had several ties with the district. For example, as a basketball player for Poland, Day met Fuline, his predecessor at Struthers who, at the time, coached boys high school basketball.
Fuline said he’s known Day “for a long time,” adding that he’s a good guy who will be a strong addition to the high school.
Plus, it’s obvious to Fuline that Day is “enthused” about his new role and “ready to take over.”
“Struthers did an outstanding job of picking a person for that position,” Fuline said. “He’s got a good knowledge of what he needs to do. I’m sure he’ll put his experience to great use at Struthers.”
In addition, Day worked with Joseph Nohra, who is now the superintendent for Struthers City Schools, at Austintown.
There, Nohra was an assistant principal, as well as the athletic director.
For those reasons, among others, Day said he simply felt the timing was right when he applied for the position at Struthers in early spring.
The interview process wasn’t easy, though, Nohra said, adding that Day’s performance was highly impressive.
“He shined throughout,” Nohra said. “He comes to us with a lot of experience, and he’s from this area, growing up in Poland. We’re excited to have him.”
Day, who now lives in Austintown with wife Kelly and his two children, has a three-year contract and has been placed on the third tier of the administrative salary schedule.
His primary objective as lead principal, he added, is to help Struthers High School keep providing quality education for the community.
After all, it always comes back to the kids, Day said.
“As somebody who’s been a coach and been involved in athletics, you always want to be the best you can be,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to make Struthers High School an excellent building, which it’s been for a while.”