The Poland Schools Foundation will honor the chiefs of police of Poland Village and Poland Township and veteran teacher Ruth Metzger at its annual banquet Tuesday at the Lake Club.
The chiefs of police, Brian Goodin and Russ Beatty, will be recognized as alumni of the year, and Metzger, who retired last spring after 26 years of teaching in Poland schools, will be honored as Educator of the Year.
Goodin is a 1981 graduate of Poland Seminary High School and has been chief of the township department since 2004. Beatty graduated in 1977 and has been chief of the village department since January 1991.
“The chiefs have gone far beyond what might be expected of them to protect the children attending the six public schools in the Poland system,” said James E. “Ted” Roberts, president of the foundation. “Ever since the tragedies at Columbine, Colo., and Chardon, Ohio, and through Newtown, Conn., Brian Goodin and Russ Beatty have been at the forefront of school safety. They have worked closely with the principals of the schools and the Poland Board of Education to detect weaknesses in the security systems and to enhance the safety of students in our schools.”
Metzger, one of the most beloved and respected elementary teachers at North Elementary School, taught first grade there for 26 years. She was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and earned her baccalaureate in education at Bloomsburg University and began teaching at Scotch Plains, N.J.
After she and her family moved to Poland, Metzger was a substitute teacher for eight years while rearing her children. She was active in support activities in their schools.
In 1987, Metzger resumed teaching full time and taught a year at Poland McKinley Elementary School. In 1988, she transferred to North, which she says “became my second home for 26 years.”
During her tenure at North, Walmart and WKBN-TV recognized Metzger for pedagogical excellence. She also earned a master’s degree in curriculum at Youngstown State University.
After graduating from Poland High School, Goodin, Poland Township police chief since 2004, began his career in law enforcement as an undercover security officer at the J.C. Penney store at the Southern Park Mall. He graduated from the Canfield Basic Police Academy in 1983 and worked as a policeman for Beaver Township. He became a full-time officer in 1992 in Poland Township and was promoted to sergeant in 1977. Beatty joined the Poland Village Police Department in December 1980 and has since attended many police schools that focus on managing small departments and death investigations. He has taught classes on law enforcement at vocational schools.
The Poland Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence, formed in 1990, is an academic booster club that has raised more than $400,000 and contributed nearly $300,000 for improvements to Poland schools and scholarships to graduates of Poland Seminary High School.