After 39 years in vocational/career-technical education, Mahoning County Career and Technical Center Superintendent Roan Craig is closing the book on that chapter of her life, retiring later this month.
“The next chapter is coming,” she said. “I don’t know what it is. I haven’t read it yet.”
Craig, a Youngstown native and Woodrow Wilson High School and Youngstown State University graduate, started as a business education teacher at the Mahoning County Joint Vocational School in 1975, just two years into the school’s operation. At that time, the school required business experience of its teachers and Craig’s experience with a finance company fulfilled that requirement. She went on to earn her master’s degree at Kent State University and her doctorate at the University of Akron.
“I knew from the time I opened my mouth that I wanted to be a teacher,” Craig said. “My Aunt Cathy was a teacher, and I thought she was the greatest.”
The oldest of seven children, she used to play school with her as the teacher and her younger siblings, the students.
She spent four years teaching before taking time off for maternity leave. She returned as an adult education teacher and later became the school’s first customized training coordinator.
“I worked with business and industry, setting up workshops and training seminars to meet their needs,” Craig said.
She enjoyed the work, meeting many people from different walks of life.
Howard Friend, the school’s first superintendent, hired Craig.
“She was an excellent employee,” he said. “She was good with the students. They liked her. She was enthusiastic. She complied with the requirements from her supervisors. She was an excellent candidate as a teacher, and she did an outstanding job when she got the job.”
She shared his belief in the value of vocational educational, Friend said, and she’s also a leader. It came as no surprise to him that Craig rose to become superintendent.
Read more about her background and career trajectory in Sunday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.