Michael Gallina’s Journey to Success Began at Mount Union College
September 21, 2009
Michael Gallina, the North Canton City Schools superintendent who was recently awarded the Ohio Superintendent Outstanding Performance Award for 2009 from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation of Cleveland, began his journey to success at Mount Union.
“During the sixth grade in middle school I got the urge to go into education,” said Gallina, a 1982 graduate of Mount Union. “My father was a teacher and I grew up around teaching families. The culture of teaching was a part of my everyday life.”
Gallina grew up in Minerva, OH and had influential teachers in the local school district that continuously reinforced that education was the field he wanted to pursue.
When it came time to start looking at college options, Gallina explained that he knew he wanted to play baseball and pursue a degree in education. Those two factors led him to both Mount Union and Kent State University. After various campus visits, Gallina decided to further his education at Mount Union for a variety of reasons. “I chose the College because the baseball opportunity would have presented itself earlier in my career and because of the education program.” He also mentioned that both his mother and father graduated from the College, therefore “the encouragement was always present.”
“I loved the college and loved the campus,” he said. “There was a comfort zone there by connection and I knew I could get a great amount of nurture in a place that had a family-like feel to it.”
The four-year letterman in baseball earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education and went on to begin his education career at Alliance City Schools from 1982 to 1983, where he taught learning disabilities at Stanton Middle School.
“The experience that I had at Mount Union was invaluable,” said Gallina. “It truly nurtured my journey from beginning to end.”
From 1983-1987 he was a fifth grade teacher and coached football and basketball at Minerva. In the summer of 1988, he moved into the position of principal at West Elementary School in Minerva and in 1992 he was announced the superintendent of Minerva Local Schools. During his educational career, he earned a masters degree in elementary administration from Ashland University and took post-graduate work in order to receive a superintendent license in the state of Ohio.
“I’ve always saw myself as a teacher and a coach,” explained Gallina. “But as I started to get involved and work with individuals in leadership positions, I started to see that any of those levels – teaching, coaching or administration – are about strong leadership. I sensed a call to that and I felt that I had the learning skills that were necessary.”
In the summer of 2004 he began his career as superintendent for North Canton City Schools. Gallina was nominated for his most recent honor by North Canton Board of Education President Nancy Marion. Accompanying the award was a $20,000 stipend, which he plans on giving to the district’s Project Mosaic program to reach out to North Canton Middle School students as well as those at Hoover High School, where the program was originated.
“The best part of working in education everyday as a superintendent is when I’m engaging with our students,” Gallina noted. “I enjoy working with our staff, our students and their families.”
Gallina currently resides in North Canton, OH with his wife Lynnette. Their son Kiel followed in his father’s footsteps and is a teacher at Jackson Middle School.