Viking Spotlight Podcasts

Mrs. Darlene Howald and Mrs. Renee Manse
This school year is the last for Orchard Hill Principal Darlene Howald and North Canton Middle School Associate Principal Renee Manse. In this episode of Viking Spotlight, they share their decisions to become educators and later administrators, as well as the highlights of their careers and some funny moments. We appreciate the contributions both administrators have made to the district, and we celebrate their retirement with them. 
Updates on Memorial Stadium and new schools
Spring is traditionally a busy time for the North Canton City School District, but this year is more exciting and far busier than most. Director of Development and Special Projects, Tim Walker, stops by the podcast booth to update us on the Seventh Street Renovation, North Canton Primary School, and North Canton Intermediate School. Will Memorial Stadium be ready for graduation? When will Clearmount and the ECC/Portage schools be demolished? What's the latest news on Greentown? Learn the answers to these questions and more on the latest episode of Viking Spotlight.
John McClellan and Bus Driver Appreciation Week
NCCS Superintendent Jeff Wendorf often says, "Our bus drivers are the first school employees to see our students in the morning and the last to see them before they return home." This statement emphasizes the impact these individuals have on our students. Every member of the Transportation Department is crucial in making certain our students safely arrive at school and back home. Our Transportation Department members include not only the bus drivers, but also the bus monitors, mechanics, secretaries, and the director. Today's episode features John McClellan, an eight-year bus driver and an on-bus instructor (OBI). Mr. McClellan is a special man who goes out of his way to get to know the students who ride his bus and to support his fellow drivers and the driver trainees. He shares interesting information about the role of the bus driver, and he is an excellent role model for our district. This is Bus Driver Appreciation Week, and we appreciate Mr. McClellan and all of our transportation employees.

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Three teachers reflect on their first year
Everyone has a different impression of what teachers do in their jobs. In this episode of Viking Spotlight, NCCS Superintendent Jeff Wendorf talks to three different teachers with different backgrounds in different subjects. One thing they do have in common is that they are in their first year of teaching. Christian Combs is a science teacher at Hoover High School. Natalie Mizer is an intervention specialist at Clearmount Elementary School. Ashton McKelley is a career tech teacher of construction tech at Hoover High School. In this episode, all three will talk about what they've learned about teaching and what they expect to do differently next year. Take some time to listen to Viking Spotlight this week.
Anna Stangelo and Tim Hulse accept Leadership Positions
Two NCCS teachers with two decades of classroom teaching will become assistant principals next year. Anna Stangelo, who currently teaches second grade at Northwood Elementary, will become assistant principal to Principal Ryan Kumpf at the North Canton Intermediate School. Tim Hulse, a math teacher at the middle school, will become an associate principal with Janet Peare. Mr. David Eby is the principal at North Canton Middle School. Both Mrs. Stangelo and Mr. Hulse talk about their educational experience, their decisions to move into administration, and their goals as they make this transition. Both are successful educators with impressive credentials. Take a moment to meet them on this episode of Viking Spotlight.
Administrative Assistants Jennifer Plentovich and Donna Yackey
Administrative Assistants Day is Wednesday, April 26, this year, but in school districts, we feel we should celebrate them every day for the dedication, organization and resourcefulness they bring to their jobs. It's safe to say, our administrative assistants are integral to the success of the district. This year we are spotlighting Jennifer Plentovich of Orchard Hill Intermediate School and Donna Yackey, who is the administrative assistant to Superintendent Jeff Wendorf.  
Clearmount Principal Josh Runner
Morgan Brown on Theater Arts in NCCS
Morgan Brown joins Superintendent Jeff Wendorf on Viking Spotlight to talk about teaching theater arts at North Canton Middle School and her experiences directing two musicals at NCCS this year. Hoover High School students recently performed Titanic the Musical, and next up students from North Canton Middle School will perform Matilda, Jr. North Canton City Schools has a proud tradition in the arts, and Morgan Brown brings her passion for acting, singing, stagecraft, and directing to foster the love of theater in middle school and high school students.
Amy Myers on Hoover High School Counseling
On this week's Viking Spotlight, NCCS Superintendent Jeff Wendorf talks with Hoover High School Counselor Amy Myers about the responsibilities and work done by high school counselors in today's high school. The guidance department has changed immensely in the last 20 years, and we believe you will learn a great deal about school counseling today. Topics include course scheduling, state testing, graduation requirements, mental health needs, and more. 
To learn more about Hoover High School's Guidance Department, go to:
Instagram: @TheGuidingVike
Facebook Page: GuidingVike
Hoover HS Guidance Schoology Group Access Code: C4CXN-MH7W3
NC Area Chamber of Commerce
North Canton City Schools Superintendent Jeff Wendorf talks to Santana Lopez, the new Marketing and Membership Manager for the North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce, and Zac Bissell, the new Events Manager for the North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce. Santana and Zac share their backgrounds and plans for the organization. The Chamber, which has over 400 active members, holds a number of events in North Canton for our residents. To learn more about the Chamber, Santana and Zac, and upcoming events, take a moment to listen to our podcast.  
Viking Spotlight on Charlie Grandjean, 1976 Hoover Grad
This week's Viking Spotlight is on Charlie Grandjean, a 1976 graduate of Hoover High School. While at Hoover, Charlie excelled in athletics and continued his football career at the Naval Academy, at Kent State University and in the USFL. His loyalty to his hometown has continued over the years, and we appreciate his dedication to North Canton City Schools through the Sideliners. His wife, Tam, has a special place in our hearts as an art teacher at Hoover and a finalist for the 2023 Stark County Art Educator Award. Take a few minutes to get to know Charlie Grandjean in this week's Viking Spotlight.
Chas Pyle on Buildings and Grounds
About eleven years ago, Chas Pyle joined the maintenance crew at North Canton City Schools. He became the head custodian at North Canton Middle School, and today he is head of maintenance for the school district. Chas is a vital part of the Viking team, and he is appreciated by those who work with him. He, like the rest of the maintenance and custodial crew, make NCCS a safe place for students and staff as they maintain the buildings and grounds that are integral to education in our district. Be certain you listen to the complete podcast, but the end of the interview offers a positive story about this special man.
Ryan Kumpf on Greentown Intermediate School
Mr. Ryan Kumpf is the principal at Greentown Intermediate, which has about 500 students in grades 3-5 and is located on State Street in the northern part of our school district. Mr. Kumpf shares his thoughts on educating elementary school students and his commitment to academics and community service. He also discusses how Jon Gordon's The Energy Bus and Jim Tressel's Five Pillars of Success play a part in his role as an elementary principal. Mr. Kumpf will serve as building principal for the new North Canton Intermediate School.
Hoover's Video Productions/Broadcast Journalism Class
If you're from Stark County, you have likely seen video that has been completed by the hard-working students and staff of Hoover High School's Video Productions/Broadcast Journalism Career Tech Program. This episode of Viking Spotlight gives you a behind the scenes look at the curriculum and opportunities offered by this award-winning program. Coordinator Tom Wilson knows the class inside and out since he was hired to build the program in the late 1990s.
Dr. Bob Roden on NCCS Board of Education
In observance of Board of Education Appreciation Month, NCCS Superintendent Jeff Wendorf talks to Board President, Dr. Bob Roden, about his career, his motivation for joining the board of education, and his insights about helping students succeed. Dr. Bob Roden, who once served as a teacher and administrator in the North Canton City School District, shares some wisdom for educators, parents, and community members. He is a legendary servant to our community, and we believe you will enjoy hearing his thoughts on education and his focus on students.
Principal Eby on NCMS
This week's episode of Viking Spotlight is an overview of the activities and programs offered at North Canton Middle School. As Superintendent Jeff Wendorf points out in the podcast, students experience more success in the classroom if they participate in activities beyond the school day. With Mr. Eby's leadership and an outstanding, caring middle school staff, programs have been expanded to reach every student. As you are likely aware, middle school years are challenging for children as they grow physically and emotionally. Through this podcast, you will discover that North Canton Middle School is a great place for students to learn and grow.
Construction update, calendar modifications, and Phase 2 of the facilities project
In this episode of Viking Spotlight, North Canton City Schools Superintendent Jeff Wendorf and Director of Development Tim Walker provide an update on the two new school buildings being constructed and explain how the construction has resulted in modifications to the school calendar for this year and next year. They also share information about Phase 2 of the facilities project that will be discussed at a community meeting being held January 23 at 6:00 p.m. in Hoover Hall for the Performing Arts at Hoover High School. Phase 2 would build a new middle school and renovate the existing high school.

Hoover Basketball 2022-2023
Meet the coaches of the boys and girls Hoover basketball teams, Mike Bluey and Jim Gotshall. Coach Bluey, who is in his fifth year at Hoover, shares his philosophy of coaching and his thoughts on the Federal League. Coach Jim Gotshall talks about returning to Hoover High School and his feelings about basketball, the school, and the community. Don't miss this episode of Viking Spotlight!
Career Tech: Engineering
In this week's Viking Spotlight, Mr. Todd Alkire talks to Superintendent Jeff Wendorf about the curriculum and opportunities in the Engineering Department through the Hoover High School Career Tech Program. Following the "Project Lead the Way" curriculum, students learn about engineering design and principles, digital electronics, computer integrated manufacturing, and engineering design and development. In addition to their classwork, students have opportunities that include Team 4121 Viking Robotics, Women in Engineering, and the high school's Fab Lab. Hoover has repeatedly received recognition from "Project Lead the Way" for its outstanding results. To learn more about the engineering program, go to To learn more about the robotics team, check out its Google website at The team also has a presence on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, so search for Team 4121 Viking Robotics. Student who pursue the study of engineering at Hoover High School have excellent preparation for advanced studies and the workplace.
Megan Zahorec on School Counseling
Megan Zahorec-Deierling is the school counselor for Greentown Intermediate's 500 students. In this episode of Viking Spotlight, she talks about the problems facing students today and explains how she builds relationships with her students. One of her tools is therapy dog, Chase, who is a German Shepherd that has become an important member of the Greentown staff. Mrs. Zahorec, a mother of two young children, also suggests ways that parents can help their children deal with concerns facing them.
Kim Nidy on NCCS Technology
In this episode of Viking Spotlight, Kim Nidy shares the importance of technology in the North Canton City School District. NCCS has a one-on-one tech program as every student in grades 3-12 and every teacher is provided with a laptop that plays an important part in teaching and learning in the classroom. She discusses gradebooks, security, and the learning management system with Superintendent Jeff Wendorf; and they explain how technology has changed the way students learn today.
Phil Ogilvie on Culinary Arts and Esports at Hoover H.S.
This week's episode of Viking Spotlight offers a look at two Hoover High School programs. One is Culinary Arts of the school's Career Tech Education offerings, and the second is the extra-curricular activity, Esports. Mr. Phil Ogilvie talks to NCCS Superintendent Jeff Wendorf about the various aspects of his classroom, which includes a restaurant called the Tri-Star and a food truck known as the Traveling Tri-Star in addition to the professional kitchen. He also offers a unique perspective on Esports, a recent activity at Hoover that brings students together from various areas of the high school to compete as a team. We guarantee that after you listen to this podcast, you will be amazed at the opportunities in Culinary Arts at Hoover and you will see students playing video games in an entirely different light!
Interactive Media with Mr. Gary Bodenschatz
Interactive Media is a popular Career Tech Education (CTE) class at Hoover High School because of the many skills students learn in the course that provide numerous opportunities for their future. Mr. Gary Bodenschatz, the instructor, brings a wealth of experience to the classroom and offers sage advice to his students. He uses his talent and wit to guide students into making good choices in project design. His love of teaching interactive media is apparent in the podcast, and he has provided a solid foundation for students who choose careers in graphic design or in media-related fields. Follow our Twitter accounts: Athletics through Interactive Media: @hoovervikes Superintendent Jeff Wendorf: @VikingSupt North Canton City Schools: @nccsvikings Hoover High School Guidance: @TheGuidingVike North Canton City Schools Food Services: @NCCSLunchLadies We are on Facebook as North Canton City Schools, and each building and various departments are on Facebook as well. We are on Instagram as @nccsvikings 
Coach Ryan Shaffer on tennis and life lessons
Hoover's Ryan Shaffer has been a highly successful tennis coach for over three decades, and in this week's Viking Spotlight, he shares his background, his principles of coaching, and his thoughts about the impact that sports have on young people. He is a Stark County legend in the tennis world, and this podcast shows he is not only a great coach, but also a man of integrity.
Career Tech Education equips Students for Career Success
Hoover Associate Principal Rob White talks to Superintendent Jeff Wendorf about the Career Tech Pact, which includes GlenOak, Hoover, Jackson, and Lake High Schools. He explains how Career Tech Education (CTE) offers high school students, as well as eighth graders from North Canton Middle School, can explore paths to a successful career. Hoover offers nine outstanding CTE programs, and the four National JA Companies of the Year, Project Lead the Way recognition, Robotics team opportunities, and Video Productions/Broadcast Journalism's outstanding reputation in Ohio are just a few examples of their quality. Mr. White explains that CTE is no longer simply vocational education, as classes provide hands-on work that engages students and provides them with a chance to see which careers best suit their interests. High school registration for next year's classes is a few months away, and this podcast gives parents and students alike a chance to begin an exploration of the Career Tech programs available to our students.
Viking Spotlight on the Hoover High School Marching Band
Viking Spotlight on 2022 Fall Sports Season
In this week’s Viking Spotlight, Superintendent Jeff Wendorf and Athletic Director Tom Oakes discuss the fall sports season, as well as the shortage of officials, updates to athletic facilities, and upcoming schedule changes.
Viking Spotlight on NCMS Wellness Class
In this episode of Viking Spotlight, Mrs. Sandy Stambaugh talks about a new class on wellness that has been implemented at North Canton Middle School for all seventh-grade students. The Ohio Department of Education has established Social Emotional Learning Standards for students, and the new class addresses those standards. Mrs. Stambaugh covers the thoughts behind its creation, curriculum, and goals. Mrs. Stambaugh, Mrs. Mia Thomas and Mrs. Lisa Kieffer are leading the classroom efforts as NCMS focuses on students' mental health. If you are a parent, a guardian, or even a resident of the North Canton City School District, you will appreciate learning about the work of our educators who care about our students' well-being. 
Viking Spotlight on the Special Services Department
This week the Viking Spotlight is on the Special Services Department of North Canton City Schools. The Director of Special Services, John Welch, is joined by the Coordinator of Special Services and Response to Intervention Team leader, Julie Stingel, to share the mission of the department as they help 600 students experience growth and achievement. Mr. Welch and Mrs. Stingel provide information without the educational jargon that is confusing to the layman. This week's topic on the Special Services Department reaffirms the North Canton City School District's commitment to all children. 
Hoover's Aidan Kirkbride on his Eagle Scout project at MAPS Air Museum

This week’s guest on Viking Spotlight is Aidan Kirkbride, a Hoover High School junior who is working towards his Eagle Scout Rank in Scouts BSA, Troop 1012, out of North Canton, Ohio. His Eagle Scout Project is creating a commemorative patio dedicated to the military at the MAP’S Air Museum.

The project has three phases. Phase 1 is a seat wall set upon a retaining wall, Phase 2 is a paver patio with a fire pit, and Phase 3 is the landscaping. Aidan is taking charge of Phase 1. He explains his purpose:

“Not only am I doing this for my Eagle Rank and to honor veterans, but I am also doing this for my grandfathers who both served in Vietnam. Both men served in aviation capacities. My late grandpa, Robert Milligan, was an observer in an OV-1 Mohawk. Grandpa David Kirkbride served as a Munitions Specialist for F4 Phantoms. I feel constructing this project allows me to honor them, our veterans, and the United States of America.”

Aidan’s goal is to raise $10,000, which will cover the cost of materials and equipment used in the excavation, construction, and maintenance of the wall and patio. The labor to complete this project will be supplied by Aidan and other volunteers.

Interested in making a donation? Checks should be made out in the name of:

Maps Air Museum
2260 International Pkwy, North Canton, OH 44720 330-896-6332
Memo or Attention: “BSA Project Aidan”

Donations by credit card can be made by calling MAPS Air Museum at 330-896-6332.

Hammond Construction on School Building Progress
In this episode of Viking Spotlight, NCCS Superintendent Jeff Wendorf talks with John Kirkpatrick, a co-partner in Hammond Construction, and Jeff Adams, a Vice-President of Hammond. Hammond is currently building a new primary school (pre-k to grade 2) on Charlotte Street in North Canton and a new elementary school (grades 3-5) on Maple Street, close to the current Clearmount Elementary School. Mr. Kirkpatrick and Mr. Adams share the history of Hammond Construction, their experience working for the company, and the progress on the two new schools, which are set to open in August 2023. 
Meet Hoover Senior Class President, Kosta Volas
North Canton City Schools Superintendent Jeff Wendorf talks to Kosta Volas, the President of the Hoover High School Class of 2023. Kosta is a talented speaker who recently welcomed back the 600 employees of the school district. He is active in speech and debate, theater, vocal music, Student Council, the award-winning Viking Views, National Honor Society, and Link Crew. Kosta has also taken numerous advanced placement and honors courses. Active in the community and in his church, Kosta is an impressive young man. We invite you to learn more about him and his commitment to Hoover High School in this week's Viking Spotlight podcast. 
Legacy Landing and Memorial Stadium Renovation
North Canton residents that attended the football game at Memorial Stadium on Friday, August 19, saw the unveiling of Legacy Landing. In this podcast, Superintendent Jeff Wendorf talks to Tim Walker about the origins of Memorial Stadium, Legacy Landing, and other projects related to the renovation of the stadium. Interested in becoming a member of Legacy Landing? Go to to purchase a paver. Interested in other options? Please contact Tim Walker at [email protected] 
Food Service and Transportation for the 2022-2023 School Year
North Canton City School District is excited to welcome students and families to the 2022-2023 school year! To begin the school year on Viking Spotlight, Superintendent Jeff Wendorf interviews Food Service Director Jill Lauter about changes from the last school year when all student meals were free, thanks to legislation involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The free meal program has ended, and Jill Lauter explains what families can do to apply for free or reduced lunches. The NCCS Transportation Department has a new director this year. She is Sharon Papineau, who has served both in the National Guard and Ohio State Highway Patrol. Please join us to learn more in preparation for the new school year! 
Brain Wave National JA Company for 2022
On Wednesday, June 22, the teen entrepreneurs of Brain Wave, a JA Student Company from North Canton, Ohio, representing Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, were selected from among 15 JA student companies as the JA Company of the Year while participating in Junior Achievement's (JA) 2022 National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS). The competition took place in Washington, D.C. In this podcast, Superintendent Jeff Wendorf interviews Brain Wave CEO Jesse Halmasy, Hoover JA Advisor Mike Grady, and Lori McCleese of Junior Achievement for North Central Ohio. 
Hoover H.S. Principal on the Class of 2022, year in review
Hoover High School Principal Eric Bornstine talks to Superintendent Jeff Wendorf about the recent commencement and the Class of 2022, as well as this year's successes.
Director Jill Lauter on NCCS Food Service
This week's Viking Spotlight podcast's guest is Food Service Director Jill Lauter. The pandemic impacted every aspect of North Canton City Schools, and the Food Service Department, under the direction of Jill Lauter, met the challenge of feeding North Canton students head on. Jill shares a behind the scenes look at food service and talks about the steps she and the other extraordinary "Lunch Ladies" pulled together to prep and distribute meals to the children and young people of the community. Meeting USDA requirements for healthy eating, the department has won respect across the district for their tenacity in, as they put it, "feeding our future." Summer meals will continue this summer, but with a few important changes. Don't miss this podcast! 
State of the Schools Part One
In part one of the annual State of the Schools, NCCS Superintendent Jeff Wendorf is joined by Tim Walker, Todd Tolson, and Todd Henne to talk about facilities, finance, and operations of the school district 
State of the Schools Part Two
In the second part of the State of the Schools podcast, Superintendent Jeff Wendorf takes a look at academics, the arts, and athletics through interviews with Dave Pilati, Ron Varn, and Tom Oakes. 
Mia Thomas named NCCS Teacher of the Year for 2022
May 2-6, 2022, is National Teacher and Staff Week at North Canton City Schools. Who better to discuss what it means to be a teacher and share her experiences over 37 years than Mia Thomas, the NCCS Educator of the Year for the Stark County Educational Service Center's Education Celebration. Mrs. Thomas is an exceptional teacher who recognizes the importance of reaching every child in her sixth-grade English Language Arts (ELA) classroom. We appreciate Mrs. Thomas as well as every faculty and staff member in North Canton City Schools for putting students first. 

NCCS celebrates Administrative Professionals Day!
North Canton City Schools Superintendent Jeff Wendorf talks with Kathy Snyder and Michelle McAllister in honor of Administrative Professionals Day. Mrs. Snyder works in the Hoover Guidance Department, and Mrs. McAllister works in the main office of North Canton Middle School. We appreciate all our administrative professionals and their service to our students and families.

Catherine Farina on Possibilities Park
Catherine Farina, Deputy Director of Administration at the City of North Canton, talks to Superintendent Jeff Wendorf about the all-inclusive park that started in 2017. Through the challenges of the pandemic and construction shortages, the city persevered and the park has been completed.
Pam Lazarites is in the driver's seat for NCCS
Often the first NCCS employees to greet students in the morning and the last to say good-bye in the afternoon, bus drivers play an important part of the school day. You don't want to miss this episode as 30-year bus veteran Pam Lazarites talks about her job with Superintendent Jeff Wendorf. After you listen to this podcast, you'll understand why Mrs. Lazarites is loved and respected by parents, students, and colleagues. Our bus drivers are extraordinary people who care about our students, and we are fortunate to have them as part of our Viking Family.

Hoover High School Interact Club Advisors Janice McCarthy and Sarah Jackson on the upcoming Senior Citizens Prom
Hoover Interact Club advisors Sarah Jackson and Janice McCarthy join Superintendent Jeff Wendorf to talk about the upcoming Senior Citizens Prom that will be held Saturday, April 30th, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Hoover High School Commons. 
Senior Citizens in our community are welcome to attend. Please click Senior Citizen Prom Invite (3).docx to download an invitation and a registration form.  

Superintendent Jeff Wendorf talks to Vocal Music Director Doug Beery about the upcoming performance of Grease at Hoover High School

Ready to buy a ticket to see the Hoover High School performance of Grease?
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