JAMESTOWN — He didn’t win, but that was the last thing on Todd Nolen’s mind.
The Greeneview Middle School assistant principal was tickled that he was even nominated for the Ohio School Boards Association Southwest Region outstanding administrator award.
“The (nomination) letter made me a winner,” Nolan said of the form turned in by Principal Denny Morrison. “He said some pretty nice things. I don’t take compliments well. For someone like Mr. Morrison to take the time to put on paper the qualities he sees in me. I was humbled.”
Morrison, who has spent time at several school districts including Beavercreek and Xenia prior to Greeneview, gave Nolan a rave review in a rare nomination. Morrison said during his decades in education he has recommended around five administrators or teachers for an award.
“I cannot think of a single individual who I have worked with over the last 46 years in education that has a passion for helping children more than Todd Nolen,” Morrison wrote in a two-page letter to the association. “Todd has captured the creativity and imagination of every young person in our middle school building. His approach to the assistant principal position is different from everyone else’s that I have ever known. Mr. Nolen understands that kids do not care how much he knows until they know how much he cares.
Morrison added that Nolen is the first to volunteer, no matter what the request is and is heavily involved in the community.
Hearing all that was in the letter and finding out he was nominated was a lot to absorb for Nolen, who is also a New Jasper Township trustee.
“This was a total shock,” Nolen said. “First of all, I didn’t even understand fully. (Morrison) called a staff meeting and he started talking about different districts in the State of Ohio.”
Given the time of the school year, Nolen assumed it was a meeting about state testing.
“I didn’t fully process it until I walked into the office,” Nolen said. “Nobody’s ever done that for me before. It showed me (Morrison) valued me.”
But it isn’t just the principal who values Nolen.
“He’s fun,” sixth graders Temperance Hoke said of Nolen. “He makes jokes. He organizes a lot of the events for the school. If some kid needs discipline, he knows how to handle it.”
Garrett Hook, another sixth grader, called Nolen “very kind.”
“He actually made a (good behavior rewards) program for our school with the help of our old principal called Ram Pride,” Hook said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.