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Moreo wraps up 36-year career PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:22 AM

By NANCY SPENCER

Herald Editor

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DELPHOS — Long-time Jefferson Middle School Principal Terry Moreo won’t have to look far to find projects when he retires at the end of the month.

“I’d like to explore some hobbies I tabled for an educational career,” he said. “I’d like to do some woodworking and I have an antique truck I’d like to restore.”

Moreo will end his 36-year career on June 30, closing a door on a chapter in his life that began in 1977 at Jefferson High School.

“I started as a sub at the high school for a year,” he recalled. “Then I taught Industrial Tech at Montpelier Exempted for a year, was assistant principal at Hicksville for three years and taught vocational electricity at Vantage for a year. I landed back at Delphos City Schools in 1984 as principal at Landeck.”

In 1990, Moreo was moved to principal at Franklin and in 1995, principal at Jefferson Middle School.

“When I started at the middle school, my oldest was in the eighth grade,” he said. “It was neat for me but I don’t know how much fun it was for her.”

Moreo’s philosophies are simple: Make a personal connection with the staff and students and if you are successful with that connection, all things are possible.

“You have to find the good in every child. There’s bad in all of us. You need to find the good and build on it,” he said.

Moreo said he hopes to leave behind a legacy of treating each child with dignity, leaving the middle school with self-discipline and that the tradition follows them through life.

Moreo has worn many hats while at the city schools, including special-education officer. He was responsible for assessing students’ needs, formulating Individual Education Plans for those who needed it and making them successful alongside their peers.

Interim Superintendent Frank Sukup said Moreo was a good fit for the task.

“He is one of the most knowledgeable in special-education needs I’ve worked with,” Sukup said. “He will be missed.”

Moreo was also active as a coach in varsity football, volleyball and softball; junior high boys and girls basketball; and served as boys athletic manager.

The school administrator also spent time after hours attending his students’ concerts and games.

While his job hasn’t always been easy, Moreo said the fringe benefits make it worth it.

“When you see the expression on child’s face when they accomplish what they wanted — be it academically or athletically — it keeps you going,” he said.

Over time, Moreo came to share his building with many of his students who went on to earn teaching degrees and came back to instruct at their alma mater.

“It has given me a great sense of accomplishment that throughout my tenure, I have had the privilege of watching students grow into adults and return to the school system as teachers and form their own philosophies that work for them,” he said.

With more than three decades under his belt, Moreo said it was hard to pick a special moment or memory.

“I guess academically, it would be getting the ‘Excellent’ rating on the Report Card,” he said. “Highlights of my sports career would be facing Newark Catholic in the Division V finals at ‘The Shoe’ and knocking out LCC in the sectional finals 2-0 in softball to go on to the districts.”

While reflecting on his career, Moreo has a few words of advice for his successor.

“Middle school students are concerned with two things: physical appearance and social status. Everything revolves around those two things. It takes them a while to learn the world is much bigger than that. You know they’re going to be OK but you have to deal with the crisis of the moment but longevity tells you it will be OK,” he said. “You have to care deeply about each child and humor goes a long way. You have to have a sense of humor.”

Moreo added that the “new guy or gal” will learn to arrive a little early, stay a little late and never lose sight of the fact that they are impacting lives.

“You have to be positive,” he added. “Always be positive — even if it hurts.”

Moreo and his wife, Phyllis, a special-needs instructor at Franklin Elementary, have two grown daughters: Christine and Lyndsey. Christine is a teacher at Holgate and coaches varsity softball and junior high girls basketball. Lyndsey is a speech and language pathologist in Sylvania.

 

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