Misanko takes reins as AD, assistant principal at Dalton

Misanko takes reins as AD, assistant principal at Dalton

Brian Misanko


For the first fall in 15 years, Brian Misanko, the new athletic director and high school assistant principal for Dalton, will not be coaching.

Instead, most of his time will be spent overseeing the sports programs at Dalton, in addition to assisting DHS principal Chris Black at the high school.

Misanko replaces longtime Dalton High AD John Gregory and will be in charge of athletics at both the high school and middle school.

“This is a new position in the district as we transitioned from having the athletic director position as a teacher supplemental contract at the middle school and high school level to an administrative position overseeing all aspects of our district athletic programs grades 7-12,” Dalton superintendent James Saxer said. “We wanted to find time for our athletic director to support our coaches and their programs, as well as support the character and leadership development of our student-athletes.”

When Misanko saw the job posting on the Tri-County Educational Service site, he decided to apply. “I have wanted to move into administration for some time, and this is an outstanding opportunity to connect my two passions of education and athletics,” he said.

“Misanko was a standout interview candidate from our first meeting,” Saxer said. “He has 15 years of coaching experience in both private and public schools and successfully coached varsity teams.

“Having been a coach, Brian understands the importance of the athletic director working hand in hand with coaches to support their programs, not only at the middle school and high school level, but also at the youth level. In order for Dalton Local Schools to have successful interscholastic athletic programs, our coaches must work with our youth programs to help ensure there is vertical alignment with each level of play, and Brian Misanko will help our coaches to do just that.”

Gregory, the man Misanko replaces, also will be in the building to help out in the transition. “Gregory has served this community in different roles for many years,” Misanko said. “He will still be guiding me through my first year and has helped me so much already.”

Not new to the world of sports, Misanko has been involved in many different levels. “Athletics have always been a big part of my life,” he said. “I played just about every sport you can think of growing up. I played on some high-achieving teams in youth and high school.”

Misanko coached the boys soccer team at Chippewa, where he taught seventh-grade social studies for the past 13 years. After high school he attended the University of Akron and then graduate school at Ashland. He is married with three children.

“I know that it’s great for kids to have a positive experience, especially in interscholastic athletics,” he said. “My experience so far has been very positive. Everyone around here loves this town and its schools, and that’s very evident. You can feel it, and you can hear it from everyone you meet. I mostly look forward to meeting the students and watching them play and excel.”

In addition to Misanko, Saxer noted the other new people in the district or staff members assuming new roles: Dean Clark, high school academic tutor; Sarah Emert, high school English language arts; Shekinah Haver, intervention specialist grades 3-4; Michelle Lehman, middle school academic tutor; Zach McFarren, high school dean of students; Lisa Miller, middle school academic tutor; Renee Raber, high school food service; Kelsey Rowley, district school nurse; Hannah Smith, middle school academic tutor; Lisa Smith, elementary school Title I tutor; Christine Snyder, fourth-grade teacher; Shannon Tomes, district food service coordinator; Kayla Tucker, intervention specialist grades k-4; and Melinda Wenger, third-grade teacher.

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