From the Archives – Mentor Log (September 11, 1975)

Mentor was embarking on a new way to organize the building in 1975. Now, we’re going back.


Mr. Steve Couch

Discussing one of their many problems in school operation are Mrs. Peggy Hanrahan, principal, and William Pierce, associate principal. This year will be Mr. Pierce’s first year in the school system. Mrs. Hanrahan is starting her third year as principal.

Mr. Steve Couch and Steven Dohm

Please enjoy this archived article from the old Mentor High School Log, one of the earlier incarnations of the Mentor High School student newspaper. Special thanks to Mr. Sanelli for finding these in an old bureau taken from the old Mentor High School Library during its renovation into the Hub. Also thanks to Mrs. Ford and the GenYes team for scanning and sharing the original article.

This story talks about the creation of our unit offices back when MHS was still a 3-year high school, with a principal and counselors for each grade. As you can tell, this caused some anxiety in the student body. Interestingly, the Mentor High School administration has announced that the building will go to an alphabetical system in the 2023-24 school year, creating no small amount of anxiety as well. This article shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

On a personal note, Mrs. Hanrahan was still the principal when I graduated from Mentor in 1988. Mr. Rintamaa’s son, Keith, was in my graduating class. And Mr. Lorek is now in the Mentor Theatre Hall of Fame as the director for the drama program beginning in 1980 until his retirement in 2001. – Mr. Couch, Cardinal Nation Advisor

Changes Confuse

Due to the many changes in administration titles, duties and personnel, it is obvious that those who were students at MHS last year will have some problems adjusting. Juniors and seniors who remember a time when there was an SPO which housed all the counselors may be dismayed when they discover that they are all in separate offices. Each unit office (there are three) is the headquarters for one counselor, and one assistant principal.

It has been stated that these measures of reorganization are part of an effort to “personalize” the school and to make the students feel as though each of them has a place. Perhaps it is doubtful that these worthy objectives can be accomplished. A possible solution is not always effective. Even though the work of the old SPO is to be divided into thirds, there will still be approximately one thousand students apportioned to every office. It will be interesting to see whether the counselors show the ability to remember even half of those under their charge.

Administration Alters Format – School Tries New Approach

MHS is developing a new, more “personal” approach to education through smaller units of administration.

The titles and responsibilities of the staff have been changed to provide a “more humanized and personalized educational system,” according to William Pierce, Associate Principal. Verel Salmon, Director of Pupil Services, adds, “This is not a response to problems. We want to put the people who work here closer to the students.”

Mrs. Peggy Hanrahan, principal, will supervise and organize the efforts of other personnel. Mr. Pierce will coordinate the functions in the grade levels and eventually will be able to recommend changes. Both administrators will be centrally located in the main office.

James Trusso is director of business and student affairs. He will work in the Student Affairs office. In the Student Personnel Office, Dr. Salmon will work closely with counselor Ms. Carol Laughlin who will head career guidance. Three unit principals will work with each grade level and will progress with the class through high school.

To provide a more personal relationship, an office specifically for sophomores has been created. John Rintamaa, assistant principal to sophomores, handles discipline and counseling problems in A-49. The office will also provide a meeting place for class officers.

In order to reach state requirements, the MHS staff now has five counselors and four directors of pupil personnel service. Dr. Salmon commented, “We now have a complete staff for each grade level.” The sophomore counselor will be Coogan Reese. Tom Davidson of the MHS faculty, will act as class adviser. Mrs. Marion Connors will hold interviews as part of her job as pupil personnel associate.

The junior unit office is Room C-15 where Frank Domokos is assistant principal. This office also has a meeting room for class officers. Ms. Jane Ranko, counselor, will assist juniors and Joe Lorek, psychology teacher, is the junior class adviser. Mrs. Carol Barr is the pupil personnel associate for juniors.

Seniors can find help and guidance in a new office in A18. Student Council also has an office there. John Goodwin in the position of a third assistant principal, will handle senior problems. Mrs. Sandra Johnson will work as pupil personnel associate.