He began his career as a teacher at Greenford Schools and continued as a teacher and principal at North Lima Elementary School. From 1961 through 1963, Harold served as principal with the Canfield Schools. Boardman Local Schools benefited from Harold’s leadership as an elementary school principal from 1963 until his retirement.
Market Street Elementary School was where Harold impacted the lives of many students, parents, aides and teachers as principal for 22 years. He culminated his career as principal of Stadium Drive Elementary School four years later.
During this time, Harold was active in several professional organizations, including the Mahoning County Association of Elementary School Administrators, Early Childhood Kindergarten-Nursery School Organization, International Reading Association, Phi Delta Kappa and the Ohio Management Team. He served as zone director and as president of the Ohio Association of Elementary School Principals and received the Distinguished Service Award.
In 1991, Harold was honored as Educator of the Year by MCAESA. Throughout his career, Harold promoted the active involvement of parents with teachers and administrators. The Ohio PTA recognized this by awarding him a Life Membership.
Harold served as a member of the Boardman Schools Administrative Council and as director of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools for the State of Ohio. He was on the Advisory Committee for Youngstown State University School of Education. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction appointed Harold to serve as the elementary schools’ representative to the Ohio Commission of Educational Excellence. He was also appointed by the State Superintendent of Schools to fulfill a three-year term on the Ohio Teacher Education and Certification commission.
Harold was elected to the North Lima School Board and South Range School Board, and served from January 1964 through December 1973, and as president in 1967 and 1971. Harold was instrumental in the consolidation of Greenford and North Lima schools, as well as having the vision to acquire land for the new school. This vision came to fruition with the new campus of the South Range Local School in 2009.
Harold began a second career as a founding partner and director of personnel for Option Care of Northeast Ohio, a home infusion pharmacy from 1986 through 1997.
Service to the church and others was a priority throughout his life. In 1946, Harold was a cowboy on a cattleboat sent to Europe to assist in repopulating livestock. In 1954 and 1955, Harold and his wife worked in Puerto Rico with the Ulrich Foundation, in conjunction with the Mennonite Board of Missions and local farmers, to improve agricultural techniques.
Harold was an active member of Midway Mennonite Church in Columbiana his entire life. He held the leadership position of Congregational Chair and was active in the Ohio Mennonite Conference. Laurelville Mennonite Church Camp in Mount Pleasant, Pa., benefited from his involvement. He was an ardent supporter of the Mennonite Economic Development Association, which assists small enterprises in Third World countries.
Harold met his wife, Louise Thomas, at Goshen College in Indiana. They were married June 23, 1951 at Thomas Mennonite Church in Thomas Mills, Pa. Harold is survived by his wife in North Lima, and his children: Lynn Swartzendruber (Karl) of Plano, Texas, Jan Talanoa (Higano) of Madera, Calif., Kathy Holman (Leonard Jr.) of Boardman, and Kenneth Cullar (Dawn Weber) of North Lima.
Harold’s lasting legacy is the life he led and the example he presented to his children. His love of learning and traveling was instilled in his family with annual camping trips. The family has many good memories of traveling through Canada, Mexico, the national parks and of discovering different cultures. He traveled to Europe, China, Indonesia and the South Pacific. Most recently, Harold and Louise spent winters in Sarasota, Fla., where they attended Sarasota Bay Shore Mennonite Church.
He is survived by 12 grandchildren: Lora and Keri Swartzendruber; Paul, Aaron, Elane and Mark Talanoa; Holly Holman (Hoffmaster); James and David Holman; and Jonathan, Anna, and Andrew Cullar. He is also survived by three great-grandchildren and one brother, John Allen Cullar of Columbiana. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Ardith Blosser, and grandson John Talanoa.
Services were held Nov. 26 at the Midway Mennonite Church, Columbiana. Friends may visit www-seederly-mongandbeck.com to view this obituary, sign the guest register or send private condolences online.
HAROLD E. CULLAR, 83