For the past 42 years, the name Dr. Robert Zorn and Poland High School have been synonymous.
Dr. Zorn spent all of those years working in the Poland school system, including the past 37 as Poland superintendent. On Monday evening, June 18, the Board of Education accepted Dr. Zorn's request for retirement putting to an end a lengthy and respected career.
"It feels good," answered Dr. Zorn recently when asked about not having to go to work anymore. "Everybody gets there sooner or later."
It was reported by some outlets that Dr. Zorn's retirement came sooner than he wanted due to a major health scare. The educator refuted that erroneous claim and said he was only battling some stress. In fact, Dr. Zorn joked that it may become even more trying for him in the coming months.
"My doctor told me retirement would be more stressful than working," he said with a laugh.
When it comes to his career, Dr. Zorn is certainly no joke however. The Poland Township resident is a graduate of Struthers High School and was a teacher then principal at Poland for five years. He was appointed the Poland superintendent in the '70s where he has had the enviable task of handing out diplomas to his two children and five grandchildren. When that final grandkid walked across the stage this month, it marked the end of Dr. Zorn's distinguished tenure.
"I told (the Poland school board) in 2010 that I would retire when my last grandchild graduated," Dr. Zorn said truthfully. "I was so proud I was able to give diplomas to (his two children and five grandchildren). I stayed for them. Family is the most important thing and leaving when they were still there would be like running out on my family."
While handing those important papers to his family may have been Dr. Zorn's proudest accomplishments, there were other achievements on his watch that makes him stand out as a superintendent. Over the past few years Dr. Zorn presided over the construction of a new stadium and field house, saw through the Poland connector project and he was able to make sure that all of the buildings were remodeled. There is no doubt that Poland is a more perfect place because of his presence.
"I left the district better than I found it," said Dr. Zorn with great humility. Now that his job has been done in the public sector, Dr. Zorn plans on getting a few things done on his own time.
"I love yard work, working on cars and reading," he said. "I'm going to enjoy private life and doing whatever I want, whenever I want."
If Dr. Robert Zorn attacks retirement as well as he took on the challenge of being Poland's superintendent, then he should do whatever he wants just fine.