During more than half a century, Emile ‘Mel’ John has sunk deep roots in Shelby. After graduating from Bellaire (Ohio) High School in 1945 and serving in the U.S. Army during the post-World War II occupation of Japan, he earned bachelors and master’s degrees at Ohio State University (OSU). While in graduate school, he was elected to the Graduate Honorary, Phi Delta Kappa, an international association for professional educators. In 1961 and 1962 he received a National Science Foundation grant to pursue post-graduate work at OSU.
Mr. John began his teaching career in 1951 at Vernon Junior High School in Marion, Ohio, and in 1953 arrived at SHS where he taught algebra and other mathematics courses to hundreds of students during the next 32 years, retiring in 1985. A former student recalls, “Mel showed great zest for his subject – algebra – and greater patience for students who were slow to grasp algebra’s fundamentals and nuances.” Mr. John also was deeply involved outside the classroom as he managed ticket sales, programs and insurance for all sports.
He also was very active in his church, Most Pure Heart of Mary, serving on the parish council and finance committee. In addition, he was the parish bookkeeper and a choir member for 25 years.
After retiring from SHS and to the present, his concern for the people of Shelby showed in his serving as a volunteer for Shelby/Med Central Hospital, Caring for You, and Shelby Help Line. He also serves as treasurer for the Shelby Senior Center. In 2004, he and his wife Anne (SHS ’51) received the Jess Rath Christian Volunteer Service Award presented by the Shelby Ministerial Association and the Shelby Council of Churches.
In 2002, he joined the planning team for the first SHS multi-class reunion and then became a member of the SHS Alumni Association Board of Trustees. Mr. John also serves as chairman of the Board’s Audit Committee and helps in maintaining the SHS Alumni Email Network database. During Alumni Homecoming 2006, the Alumni Association recognized his numerous contributions by making him an honorary alumnus of Shelby High School. He and Anne live in Shelby and are the parents of four children and grandparents of nine.
Nominators: Harryet Snyder and Mike Johnson, ’63. Presenter: SHS teacher, Phil Pearson