McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Father of Sherry Hart ’78 passed away

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on February 17, 2015

In Memory of JOHN L. “JACK” HART 1927 ­ 2013 John L. “Jack” Hart; age 85, noted local educator, Teen Town host and avid University of Toledo supporter; born and raised in Toledo, Ohio; passed away October 3, 2013 at the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Toledo, surrounded by his loving family. Throughout his career he was active in many committees, organizations, and outside interests where he volunteered much of his time.

Hart was born October 15, 1927 to Leona and John P. Hart (Both passed by the time Jack reached eight years old). His aunt Helen HartYoung came into his life to raise him. He attended grade school at Blessed Sacrament and Sacred Heart; graduated from DeVilbiss High School 1945; enrolled at the University of Toledo immediately following high school and then was drafted into the U.S. Army Medical Corps, and served for almost two years as an x­ray technician. Then he returned to Toledo to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Education 1950 and a Master’s Degree in Administration in 1953.

In 1956 Jack married Sophie D. Harbol, a registered nurse, and began their life together. They were blessed with two children, John Patrick Hart and Sherry Lynn Hart.

Hart was a noted local educator who began his career in education in 1950 at Jerusalem School, Oregon OH, as a fifth grade teacher; in September 1950 he entered the Toledo Public School system, where he was a teacher and principal for forty plus years. He was a beloved principal at DeVeaux, Navarre, Fulton, Walbridge and Chase schools. Generations of Toledo students still remember his mottos, such as “Hustle, Pride and Respect,” “If you believe, you will achieve,” and “I am somebody.”

Many Toledoans remember Hart from his long tenure as principal at DeVeaux school, where he served for twenty years. Some of the awards and recognitions Jack received include the Toledo public school leadership plaque; in 1987 had his name and photo installed at the DeVeaux “Hall of Fame” instituted by the student body with the inscription “Principal Hart, a man and his magic. You open your heart to us and tell we are somebody. You tell us to believe and we will achieve. You are special.” In 1988 he was named educator of the year by District 1 Ohio PTA; in 1988 was selected as one of the eight most outstanding educators in the state of Ohio; in 1990 Board of Education named the DeVeaux Junior High field house the “ John “Jack” L. Hart Field House” in his honor; and in 1990 had his name inscribed in the cornerstone of the DeVeaux Junior High addition, for being instrumental in its planning.

Upon receiving a certificate of appreciation from the Toledo Board of Education for his forty years of service, Hart prophetically told the Board “You can lead the winds of change, or you can just get blown away.” Hart retired in 1990.

“When he talks about education, John Hart doesn’t talk about pupil units, learner outcomes or instructional objectives,” Toledo Blade staff writer Doug Iverson wrote, “He talks about kids.”

Hart was a member of the Toledo Chamber of Commerce for Effective Education; Knights of the Round Table (St. Francis DeSales High School); Toledo City­Wide School Testing Program; the Paul Block Committee for Recreation, a Trustee Member of T.R.A.P. “Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel”; and a past president of the elementary principal’s association.

Hart was an avid supporter of UT athletics and was an active member of its many support organizations. The organizations include the UT Alumni Association (25 years), the Downtown Coaches Association (25 years) where he was president in 1996­97, a full­time Volunteer and Chairman of all 50/50 ticket sales for all football and basketball at UT. For over 25 years he worked on the Downtown Coaches Raffle committee and led the ticket sales for over 10 years. In 2000 Mr. and Mrs. Hart won the coach of the year award, in recognition of their outstanding service from the Downtown Coaches Association and the UT Athletic Dept. Scholarship Fund. He won the UT 12th Man Award in 2002. He was a strong supporter and member of the UT Men’s and Women’s Basketball Fan Club.

As Highland Park Teen Town director, from 1954­ 1967, Hart became the common adult thread for years of adolescents in South Toledo. Teen Town held weekly dances at the Highland Park shelter house. The school principal by day became deejay by night. Several outdoor events drew over 2,000 youth. “Jack Hart was the reason Highland was so successful,” said Jenny Price, at one of the many Teen Town reunions, one of which drew over 700 attendees, some from out of the country.

Jack was an avid tennis player who won several senior team division city, district and state championships.

“Mr. Hart made sure all teenagers participated. He was a wonderful man who touched many lives,” said Mrs. Price.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Parish, 4201 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo at 10:00 a.m. He will be interred at Toledo Memorial Park. Arrangements are by the Newcomer Funeral Home (419-­381­-1900).

Left to cherish his memory are his wife Sophie, his children Dr. John Hart, a professor and chair at Hawai’i Pacific University and Sherry Hart, a retired Toledo special education teacher and his granddaughter Jacqueline. The family, at Jack’s request, invites donations to the University of Toledo Rocket Fund: Scholarships and the DeVeaux School library resources fund in lieu of flowers.

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