Stow-Munroe Falls: Indian Trail principal announces retirement

Krista S. Kano
Akron Beacon Journal
The Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education and administration, as well as the entire meeting audience, give a standing ovation to Indian Trail Elementary School Principal John Lacoste, who will retire on June 14. He will be succeeded by Traci Hricik.

John Lacoste, principal of Stow-Munroe Falls' Indian Trail Elementary School, will retire June 14 after 17 years with the district, and has been made an honorary educational ambassador by the board of education and the superintendent. 

He is the first person to hold that title in the district. 

"I know how hard this decision was for you, and I know how much you will be missed," Superintendent Tom Bratten said to Lacoste in a special presentation during Monday night's board meeting. "Please know that we will miss you and your contributions equally as much. You just can't fill holes of this size overnight so we're not going to let you totally ride off into the sunset just yet."

As educational ambassador, Lacoste will occasionally be called upon to attend seminars, conferences and meetings on behalf of the district, provide input and advice on school matters, and spread good news about what is happening in the buildings. 

Lacoste was hired Aug. 16, 2004, to be the Indian Trail principal and has remained at that post throughout his tenure with the district. He previously worked with Dublin, Westerville and Hilliard city schools. 

A LOOK BACK: Indian Trails new principal says staff at school has been great

Lacoste thanked the board, administration, district colleagues, Indian Trail colleagues, school families, volunteers, city workers and his family — wife Jane and sons Joshua, Jonathan and Joel.

"I had time to reflect and sometimes you realize that you may not be at your best anymore and it is time, because you love what you do and who you do it for, that it's time to move aside and let others also do their best," Lacoste said. "I've always asked my staff to give 100% to our students and families at Indian Trail and they've always done that. For me, it was the same thinking that if I could not give 100% that it is also an indication that it's time for me to go."

Lacoste received a standing ovation from the school board, Bratten and the audience, most of whom were in attendance specifically for him. 

Board member Lisa Johnson-Bowers praised Lacoste for the impact he had on her own children as well as the lives of all students in the district.

"I talk a lot about teachers being successful vs significant, and you are the model of being significant," she said. "[Students] will always remember you, they will model the lessons you taught them and it's just amazing and I truly appreciate it."

Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.