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The Canton City School District will honor five outstanding and influential community leaders in the areas of the arts and athletics at its 2019 District Wide Black History Month Celebration. This sixth annual event will be held Thursday, February 21st, at Umstattd Performing Arts Hall beginning at 6 p.m.  The pre-show will begin at 5:30 p.m. with musical talent comprised of CCSD staff members. This year we will recognize the following:

R.C. Hill Jr. is the founder of the Canton Midget Football League. Hill continues to coach a new generation of young athletes and remains committed to youth sports in Canton.

Rick Hairston is the former head basketball coach at Timken and McKinley Senior High Schools. Hairston served as head basketball coach at Timken 2000 to 2015, then took over as McKinley’s head coach following the merge of Timken and McKinley in 2015 until his retirement in 2017.

Linda Jones, a 29-year CCSD employee, will be honored posthumously. She taught Praise Dance at all age levels in the district’s after school program, as well as at her church and throughout the community.

Myra Watkins, longtime CCSD educator and current assistant principal of Gibbs Leadership School, will be recognized for her commitment to teaching African dance to young people throughout the community and for her activism.

Anthony Watson Sr. is a former music teacher in CCSD who started the community  summer instrumental program. He is being honored for his lifelong commitment to music education.

Among the performances will be our elementary school Honors Choir, EN-RICH-MENT music program, and the McKinley Step Team. The program is free and open to the public. Umstattd Hall is located on the campus of Canton McKinley Senior High School, 2323 17th St. NW, Canton, Ohio.


Diversity Coordinator Andrea Ramsey addresses the audience at last year's celebration.


Lisa Reicosky

Executive Communications Coordinator

Canton City School District