County ESC dedicates offices in Hood’s memory
LISBON — The Columbiana County Educational Service Center officially renamed its building as the Paul A. Hood Center of Excellence, a man described professionally as an educator with a fierce passion and dedication to education and seeing those around him succeed, and personally as a dedicated father, husband, grandfather and friend.
“Many of you knew him as Paul Hood, but I knew him as Dad, grandfather, master-of-the-universe,” Christina Douglas, daughter of Hood, said during the sign dedication ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.
The ESC presented the plaque that will soon hang proudly on the outside of the building with a spotlight on it for good measure–something Douglas said her father would be “all about”–to Douglas and her mother and Hood’s wife of 41 years, Jennifer Hood.
Hood dedicated 30 of his 71 years of life to the ESC and was the driving force behind the construction of the current building. Hood’s dedication to the center made it possible for them to expand out of the rickety old home turned office that the center had outgrown, into what superintendent Anna Marie Vaughn describes as the “Taj Mahal” in comparison. Through his work, the new facility was constructed in 1989. Because of limited funds, Hood could be found at the center day and night, including weekends, working on projects to complete the task.
“Images are burned in my mind of him hanging phones, spending hours, days, months here working,” Douglas said during the ceremony. Douglas said that she often came to work with Hood, and while she was in the basement roller-skating to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” her dad would be upstairs painting stairwells and hallways.
While Hood is the reason the building stands today, ESC board president Richard Stoudt noted that he also shaped and influenced the ESC as an entity, and without his influence, the center would not be where it is today physically or figuratively.