WARREN - Longtime teacher, coach and athletic director John Gillen was honored as the school's gymnasium was named for him during the recent John F. Kennedy 22nd annual Just for Kicks annual auction.
JFK President Brian Sinchak said there was no other choice but Gillen to name the gymnasium after, noting it was a unanimous vote by the school's board of directors.
"Selecting him was the easiest decision of any decision we have ever made at JFK. Mr. Gillen is a Kennedy legend and is beloved and known by everyone who has been part of this school," Sinchak said.
Gillen said he was honored and humbled at the selection.
His career started at St. Mary's in 1960 and then he moved to JFK when it opened in 1964. He has been a teacher, coach and athletic director and said what he has enjoyed the most is the people, families, students and faculty. "They have made my time here wonderful."
High school principal Staci Raab said she has worked with Gillen during her years at the school.
"He has been active with the schools even before JFK started.
Jill Phillips, director of communications/ advancement, said Gillen is someone who is known and loved by everyone who is or was part of the school.
The Just for Kicks event included a live and silent auction. The auction event draws nearly 500 people from Trumbull and Mahoning counties and has become a much anticipated early spring event.
Proceeds from the event have contributed to many new programs being offered at the school and the general operating funds.
Sinchak said the near $200,000 raised last year helped provide scholarships for students who may not have otherwise been able to attend the school.
"The Just for Kicks auction is an institution in Trumbull County. The funds generated will allow me to introduce and expand several innovative educational programs here at Kennedy in the coming school year. This is an exciting time in education, and we are now on the cutting edge of academics and technology in this county,'' Sinchak said.