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Orrville Today

2UUYLOOH&LWL]HQRIWKH<HDU DAVID T. HANDWERK

Orrville Gives a Hand to Handwerk

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hen Dave Yost, Ohio Auditor, stopped by city hall last summer looking for the mayor, he wasn’t in the office. He was at the Smith Orr Homestead painting. Painting the Homestead was just one or many examples cited in letters submitted to the Citizen of the Year selection committee on behalf of a man who according to his son, Adam,“lives and breathes Orrville and has done so his entire life.” Mayor David T. Handwerk was surprised with the announcement that he had been selected as the 2014 Paul L. Powell Citizen of the Year at the Orrville City Council meeting on March 16. “Dave sees a need in his community and simply does what needs to be done.” remarked Lori Reinbolt, president, Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce who made the official announcement. His contributions exemplify what Powell meant when he referred to Orrville as “The Promised Land,” Handwerk, a 1971 graduate of Orrville High School worked on the paint line at Orrville Products while attending college classes in the evening at Kent State University extension (the predecessor of Wayne Collge.) He married wife Nancy in 1973 and graduated with a B.S. in Education from The Ohio State University in 1975. The Handwerk’s returned to Orrville and Dave began his career as an elementary physical education teacher in the Triway Local Schools. In 1985, he took a job in Orrville schools coaching the girls’ track team, and at the start of the 1985-86 school year got a fulltime teaching position in the district working at Maple Street Elementary. Handwerk coached women’s track for 17 years taking over 50 student athletes to the state track meet. The

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Smith Dairy Track meet was originally organized by Handwerk and even though he retired from teaching in 2007, he still works the event every year. “I try to promote Orrville through my words and actions every chance I get,” stated Jason Ayers, Physical Education Teacher and Track Coach, Orrville City Schools who admits that his attitude and behavior has been modeled after Handwerk, Ayers comment represents countless other young people that Handwerk impacted as a teacher, coach and community leader. In 1989, former Mayor Howard Wade approached Handwerk about filling a vacant seat on City Council. This was the beginning of 18 years of on council with 12 of those as council president before being elected Mayor, 2008. Handwerk is one of those people who has a job that is in the public eye. However, so much of what he does goes on behind the scenes. “Dave is constantly in the background of Orrville events,” commented Lyle Baker, president, Orrville City Council. Citing that the idea to have a car show for the Orrville Lion’s Club Rib and Music Fest on the lawn of the Smith Orr Homestead was Handwerk’s suggestion. While the position of Mayor is a part-time job, Handwerk has, from the beginning, chosen to give fulltime attention in service to his community, “His door is always open to the public whether it is something he can help with or not. He lets them talk. He listens.” commented Jeanne Feudo, Mayor’s Administrative Assistant. Many local non-profit organizations including the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club have benefitted from Handwerk’s leadership on their Boards and through service as a dedicated, hands-on volunteer. Handwerk will be the 50th Citizen of the Year recipient that was first presented in 1969 to honor the legacy of Paul L. Powell, owner of The Orrville Courier-Crescent newspaper from 1930 – mid 1960’s. The Dix Family established the Paul L Powell Citizen of the Year award to recognize him for his community leadership, his journalistic talents and his deep affection for Orrville, his promised land. The Paul L. Powell Citizen of the Year award was formally presented to Handwerk at the 99th Annual Meeting of the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce on March 24.


Orrville Today: The 2015 Community Guide