What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Rochelle Haas and I was born and raised in Canton, and have lived in North Canton with my husband Tom since we were married. Our daughter Flannery Haas and son-in-law Pat Brady live in Columbus and are expecting a baby girl (our first grandchild) in February!
Where did you attend school?
I attended Clarendon and Cedar Elementary Schools and Souers Junior High, and graduated in 1976 from Lincoln High School. Upon graduation I attended and worked at KSU Stark Campus, eventually transferring to the KSU Main Campus. I graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in English. I went back to graduate school at KSU and received a Master’s in Education and an Educational Specialist’s Degree in Early Childhood School Psychology in 1989.
Work experience/military service/etc?
My very first job was as a clerk at Johnnie’s Pastries in 1976. I was employed as a copywriter and salesperson at WHBC from 1981-1983. I also worked as an account representative and technical writer in the in-house advertising department of Myers Industries in Akron. After receiving my graduate degree in school psychology, I was employed as a school psychologist for Canton City Schools, Plain Local Schools, and the Stark County Educational Service Center, eventually retiring.
When did you start volunteering here?
I began volunteering in the McKinley Research Library in June of 2016, following the lead of my husband. Having grown up in Canton and with fond memories of field trips to the McKinley Museum and Planetarium, I was very interested in Stark County history. As a volunteer, I’ve researched, written and recorded blog posts for the Archivist’s Attic on a variety of subjects. I’ve helped to document donations to the library. I’m currently documenting articles from a former local publication called The Roller Monthly dating back to 1898! It is truly fascinating to catch a glimpse of how dynamic our community was, and to note the things that have evolved over the course of time. I really enjoy the camaraderie, interaction, and passion of all of the staff and volunteers. Every day at the Library is an adventure, with everyone bringing their curiosity and inquisitiveness to the table in their quest for historic information. I’ve even learned that my great-great-great grandfather, Peter Mottice, was an important figure in the early development of Waynesburg/Sandy Valley and was a member of the first grand jury convened in Stark County.
When you are not volunteering, what are some of your hobbies or commitments?
I am also involved in a number of activities to support education, early childhood, and the arts. I currently serve on the Advisory Board for the Artful Living and Learning Program, which provides arts immersion instruction to nearly a thousand preschoolers in Stark County. I previously served on the Margaret Shipley Child Health Clinic and the KSU Stark Alumni Boards. Other interests include travel, writing, oil painting, photography, hiking, reading, and music. Also, I am a very social person and especially enjoy spending time with family and friends.
Favorite things about being a volunteer?
To me, volunteering is a way to stay engaged with my community.
What values and/or lessons would you pass along to someone?
I believe that knowing and understanding our history is an essential part of being an informed citizen. The perspective of knowing where we’ve been helps to guide us going forward and gives me a sense of pride in our community’s diversity and vibrancy.
We want to thank Rochelle for letting us interview her and allowing us to share her story on our social media. Our team at the McKinley Presidential Library loves being able to share stories of our volunteers with people outside of the museum and we want you to be apart of that too!
If you would like information on how to become a volunteer, be sure to private message our page or call the museum at: (330) 455-7043