MANSFIELD -- Whether she was teaching high school English or working as an administrator, Amanda Mahon was always looking out for the best interest of her students.
Mahon, 40, passed away Nov. 20, leaving behind a legacy of compassionate leadership that touched school districts across Richland County.
Mansfield Senior High Principal Marinise Harris called Mahon a “phenomenal woman” and gifted educator.
“She brought a loving, kind, firm but fair presence. She made everyone feel welcome and loved,” Harris said. “She was very understanding, very caring, very nurturing. So much so that some of her kids called her ‘Mama Mahon.’”
Despite her role as an assistant high school principal, Mahon wasn’t one to hide in her office. Instead, she preferred being in the classroom and hallways, interacting face-to-face with teachers and students.
Mahon also helped start the high school’s PBIS store, which provided rewards to students for good behavior.
“She spearheaded bringing in a local coffee company so kids could get lattes and hot chocolate during lunch,” she said. “The kids and staff loved it.”
Harris said she would miss “everything” about Mahon.
“She was more than a coworker to me. She was hired a week after I was. We went through this journey together,” Harris said. “She will be sorely, greatly missed.”
Prior to her time at Mansfield City Schools, Mahon was the Director of Education for the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center and the principal of Plymouth-Shiloh High School.
“She was professional in everything that she did,” said superintendent Brad Turson, who worked alongside Mahon as former middle school principal. “Every decision that she made was based on what was best for her students.”
“I want to express my condolences to her family. Amanda was a strong leader in our area in education and she’ll be sorely missed,” added superintendent Kevin Kimmel, of the Mid-Ohio ESC. “She was a well respected educator and her contributions to our region were significant.”
Mahon worked briefly as a substitute teacher in her hometown of Bucyrus before joining the staff of Shelby High School as an English teacher in 2002. During her time at Shelby, she also served as the advisor to the Scarlet S Yearbook, prom and student council.
Shelby superintendent Tim Tarvin said Mahon had a passion for kids and a unique ability to connect with them.
“I think some people just have that ‘it’ factor when it comes to building relationships with kids,” he added. “Kids are pretty bright. They can see what a person is truly like. Amanda treated kids with respect and in turn they treated her with respect.”
In addition to her skills as an educator, Tarvin described Mahon as a loyal friend and a great mother with a spunky personality and sense of humor.
“I truly believe that people who crossed paths with Amanda are better for it,” he said.