Clarno eager to make impact
Comparing the new student activities director for Columbus City Schools with the previous one reminds Beechcroft High School athletics director Anthony Brown of the difference between a classic automobile and a concept car.
Brown, who has been an athletics director in the district since 1999, said Vincent Clarno provides a fresh look for the position and will modernize the role.
Clarno, who took over the position Aug. 1, had been an assistant principal at Fort Hayes. He succeeds Mike Rotonda, who had been with the district for more than 40 years and retired this summer after serving as student activities director since 1996.
"(Clarno is) a young, sharp talent who's a motivated, energetic individual," said Brown, who previously was athletics director at Linden-McKinley and Eastmoor. "We're going from old-school to the new millennium, and he's absolutely the right guy. It's going to be totally different."
Clarno is a 1994 Walnut Ridge graduate who will work directly with each of the district's 17 high school athletics directors.
He played basketball for both the Scots and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and earned a master's degree from Ohio State.
Clarno said improving the athletics website for Columbus City Schools is among his goals over the coming months.
"We're overhauling our website," he said. "It needs to be more informative and user-friendly to our parents. It's going to be great for our fans."
According to Brown, Clarno also will have an impact on how sporting events involving multiple City League schools, such as preseason basketball previews, are organized.
"I'm a Columbus city graduate, so outside of just working in the school system, I'm a huge supporter of our products," Clarno said. "I've always gone to our events, so I'm excited to have influence and really want to make sure our fans and families are getting a quality experience in Columbus.
"All 17 of the high school ADs report to my office, so from a day-to-day basis, I'll work with each of them. I easily could have been a person who could have been a 30-year teacher and coach, but I was blessed with an administrative position early in my career, which has given me this opportunity to do this now. I'm excited and humbled to give our young people the chance to grow. At the end of the day, we've got great coaches, great athletics directors and people who are pouring themselves out."
City League schools to have new ADs
According to Jeff Shepherd, who is an assistant director of student activities, Brookhaven, Columbus East, Columbus South and Whetstone all have been in the process of selecting new athletics directors.
Shepherd was the AD at South before transitioning into his new position with student activities.
Jeremy Froehlich recently stepped down as Brookhaven's AD to take the same position at Buckeye Valley, where he is a 1995 graduate.
Corrine Taylor left her alma mater, Whetstone, to take the AD job at Bexley.
Two other schools with new athletics directors for the 2012-13 school year are Northland and Walnut Ridge.
Randy King, who had been serving in the student activities department, took over at Northland after Greg Reamsnyder took the AD position at Walnut Ridge.