June 29, 2016

Intermittent clouds

A hundred new books donated in memory of beloved teacher

Claggett Middle School sixth-grader Hannah Kim checks out a copy of “Now,” by Morris Gleitzman, one of the approximately 100 new books donated to the Medina school’s library in memory of former teacher Bob Capito. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

More than a year after his death, beloved Claggett Middle School teacher Bob Capito continues to inspire students to read.

On Tuesday, the Medina middle school held a reception for students and parents at the school’s library to unveil more than 100 new books purchased using memorial donations for Capito.

Library media specialist Tharen Houck said well-wishers donated $1,260 to the library in honor of Capito, who died June 20, 2012.

The books were chosen to get kids excited about reading, she said. They include mysteries, supernatural books, fantasies and graphic novels.

Capito, 55, had been a Claggett Middle School language arts teacher for 15 years.

Lauren Pytel, a junior at Medina High School, said Capito taught her in eighth grade.

“He was the best teacher I ever had,” she said. “He really made me feel good about my writing. He got me into Power of the Pen,” a competition for young writers.

Pytel said Capito didn’t just focus on high-achieving students.

“He didn’t have favorites,” she said. “He helped everyone.”

Capito helped his colleagues out as well.

Matthew Mattie, a seventh-grade Claggett language arts teacher, said he worked with Capito for a year.

“He really helped me to be a stronger teacher of writing,” Mattie said. “He would really push kids hard. He taught me how to push kids.”

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.