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Published: Thursday, 4/21/2005

Educator taught, was principal in Northwood

Irvin Seal, 83, a longtime teacher and principal in the Northwood Local School District, died Monday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township, from complications of a stroke.

He'd fought back from another stroke 20 years ago, his nephew Jim Boyer said.

"He was a very determined guy and basically learned to speak again and walk again," his nephew said.

Mr. Seal, of Rossford, retired in the early 1980s as principal of Northwood Middle School, which he'd transformed from a junior high in the late 1960s.

"There weren't many middle schools in the area. They were mostly junior high schools," said his nephew, a retired principal of Northwood's Olney and Lark elementary schools.

"He often attended conventions for principals, and he was an avid reader of professional journals to get ideas on ways to deliver instruction that would be an improvement."

He considered one such improvement to be a school for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

Mr. Seal also made reading a subject taught separately, designed a science curriculum so students could work at their own pace, and instituted special interest classes in such areas as photography.

"He was a very innovative educator," his nephew said. "As a principal, he ran a well disciplined building. He had high expectations for teachers and students."

Mr. Seal began his career as a history teacher at Otsego Junior High School. He later taught history and business at Northwood High School.

He grew up in Woodsfield, Ohio. His education at Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio, was interrupted by Navy service in World War II. He was aboard the destroyer USS Foote in the Pacific. In flight, he was on a patrol bomber keeping watch for enemy ships.

Mr. Seal received a master's degree from Bowling Green State University.

In retirement, he attended conventions of his Navy buddies and traveled the United States with his wife, Martha.

He liked to read the history of the western United States. And he kept up with education journals.

"He was the kind of guy who made the best of life's ups and downs," his nephew said.

He was a longtime member of Rossford United Methodist Church.

Surviving is his wife, Martha, whom he married Aug. 21, 1948.

The body will be in the Sujkowski Funeral Home of Rossford after 2 p.m. today. Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Rossford United Methodist Church, where the body will be after 10 a.m.



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