Tolles Anniversary: 40 years of milestones

shaggerty News

Tolles is celebrating its 40th anniversary this week with a series of events, including honoring our 40 at 40, those individuals and organizations that have contributed to our success over 40 years. While the school did not open to students until 1974, the district formed in 1971 to get organized, hire a superintendent, and build The Central Ohio Joint Vocational School District. Below is a timeline of major milestones from when the State Board of Education approved the JVSD through this month when we recognize 40 years of serving students and our seven associate school districts and various communities.

A Timeline of Major Milestones

April 1971: State Board of Education approves The Central Ohio Joint Vocational School District.

photo 3 (7)

May 1971: All seven member districts (Dublin, then Washington Local Schools; Fairbanks; Hilliard, then Scioto-Darby City Schools; Jonathan Alder; Jefferson Local; London; Madison-Plains) adopt resolutions joining The Central Ohio Joint Vocational School District.

December 1971: Board of Education selects Harry E. Tolles as first superintendent.

May 1972: Building and operating levies approved by district voters.

June 1973: Groundbreaking ceremony held.

March 1974: Due to construction delays, the Board authorized a partial opening for the 1974-1975 school year. Ten programs started in the front section of the building.

September 1974: First students report.

September 1975: Building completed and full operations begin.

June 1976: The first class of students graduates.

July 1983: Name changed to The Central Ohio Technical Center.

June 1984: Name changed to Harry E. Tolles Technical Center as the district’s first and only superintendent retires the same month after thirteen years at the helm.

photo 4 (6)

July 1984: Brian O’Mara begins as the district’s second superintendent.

August 1990: New labs are added and a major renovation is completed on the building.

August 1991: Tolles Technical Center, in collaboration with the Center for Education, Training and Employment at The Ohio State University, established the first Russian/American Vocational School in Tomsk, Siberia.

July 1993: Mobile Computer Technology Laboratory is dedicated.

photo 2 (12)

May 1994: Groundbreaking held for new addition to the building.

August 1994: Mobile Computer Technology Laboratory travels to Washington, D.C., and receives national award for technology.

photo 1 (9)

December 1995: Open House and dedication of new addition to the building.

October 1999: The district celebrates its 25th Anniversary.

August 2000: Mobile Career Assessment Laboratory is dedicated and serves 2,000 students during the first year.

January 2003: The district’s taxes are reduced for the third time from original 1.8 mills to .5 mills.

July 2003: Brian O’ Mara retires after 18 years as superintendent.

August 2003: Carl J. Berg begins as the district’s third superintendent.

October 2007: Tolles Career & Technical Center breaks ground on a major renovation and addition project.

October 2008: Dedication ceremony held on the renovation/addition project that brings updated academic classrooms, a new library, auditorium, office space, career-technical labs, restaurant, preschool, and more.

photo (20)

August 2011: Kim Wilson begins as the district’s fourth superintendent.

August 2013: Tolles partners with Hilliard City Schools’ McVey Innovative Learning Center to launch two career-technical programs, Academy INC and Academy EDU. The districts later partner to launch Academy MD as part of a Straight A Grant.

April 2014: Tolles announces partnership with Jonathan Alder Junior High School to begin career-technical programs in engineering/manufacturing and information technology in response to Governor John Kasich’s call for middle school career-technical education options.


June 2014: Tolles is awarded an estimated $1.5 million dollars as part of a nearly $15 million Straight A Grant from the Ohio Department of Education to replicate Tri-Rivers Career Center’s RAMTEC center to advance opportunities for students, both high school and adult, in the areas of manufacturing and engineering.

October 2014: The district celebrates 40 years by recognizing the “40 at 40” nominated by colleagues, peers, friends, and family. Harry E. Tolles, the district’s original superintendent and school’s namesake will be in attendance as one of the 40 honorees.

photo 1 (10)