John A. Venesile, Ph. D.

A lifelong love affair with music has proved to be a life's work of love for Wellsville native son, John A. Venesile. A 1954 graduate of Wellsville High School, Venesile was born July 17, 1937 to Mary Venesile of Wellsville and the late John Venesile.

Venesile's love of music and life's work may be attributed to his mother, who scrimped and saved to purchase a piano for her son and, thereby, gave him an important instrument for his future.

While in high school, Venesile was a member of the Wellsville Tiger Marching Band, serving as drum major. Upon graduation, he began his pursuit of musical studies at Ohio University in Athens.

After receiving his bachelor's degree from Ohio University, Venesile spent eight years in the Independence City School District serving as conductor of the high school band and choral groups, as well as chairman of the department of music. During that time he pursued and earned his master's degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1967.

From 1969 through 1977, he served as the director of instrumental music for Rocky River City Schools, In addition to serving as chairman of the music department, he also was the band and orchestra conductor and the elementary music director.

The late '80s and early '90s took Venesile to Case Western Reserve, where, while pursuing his doctorate, he served as a teaching assistant and conductor of the symphonic band. He earned his Ph. D. in 1992.

After he received his doctorate, he served as an adjunct professor at John Carroll University teaching classes in education and music and art in the elementary school until his retirement earlier this year.

From 1977 through 2001, Venesile served as a professor of music and education at Cuyahoga Community College, where he also was coordinator of music studies and education and taught classes in music and education.

Throughout his teaching career, Venesile held to his belief that music education for children and adults alike is as important as reading, writing or arithmetic because of the opportunity for expression that it affords.

Now semi-retired, Venesile serves as director of the Music Fine Arts Association of the Western Reserve.

Over the course of his career, Venesile has been the recipient of numerous excellence in teaching awards, including the 1989 National Teaching Excellence Award. In 1998, he was presented the Alumni Service Award, presented by the School of Music of Ohio University in recognition of significant service, dedication and loyalty to the profession.

He and his wife, the former Nina Grande of Wellsville, have been married 42 years and are the parents of five children.