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A life fully experienced

How Jack Hess went from teacher to teacher with five jobs in-between
Sam Smith
Done Tons: Jack Hess has been a teacher, spokesperson, VP and horse rescuer in his entire career. “There’s never a dull moment, never a dull moment.” Hess said.

In the halls of many Federal League schools, there is a substitute teacher with an interesting story. From college football to vice presidency of a company to substitute teacher, Jack Hess has done it all.

John (Jack) Hess is a substitute for Stark County area schools. He may not be a common face to students at GlenOak as he’s only been here a few times due to the jobs at Jackson and Perry that he picks up.

Hess grew up in the Pittsburgh area, receiving his high school education there and beginning his athletic career in baseball and football. Opportunities were already arising out of high school for Hess and he came to his first big choice.

“I got a full scholarship to play for the University of Wyoming (football). So I went out and played in Wyoming, got my education, played football, got drafted by the Pirates (for baseball), but I didn’t take it because the scholarship was more money than the draft,” Hess said. 

Out of college, Hess traveled back to Pittsburgh and became a teacher. Teaching treated him well but Hess wanted more for his family. Hess quit teaching after only three years with the hope to get a better paying job to support his kids. 

Hess had a background in technology so he took that and ran. 

“I Started my career with a company called Corning, Corning Glassworks, which is up in Corning, New York, and I worked there for probably about a dozen years,” Hess said.

Corning Glassworks opened up many doors for Hess. He traveled to different countries as a public speaker, presenting to crowds of up to 250 people. There was one of these conferences that really stands out. 

Hess was doing a two-hour presentation representing Corning at a large company conference. Little did he know, the President of Mark Four Industries was in the crowd. Post speech, the president came up to Hess.

“He says, ‘Can you come up to Buffalo, New York and do a speech? We own 47 companies, and we’re gonna have all the presidents of all these different companies, and we’re looking for a speaker. So I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll come do that!’.”Hess said.

The president said that he couldn’t pay him but could cover the hotel and meals. This may be a big no for some people, but Hess took it up, not knowing what would happen next. 

Hess was taken on a tour of the offices with no suspicion of his opportunity. 

“But what was different about this tour, he took me to a closed door. We opened the door up, and there was an office, empty office, and he said, ‘This, this office could be yours.’ And he offered me a job.”

Hess was off, leaving Corning for a bigger job. Although the move from Corning to Buffalo was a lot for his family, it ended up better for the future as his 3 daughters have found their spouses, jobs and lives there.  

He was at Mark Four for 12 years but never lost sight of that conference and what that did for him. He took a solid lesson from that and used it throughout his entire career and life.

“And, and when you’re out talking to different people and different companies and so on, so forth, you know, what my tendency was to be very spirited, very excited, have a lot of energy and, and what happens when you do that kind of stuff? People take notice,” Hess said.

From there on out, Hess never declined opportunities. Mark Four allowed him to go all over the place. Hess has been to China, South America, Europe and every state but Alaska. It was at one of his conferences that his next job would sprout from.

He was at another conference where the Chairman of Diebold Industries was in the crowd. Hess did his normal thing for Mark Four, speaking on change management in front of crowds. But a while after, he was contacted by Diebold for a job.

“And eventually, years later, he came up. In fact, I didn’t see him for many years, and all sudden, I got a phone call, and he said, why don’t you come down, they’ll talk to you about job,” Hess said.

Hess took that job and grew to be the Vice President of Diebold, where he focused on supply chain management. From the day he started at Corning, he had been on the job learning. 

“I could say, from Corning on, was on the job learning. It didn’t go to school for it, didn’t have a degree for it, but basically, on the job learning,” Hess said. 

After only five years at Diebold, Hess was once again offered a job at a company elsewhere. This was Hess’s biggest job yet. 

“A company called IBM, which, is one of the largest technology companies in the world, recruited me, and so I went to IBM and basically did very much of the same thing that I did with Diebold, but on a bigger scale,” Hess said.

The vast popularity of IBM allowed Hess to become one of the top five spend management speakers in the world. Hess went on to work for an automotive company for two years then to retirement after that. 

Through all of this, Hess has learned valuable life lessons. He wants all kids to set their bars high and go for their dreams. You have to go get it.

“I tell my grandsons all the time that I, you know, I said, Don’t be sitting on a couch waiting for somebody to knock on a door. Ain’t gonna happen. You have to make things happen,” Hess said.

Today, Hess owns a horse rescue ranch in East Sparta, Ohio. He and his wife have owned it for about six years and love it. They rescue suffering horses and give them a safe place to live. 

“She loves every minute of it, and so I support her on that, and that’s what we’ve been doing now,” Hess said.

Hess has been a sub for three years now and does it to offset the costs to maintain the horses. He has loved it and enjoys teaching the elementary kids and playing games.

Hess has no intentions of leaving the country ever again and enjoys relaxing after his busy career. A career of opportunities, chances, and improvement.

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About the Contributor
Sam Smith
Sam Smith, Sports Editor
Sam Smith (he/him) is a junior, this is his second year on staff. He runs cross country and track for the school and he is a part of a church youth group. For fun he likes to run, play video games and hangout with friends. A fun fact about him is that he is in the engineering career tech.
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