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East Tech grad goes the distance for attendance campaign

Norman Tidmore Jr., East Tech High Class of 1991, is loyal to his alma mater, so loyal that he drove in from the Detroit area to welcome current students back on the first day of the school year.
Alumni and school officials lined the front walk to the school Tuesday, applauding and high-fiving returning students. The hearty reception was part of the "Get Back to School. You Can Make It!" campaign, launched last month to raise low CMSD attendance rates.
Tidmore, who works as a supervisor in a steel mill, had plans to travel back to Cleveland but moved up the timing after learning of the event from former East Tech Principal Terry Butler and the school's alumni association. He said he thought it was important to let the students know people care about them.
After graduating from East Tech, Tidmore earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Ohio University and a master's degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University. He also served 13 years in the Army, including time in Kuwait and Iraq.
Tidmore played baseball and basketball at East Tech and ran cross-country. He said he maintained good attendance and finished near the top of his class.
"It was a great time," said Tidmore, who regularly comes home to catch Scarab basketball games. "Teachers showed me a lot of love because I came to school every day. I wanted to learn. I had a desire to learn. My teachers made sure I had what I needed to be successful."
The attendance campaign features billboards, yard signs and radio spots that encourage students to attend school. The Cleveland Browns are among the campaign partners, and head Coach Mike Pettine and safety Donte Whitner, who played high school football at Glenville, recorded phone calls urging students to be in school on the first day.