There’ll be many new faces around the table when the Fulton Board of Education holds its next meeting in two weeks.
Three of the board’s seven members said their goodbyes to their colleagues Tuesday night as their terms came to an end.
Robert Ireland, Dan Pawlewicz and Rae Howard each decided not to run for reelection. Howard is heading back to college while Ireland and Pawlewicz want to spend more time with their families.
“You exemplify what’s good about the community,” board President Robbin Griffin told the trio.
“We haven’t always seen issues the same way, but we’ve been able to come to consensus,” said board member Brian Hotaling.
Howard, who admitted that she pressed hard for issues related to special education students, thanked board members for their patience with her. “I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve yelled in this room,” she said. “Despite that, you’ve all said hello to me on the street.”
Ireland said he felt confident that the new board members will continue the district’s positive direction. During his term, which included a stint as President, he completed the training necessary to earn the designation of Master Board Member.
Among the hard issues tackled during his time was the rebuilding of district schools, which included many unusual discussions. He said he was glad that someday “I can take my grandkids over to the High School and say I picked out those trees there,” to laughter from the board members.
Pawlewicz, pausing as he became emotional, thanked his wife and daughters for allowing him to spend the time necessary to serve on the board. “It’s been a long six years,” he said. “I feel I’ve learned a lot and I feel I’ve made a difference. I got my hands dirty and I feel like I’ve done my part.”
The three members will be replaced by newly-elected members Fred Cavalier, Barbara Hubbard and former board member David Cordone. A fourth new member, David Carvey, joined the board immediately after the May election because he is filling the unexpired term of a board member who resigned.
“It’s a job that consumes a lot of your time, a lot of your thoughts and a lot of your heart,” said Griffin. “I hope people remember to say thank you for what you did.”