Sahd day for school district Board gets new member, but loses veteran business manager

By on September 18, 2013

By:

MICHAEL C. UPTON Record Express Correspondent

, Staff Writer

Warwick School Board unanimously appointed a new member Tuesday during its regular monthly meeting. Benedict Sahd will complete the unfinished term of current board member Matthew Knouse, meaning Sahd will sit on the board until 2015.

Knouse announced his intent to resign from the board, for personal reasons, at the July 16 meeting. During the following month’s meeting, held Aug. 20, he officially submitted his letter of resignation. At that time the board approved his resignation effective Sept. 30, and during that same meeting Superintendent Dr. April Hershey announced two candidates were interested in filling the vacated seat and interviews would be conducted during an upcoming public meeting.

Prior to that next public meeting, one of the candidates dropped out of consideration. Hershey made the announcement of the availability of a single candidate during the Sept. 3 Committee of the Whole meeting. During the meeting, Sahd, as the lone candidate, presented his biography and answered questions from the board in a public forum.

Sahd will now fill out the remainder of Knouse’s term. He is the husband of Beth Ann Sahd, who served on the board under former superintendent Dr. John George and up until the current administration; she chaired the district’s Education Committee. Benedict Sahd recently served on the district’s Student Activities Committee.

David Zerbe has served as district business manager since 1982

It was with reluctance that the board accepted another resignation Tuesday night. They unanimously approved the retirement of veteran business manager David Zerbe, effective Feb. 28, 2014.

Regular meeting attendee Howard Snoke jokingly suggested the board decline the resignation in order to keep Zerbe around for a few more years. But it was not to be.

After a vote that included some less-than-exuberant yea’s, Board President Dr. Timothy Quinn said it’s difficult to see Zerbe go. Hershey added to the sentiment by saying, "The school district is forever indebted to Mr. Zerbe for his years of service and his commitment to our students and community."

Zerbe made a moving speech upon the acceptance of his retirement:

"I do want to say just three short things. First of all, I want to give honor and thanks to my Lord and Savior for guiding and leading me in my life, and I feel that I was here for a reason.

"I also want to give credit and thanks to my wife, who has been a loyal supporter of mine for 35 years. She’s endured the time and the attention this job has required, and I thank her greatly for her loyalty and her commitment to me.

"And lastly, I want to say thank you to this board and previous boards … and the staff (and) teachers. I’m indebted to all of you for your commitment to me and allowing me to serve here at Warwick and in the community at large. I have a great sense of good times We’ve had our ups and downs, but Warwick is a great, great community. Thank you from the best of my heart; I have a lot of fond memories. I certainly will miss it, but I am ready to move on to another chapter in my life. I have some things now that I can focus on, my wife and my family. Thank you all. I appreciate everything you have done for me."

Donation funds 120 iPads

In other news, the Warwick Education Foundation presented a check to the board in the amount of $57,832. The money will be used to procure 120 iPads for elementary school classrooms.

"We understand the district is planning to expand this technology to all the grade levels and all the kids," said Foundation member Grant Hummer. "I do want to emphasize that these funds are not coming from (the Foundation); they are coming from the community. The community, businesses, individuals, this is where this money is coming from. We’re the middle men. We just get to look pretty up here and present the check."

School Board serenade

Prior to Tuesday night’s meeting, the board and visitors were treated to a special performance from the Warwick Marching Band. Musical performances have become a staple at regular business meetings.

"It’s a wonderful thing we have here every third Tuesday," Quinn said.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 15 at the district office, and Quinn invites anyone to come watch, learn and participate.

More SCHOOL BOARD, page A6