Zerbe honored during exit

By on January 30, 2014
State Rep Steven Mentzer (left) honors David Zerbe for his 32 years of work as Warwick School District’s business manager. Tuesday was Zerbe’s last meeting. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

State Rep Steven Mentzer (left) honors David Zerbe for his 32 years of work as Warwick School District’s business manager. Tuesday was Zerbe’s last meeting. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

In 1982 the cost of a first class stamp was 20 cents (it’s now 49) and a dozen eggs were only 84 cents. That is the same year business manager David Zerbe came to Warwick School District, and for 32 years he has helped manage a district budget that now exceeds $60 million.

Accolades and kind words rained down upon Zerbe Tuesday night during his last regular business meeting.

“I never thought this time would come,” said school board president Dr. Timothy Quinn before reading an official resolution from the board. “It is resolved that the Warwick Board of School Directors offer sincere thanks to Mr. David L. Zerbe for 32 years of faithful service to the students, staff and community of Warwick School District.”

The board presented Zerbe with a gift, a watercolor print from artist and Warwick Middle School track coach Andy Smith. The back of the print will be signed by all board members and has the following inscription: To Dave Zerbe, a great team member. Congratulations on your retirement. Thanks for your devoted service and leadership to the Warwick School District and community.

“I feel pretty confident that I can speak for many previous boards as well, we really appreciate all the service, all the hard work, all the leadership,” said Quinn.

The board was not finished. Superintendent Dr. April Hershey asked Zerbe to take a standing position next to her as board member Benedict Sahd spun an entertaining tale of leadership, value… and baseball. After much laughter, Sahd presented Zerbe with a limited edition baseball cap from his favorite team, the New York Yankees. The gift is a limited release Mariano Rivera cap celebrating the relief pitcher’s retirement in 2013.

“We want to thank you for your dedication, for your commitment and your expertise that you have provided the district for so many years. And we wish you all the best,” said Sahd.

In attendance to share appreciation for Zerbe’s service was State Representative Steven Mentzer who read from a lengthy citation and added a few words about the role of a business manager.

“I think many times a business manager who is integral in educating kids, maybe not directly, but indirectly, needs to be appreciated. And after 32 years you need to be really appreciated… With the financial challenges facing public education I’m sure you had to do a lot of maneuvering around,” said Mentzer. “The people of Pennsylvania wanted to recognize that through this citation. Rather than reading through it &tstr; I kind of gave a little synopsis here &tstr; I would like to read this last paragraph if I might. ‘Now, therefore, the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania congratulates David Zerbe upon his well deserved retirement.’”

State Senator Mike Brubaker was unable to attend the meeting, but forwarded a proclamation from the Senate. Hershey read part of the decree to the crowd and school board.

“During his career with the school district Mr. Zerbe worked for five different superintendents and 40 different school board members, and he was instrumental in the success of nine building projects that encompassed every building in the district. He also served on the building and property and finance and legal committees… throughout his tenure Mr. Zerbe maintained the highest standards of excellence,” read Hershey.

After Zerbe’s recognition, the board returned to regular business, approving minutes from previous meetings, the treasurer’s report, and the payment of bills. The board approved several personnel matters including the hiring of a new high school assistant principal. Steven Szobocsan will replace Zachary Fletcher, who resigned, at an annual salary of $78,500. The new principal was in attendance Tuesday night.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here. I’m very ready to get started,” said Szobocsan. “This is a great opportunity for myself to continue and also for my family. As you folks know, as my wife is here as well.”

Kristina Szobocsan is also an assistant at Warwick High School and was hired in July 2013.

In other personnel matters, the district added some new and familiar faces to major sports squads. Eric Jeanes will move from a position of assistant coach for high school football to head coach on the junior high level. Replacing Jeanes at the high school assistant position is Kevin Krause. In track and field, Alex Daecher will be promoted from assistant to head coach for the 2013-14 season. Daecher is replacing Katie Vann, who resigned.

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