December 2012 will mark the first month in 11 years that the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board will be without John B. Schmotzer, its current president.
Schmotzer made a surprise announcement toward the end of Wednesday night's school board meeting that next week's meeting will be his last.
In an interview after the meeting, Schmotzer said that "it was just time" and that he desired to spend more hours with his family and in furthering his business—Metropolitan Window Company.
"I've thought about it (resigning) for a while," Schmotzer said. "I'm expanding my business into another city (Erie), and actually, Wednesday nights, my grandchildren come over to the house. And I love 'em. And I just want to spend more time with them. And I'm very occupied with not just coming to two meetings a month but all of the reading and the research I do.
"When I do a job, I try to do it to the best of my ability—110 percent I give to anything that I do—so I wanted to free my life up a little bit. And something had to give.
"Being on the school board 11 years was a long enough time, and I've decided that it's time for someone else to take over."
Schmotzer said that he will also give more of his time to helping his wife, Maggie, in her efforts as the chairperson of the Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala portion of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. The charity-driven event benefits the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School, and the 2013 Gala will be held at South Hills Country Club in Whitehall Borough on July 12.
"I'm walking out (of B-W School District administration) very proud," John said. "I think, over the 11 years, with the various members I've served with, we've accomplished a great deal.
"The district is on solid financial ground. I hope it stays that way. And the facilities have been upgraded."
John acknowledged that the district still has "a ways to go academically" but pointed out that the levels of satisfactory academic achievement keep rising in Pennsylvania, making it that much harder to achieve adequate yearly progress year after year.
"So, academically, we have our work cut out for ourselves, but I truly believe that (Superintendent) Dr. (Randal A.) Lutz and (Assistant Superintendent) Denise (Sedlacek) will do a phenomenal job."
Most of John's fellow school board members on Wednesday opted to save their parting words for him until next week, but board member Nancy Sciulli DiNardo did not wait to praise the outgoing board president.
"To build a high school, to go through what we've gone through in this district, to have a contract for our teachers that we have, to have facilities, to have what we have going on in this district, to be No. 1 on that (recent) audit (among peer districts) with that fund balance is unbelievable," Sciulli DiNardo said." And that takes hard work.
"I know that you've taken a lot of heat personally, and so has your family, with you serving on this board, and I respect you and admire you for that."
The B-W School District Office will accept résumés for 30 days from Wednesday night, Nov. 14, to fill Schmotzer's vacated seat. It is not known yet what path that the board will take to fill the vacancy nor how it will handle the presidency.
Read through other Baldwin-Whitehall School Board items here.
And check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch throughout Thursday for more news from Wednesday's school board meeting.
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