Three of the four departing members of the Harford County said their goodbyes at their last meeting Monday night.
President Mark Wolkow and board members Thomas Evans and Don Osman are leaving their positions and will be officially replaced with new members at the next meeting on July 11.
During the meeting, Superintendent Robert Tomback and Vice President Leonard Wheeler presented Wolkow with a plaque for his nine years of service, one of the longest on the board. They thanked him for his success as the audience gave him a standing ovation.
"The work of a [school board] president is Herculean," Tomback added.
Other board members expressed their gratitude for Wolkow's service.
Robert Frisch said the new members will have big shoes to fill.
"[Wolkow's] imprint on the system here will have an impact for years to come," he said.
Board member Alysson Krchnavy said she learned from watching Wolkow.
"He's been a huge example to me and he will be sorely missed," she added.
Wolkow said serving on the board was one of the best experiences of his life and that he is most proud of improving the group's communication with the public. He also credited the success of the county schools to dedicated staff, constant focus on the classroom, students and the consistent quality of Harford County superintendents.
"What's especially gratifying is that I've had a role in making a small influence on students," Wolkow said.
He said it was an honor and privilege to serve on the Board of Education.
"I never imagined in all my life that there was going to be so much to learn," Wolkow said.
He thanked the board, County Council President William Boniface, state Sen. J.B. Jennings, as well as his mother and wife, who were present in the audience.
"As much as I've enjoyed being on the board, I'm very much looking forward to spending more time with you all," Wolkow said of his family.
Osman also thanked the board and superintendent for their support and encouragement during his two years of service, as well as Gov. Martin O'Malley for having the confidence to appoint him to the board.
"These two years have been the most challenging in my 46 years in the education field," Osman said.
He acknowledged the Board of Education staff members and county teachers, staff and students, adding that it had "truly been an honor to serve the residents as a board member of Harford County."
It was also the last meeting for student representative Caitlin Dooling, who recently graduated from .
Departing member Evans was not present at the meeting to make closing remarks.
Tomback also acknowledged David Volrath at the meeting, who is retiring from his position as executive director of high school performance after 40 years of service in the county. He will be .
In April, O'Malley to the Board of Education. Cassandra Beverley, elected in November, is also scheduled to join the board. One more appointment from O'Malley would bring the board to nine members, up from its existing total of seven.
Nancy Reynolds, who has over 30 years of experience with Harford County schools as a reading specialist, assistant principal and principal of will join the board at July's meeting, as well as Joseph Hau. Hau is the owner, vice president and CFO of Chesapeake Environmental Management Inc. in Harford County.
The board is expected to vote for a new president at the next meeting July 11.