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Harper Woods

December 27, 2012

Board says goodbye to outgoing school board trustees

By April Lehmbeck
C & G Staff Writer

HARPER WOODS — During the last School Board meeting of the year, board members and administrators had to say farewell to a couple of the people who have helped shape the district in recent months or years.

At the Dec. 18 meeting, both the outgoing and incoming board members sat at the board table, even though incoming members can’t cast a vote until January. The two outgoing trustees, Joseph Zichi and Jason Tinsley, chose to end their school board careers at this time, when they didn’t seek to put their names on the November ballot. That paved the way for newcomers Regina Williams and Tabithia Mahone, who won the two unopposed seats.

The board recognized Zichi and Tinsley with a presentation during the meeting, saying that they both made a positive impact on the board and the district.

“We’re going to miss you,” Board Vice President David Kien said, thanking them for their service.

Zichi has been on the board since 2008.

“He’s been an integral part of this board for a number of years,” Board President Brian Selburn said. “I hate to see him go.”

Superintendent Todd Biederwolf also had positive comments about Zichi’s dedication to the district.

“You have been a great advocate for this district,” he said. “When I think of you, I immediately contextualize you as a school supporter.

“You, sir, are maroon and gold,” Biederwolf said of Zichi. “You are Harper Woods through and through.”

Zichi thanked everyone and reflected on the tough issues they had to tackle during tight financial times.

“It’s been a challenge,” Zichi said. “We tried to keep every resource we had in the classroom.

“We had a challenge, but we made it,” he said.

Selburn agreed.

“Frankly, I think (the district’s) in better shape than it was when you came on,” Selburn said. “You’ve been through thick and thin.”

Tinsley, who came on last summer to fill a vacancy on the board, said it was a pleasure to serve and he was happy he chose to do so.

“He’s had a meaningful presence on the board,” Selburn said of Tinsley.

He called Tinsley a committed resident with one child at Beacon Elementary and another who will be a Beacon student when old enough.

Biederwolf referenced Tinsley’s professional experience as an asset to the district.

“Clearly, your background in business finance and banking were very advantageous to the district,” he said. “I quickly learned that you have a big heart for kids, a dedication to the district.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer April Lehmbeck at alehmbeck@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1043.