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Forestville School Board bids farewell to President Drozdziel

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen Forestville Board of Education President Amy Drozdziel said goodbye to the District at a recent meeting after serving 12 years on the Board.

FORESTVILLE — “Once a Hornet, always a Hornet,” Amy Drozdziel proudly proclaimed time after time over the past dozen years that she spent on the Forestville Board of Education. Now the phrase will hold a different meaning to Drozdziel, as she will no longer serve as the Board President of the school she has called home since her days as a student.

Drozdziel said goodbye to the Board and District administration at a recent meeting, her final one after not running for reelection this year.

To begin the meeting, Drozdziel wished another outgoing member of the Hornet hive, Jim Knoop, farewell as he retires as Director of Facilities effective July 1. Drozdziel then ceded the floor to Vice President Andrea Spengler.

“I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Amy Drozdziel,” Spengler began. She then described Drozdziel’s time on the Board, spanning three four-year terms since her election in July of 2012.

“The love she has for our District and the community is evident in all that she does,” Spengler said. “… Over the years, Amy has consistently worked well with administrators to develop and enhance the quality of education our District provides. … She has had a positive impact on our Board and on our District.”

Spengler awarded Drozdziel with a plaque to commemorate her service to the District. Earlier in the evening before the meeting began, Drozdziel was presented with flowers from members of the audience.

“It’s just been a joy, it really has,” Drozdziel said as she held back tears. She noted that the Board “always worked so well as a group” and credited members of the past and present.

“There have been so many amazing Board Members that I have looked up to over the last 12 years. Sylvester Cleary is one definitely to be thanked tonight, and everyone that sits at the table here with me tonight has been great to work with.”

Athletic Director Scott Hazelton, Elementary Principal Shauna McMahon, and Middle/High School Principal Dan Grande each commended Drozdziel for the work she has done to support the District, as well.

“I appreciate all your support over these years,” Hazelton said. He called it “a breath of fresh air” to have a Forestville alumna lead the District as the Board of Education President.

Grande, who has been a principal at the Forestville Central School District for Drozdziel’s entire tenure as a Board of Education member, thanked Drozdziel to conclude his report at the meeting.

“I cannot mention how many times you’ve been supportive of the administration and the students. Your dedication to this District is second to none,” Grande said.

Drozdziel departs from the Board as its longest tenured member, serving as its president for the past two years. She was first elected in the final months of Superintendent Dr. John O’Connor’s previous tenure at Forestville. He then departed a few months later, and returned just after Drozdziel became Board President two years ago.

“I didn’t leave because Amy was elected,” O’Connor joked, “but her being on the Board was one of the factors of me coming back.”

Drozdziel responded, “You don’t have to miss me, I’ll still be around.”

Before the meeting concluded with cupcakes and refreshments, Drozdziel got to say her trademarked phrase one final time as the Board approved and welcomed its newest teaching hire, Michelle Sprague, to the Elementary School. Drozdziel smiled as she shook hands with Sprague for the last official welcome of her tenure as Board President.

“I know that our school is going to continue in the right direction because I know that everyone that sits here on this Board is here for the right reasons. They all have a love for children,” Drozdziel said. “… One of the most important things when you become a Board Member is to be dedicated to the school, to your community, and most importantly, the kids.”

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