Monday (12/16/2013) was David Bressman’s final board of education meeting as President, and as a member, of the Worthington Board of Education. After pushing to have a contested election because he felt it was best for Worthington, David lost a very close vote to challenger Sam Shim. After 12 years of service David’s tenure is over.
By my estimate Monday evening was David’s 288th regular board of education meeting. I estimate that he probably attended an additional 60 special board of education meetings, and at least another 300 events representing the board of education. My estimates are probably low for each number. Furthermore, my estimates do not include the literally thousands of hours that David has spent in conversations with constituents, fellow board of education members, teachers, administrators, etc… and the equal amount of time he would have spent responding to email.
Additionally, being a board of education member is about being a servant to the community. The job is very difficult. It is time-consuming. It is full of difficult conflict. It is ripe for criticism. And, it doesn’t really pay anything. A board of education member does the job because they want to make a difference, and as David steps off the board of education he should be able to sleep soundly knowing he made a difference.
Over the past 12 years David has approved the hiring of literally hundreds of Worthington teachers. He’s also approved the lay-offs of more than a few. He’s been part of creating a new alternative middle school and part of closing a traditional middle school. He has hired several district treasurers and several superintendent’s. He’s guided Worthington through a very difficult decade of change and leaves with the district in excellent financial and academic shape.
David’s legacy will be that of a champion for kids and teachers. He believed strongly in the need to improve the culture and climate at each and every school. He supported the idea of a safe and drug free coordinator and he supported any, and all, anti-bullying efforts. He believed strongly that instruction was best provided by the Worthington teacher. He was a staunch advocate for community engagement before decision-making, and he was never afraid to ask difficult or challenging questions. David would always express his thoughts, but he was also willing to compromise and put his personal feelings aside when he felt it was best for Worthington.
12 years of selfless service is a long, long time. As a private attorney 12 years of meetings represents an incredible amount of billable hours that David forfeited in order to work towards making a difference. Public schools are led by elected school boards. We need good people in those seats. David is one of those “good” ones!
To David Bressman we say “Thank You!”
(On a personal level David approved my hire as the Coordinator of Human Resources in 2008 which allowed me to return to work in Worthington. A few years later he again approved my hire as the Assistant Superintendent. For that I say “Thank You!” I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities that I have been granted.)