NEWARK – Education officials thanked retiring school board members Sara Thompson and Barry Brittingham for their service this week.
Officials recognized Thompson and Brittingham Tuesday during the monthly meeting of the Worcester County Board of Education. Brittingham served for nearly 10 years while Thompson steps down after 26.5 years of service.
“It’s a bittersweet day,” Superintendent Lou Taylor said as Thompson and Brittingham were honored with proclamations.
Taylor thanked both individuals for their years of contributions to the school board, as he said they recognized the importance of doing what was best for the children in Worcester County’s schools.
In January, Thompson will be replaced by former superintendent Jon Andes, who was elected this fall, while Brittingham will be replaced by Donald Smack Sr, former head custodian at Ocean City Elementary.
Thompson retires as the longest serving school board member in Worcester County’s history and the longest consecutive serving board member in the state.
“She is a war horse to say the least,” Taylor said. “Even when some health issues have pulled her down that’s when she got tougher and kept moving forward.”
He credited her with always visiting the county’s schools and attending events at them.
“That lady shows up,” he said. “And she still shows up after 26.5 years and never missed a beat.”
Thompson said she’d enjoyed every minute of serving on the school board, which she was appointed to by Delegate Bennett Bozman. In the years since, she’s worked with four different superintendents, including Andes.
“I’m very happy to turn the reins over to Dr. Andes,” she said.
Thompson said the highlight of her time on the school board had been the opportunity to be involved in the construction of the new Stephen Decatur Middle School as well as with renovations of several other schools.
“It’s been a very active and good organization,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed being on it. I still would be if age and health didn’t get in the way.”