SARANAC LAKE - There were a lot of goodbyes, some tearful, at Wednesday's Saranac Lake school board meeting.
Retiring school district Superintendent Gerald Goldman was recognized for his service to the district along with veteran school board member Esther Arlan, who lost her re-election bid last month.
School officials also had kind words for Bloomingdale Principal Theresa Lindsay, whose position was eliminated this year to help bring the district's budget in line. Lindsay won't be going far; she's been hired as the new Lake Placid Middle School principal.
Retiring Saranac Lake Central School Superintendent Gerald Goldman, left, holds a plaque presented to him Wednesday night by school board President Debra Lennon, recognizing Goldman for his service to the school district.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
School board President Debra Lennon read a resolution recognizing Goldman for working "tirelessly to maintain a district that provided well-educated students by professional staff in a cost-efficient manner." The resolution offered the board's "deepest thanks (to Goldman) for his dedicated and exemplary public service to the people of the Saranac Lake Central School District."
Lennon also presented Goldman with a plaque that recognized his 22 total years with the district, which includes his superintendent tenure from March 2008 to the end of this month, and his 16 years as principal of Saranac Lake High School.
"Is it too late to unretire?" Goldman quipped as he accepted the plaque.
Later, Goldman thanked the district's teachers, administrators and staff for their support over the years. He said he will miss coming to work each day.
"A lot of superintendents end their career hating it, and I'm ending mine loving it," he said. "I know that sounds crazy to the people who've come into my office. But I've loved what I've done. I've loved working here. I love this community. It's been a real privilege to work with all of you."
Goldman said he'll reminisce more about his tenure with the district during his remarks at Friday's high school graduation ceremony.
Dan Bower, the district's assistant superintendent for business, said even though he lived a block away from Goldman in Tupper Lake, he didn't really know him until they started working together.
"We weren't friends, but now we are," he said. "He's been a good mentor to all of us. He's left the district in a very good place."
"I can only hope the relationship with our next superintendent is as good," Lennon said.
Diane Fox, the current Beekmantown High School principal, is set to take over for Goldman on July 1.
Goldman read a resolution saluting Arlan, who served on the board in two stints, from 1994 to 2003 and again from 2008 until present. She was the third-place finisher in a four-way race for two seats on the board that were won by incumbent Clyde Baker and newcomer Shir Filler.
The resolution honored Arlan for her "untiring and selfless devotion" to the school board.
"Esther Arlan devoted herself to ensuring the district furnished our youth with the best education possible in the most cost-efficient manner so as to serve the best interests of the people of the Saranac Lake Central School District," the resolution reads.
Arlan didn't say much about her departure at the board table, although she encouraged fellow board members to stay involved with the New York State School Boards Association. Arlan was heavily involved in NYSSBA during her tenure and most recently served as the organization's Area 6 director, representing the North Country.
"Esther has been a tireless advocate for education," said board member Miles Van Nortwick. "Esther's also one you can argue your point with, and whether she agrees with you or not, she still respects you. She's a true friend of education who will be missed by me and many board members in other school districts."
Petrova Elementary School Principal Josh Dann called Arlan "a great mentor and a great role model."
Board member Terry Tubridy said Lindsay, Bloomingdale's principal since 2010, has been a "consummate professional.
"I really appreciate everything you've done while you've been here," he said.
"We are sorry to see you go, but we know our loss is (Lake Placid's) gain," said Lennon.
Lindsay told the board she wouldn't have been able to accomplish as much as she did at the school without the dedication of its teachers and staff.
"The past three years, for me, have been absolutely amazing," she said. "I'm not the same person who walked through these doors three years ago."
The school board also approved resolutions of appreciation to its two student representatives: Julia Murray and Nicholas Mann.
Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or email@example.com.